Mary Golem
December 19, 2017


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Mary Charlotte was born in Durham on Monday, May 9, 1960 to parents, Arthur and Islay (Barber) Matthews. She was the youngest of five children, with older siblings Keith, Bob, Grant and June awaiting her arrival.

The Matthews’ family lived on a dairy farm south of Varney. There she attended Egremont Public School and later John Diefenbaker Secondary School in Hanover were she was Valedictorian.

It was in 1976, while in high school, that Mary was introduced to one Gerald Russell Golem who was installing modern dairy equipment in the Matthew’s new barn. Gerald recalled Mary bringing a bowl of strawberries down to those working on the barn and as they say, the rest is history. The young couple were married at Knox United Church, Durham on June 20, 1981 by Rev. Ken Tanner.

Mary had been working since 1980 for The Mount Forest Confederate were they graciously taught her the ropes and helped start her career in Journalism. The couple soon relocated to a rural property outside of Chesley were they built a home for their future family. The house took a year and a half to build and the couple moved in with their newborn daughter, Jennifer, on New Year’s Eve 1982.

Professionally, Mary started at The Chesley Enterprise, as a reporter, in 1981. It wasn’t long before Mary’s passionate and devoted ways earned her the role of editor. In 1986, Mary, Gerald and Jennifer welcomed Trevor to their family. Soon after, Mary returned to work as editor and remained there for the next 23 years until the paper’s closure in 2005. After that, she worked as a freelance writer, mainly for The Post (Hanover), The Sun Times (Owen Sound) and the Rural Voice, endearing herself to readers through her words of wit, wisdom and opinions in her weekly “Mary’s Corner” column. Her passion for writing continued right up until this past September.

Away from work, Mary could always be seen throughout the community helping in one way or another. Over the years, she was involved with the Chesley Rotary Club, active within her church (St. Peter’s Lutheran, Sullivan) and acted as a Director for Germania Mutual Insurance for 12 years. Mary taught her children to work hard, stating “jobs worth doing are worth doing well.” Although strong willed at times, Mary was committed to her family and cared for them deeply. As a family they always enjoyed dinners together and they attended church as a family every Sunday.


In her spare time Mary enjoyed dabbling in photography… if you don’t believe us just check out all the photo albums she amassed over the years! She enjoyed baking, hiking in local conservation areas, snowshoeing and of course ATV rides and camping at the back of their property on the North Saugeen River. It was truly her sanctuary.

This write up would not be complete without touching on Mary’s social media presence. Her passion was connecting with others on Facebook, just check out her page and the Likes. Mary also enjoyed reading newspapers… imagine! It didn’t matter where she was she would always pick up the local paper and catch up on the local issues. Mary was diagnosed with cancer in the spring of 2016. This tragic news never held her back. She put on a brave face and was determined to fight this horrible disease. She was never discouraged or depressed and always had a plan moving forward. She honestly made the best of each day she had on this beautiful earth.

Surrounded by the love of her family, Mary passed away at South Bruce Grey Health Centre, Chesley on Tuesday, December 19, 2017 after a courageous and determined fight against renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer). She was 57 years old.

Best friend and loving wife for 36 years of Gerald Golem. Proud and loving mother of Jennifer Chase of Newmarket and Trevor Golem and his wife Julia of Ajax. Adoring grandmother of William Chase. Loved sister of Bob Matthews and his wife Sharon and Grant Matthews, all of R.R. #3 Durham, Dr. June Matthews and her husband Ibrahim Moharram of London and her sister-in-law Shirley Matthews of Durham. Dear daughter-in-law of Russell and Margaret Golem of R.R. #4 Chesley, sister-in-law of Brenda Nicholson and her friend David Black of Tara and Kevin and Patti Golem of Hanover. Dear aunt of seven, great-aunt to one and chosen godmother to five.

She will be missed by a number of special friends and by her church family at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Sullivan where she was an active and dedicated member. Mary was predeceased by her parents, Arthur and Islay Matthews, her oldest brother Keith and brother-in-law Bob Nicholson.

In Mary’s memory, choose every day to live fully, help others and take time to enjoy the simple things in life, especially the beauty of God’s creation in sunrises and sunsets which Mary loved to capture in photographs.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Rhody Family Funeral Home of Chesley.

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