Marika d’Ailly died peacefully at her home near Diamond Valley,
Alberta surrounded by family on September 7, 2023. She was
90 years old.
Marika’s childhood years were shadowed by the uncertainly,
deprivations and the traumas of World War II, which was right at her
door step. During her youth she was proud to have been a student
of Maria Montessori. Later in life she collected her memories and
those of other Dutch survivors of the war and the liberation into a
book called Hope in the Colour of Orange that she published with her
She travelled much of the world as a flight attendant for KLM until
her marriage to Antoine Jean (Jan) d’Ailly, when they immigrated
to the US in 1959. They spent years in Minnesota, in Mexico, in
Calgary, AB, in St. Bruno, QC and the past 20 years in the foothills
near Okotoks, Alberta.
Marika was passionate about music. In St. Bruno she organized
concert series in her home with emerging musicians who were
studying at McGill’s Schulich School of Music and was also active
in CAMMAC, a music camp and a special place for sharing the love
Marika always followed her passion, including art, calligraphy,
writing and gardening. She tended her beloved garden and her
vegetable patch and even picked her own flowers the morning she
passed away. She wrote books, wrote a column for the newspaper
and made many family books for her children and grandchildren. She
was active, doing qigong for many years, swimming in rivers or lakes
whenever she could and hiking and walking.
She enjoyed time with her grandchildren, planning all sorts of
activities whether it was special projects for a birthday or a Christmas
celebration, helping with school or driving them to school. She
always wrote letters or a note and offered her thoughts and wisdom
Marika led a whole and beautiful life that she lived with conviction.
She knew what was important to her and created an environment
that allowed her to thrive. As she grew older it became difficult to
attend choir practices in the evening so she helped organize a choir
that rehearsed in the afternoons, and that choir continues today.
She took pleasure in her many friendships and in hosting family and
friends. She was gracious and generous leaving everyone feeling
that they were better for having spent time with her.
As in life, she died when she was ready and on her own terms. She
wrote about the experience of being 90, her journey and her decision
as she prepared to ‘step out of time.’ Marika was at peace with her
life. She will be dearly missed.
A celebration of life will be held at her home on Saturday,
September 23, 2023 starting at 2:00 p.m.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the Diamond Valley
Singers, etransfer at [email protected] or make a deposit at the
ATB in Diamond Valley for the for Diamond Valley Singers.