Pullishy, Marg

Obituary

PULLISHY, Marg

Marg (Greta) died on May 16, 2013 in Victoria, BC at the age of 68.

She left this world peacefully with her girls by her side. During her active life, Marg shared her gifts with those around her and had many accomplishments. Marg was the successful owner of Endeavours Communications, where one of her more notable and rewarding tasks was producing the weekly segment “Wednesday’s Child” for CTV Edmonton for 32 years. Marg spent many years living between Edmonton and Victoria, enjoying herself by gardening, entertaining friends, and most recently walking with The Sole Sisters. While Marg fought several forms of cancer for over 25 years, she was able to complete the TC 10K in 2011 and 2012, even while living with cancer in her lungs.

Marg was predeceased by her mother Mary Ellen and her brothers Jim and Albert. She leaves to carry on her spirit her partner Ken Park; her daughters Krista (Mike), and Kari (Fraser); Ken’s daughter Laureen; and the grandchildren who were her shining stars, Julia, Michael, Cameron, Kaleigh, Doug and Darryl. She also leaves behind her brothers Gordon and Gerry Alex; “Sister” Linda; many nieces, nephews, cousins and her nephew Shannon Alex, who held a special place in her heart. Marg had a sparkle in her eye that never left and she touched all those she met.

There will be no Funeral as Marg had requested small celebrations with close family and friends to take place in both Victoria and Edmonton. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to The Victoria Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation or The Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton. The family would like to sincerely thank Dr. James Houston of Victoria, Dr. Flanagan and Dr. Gainer of Edmonton, and Dr. Sawyer and nurse Shannon Bell from the Cross Cancer Institute. Victoria Hospice must also be thanked for their gentle care of Marg and her family during her peaceful transition at the end.

Condolences may be offered to the family at
www.mccallbros.com
McCall’s of Victoria, BC
(1-800-870-4210)

Published in The Edmonton Journal on May 21, 2013

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Wednesday’s Child host worked for kids every day

By Jodie Sinnema, Edmonton Journal
June 7, 2013

EDMONTON – Every Wednesday on TV, Marg Pullishy got down in the sandbox or swung on the swing set with little kids, determined to find them new homes.

From 1982 until around 2006, Pullishy hosted an Edmonton CTV segment called Wednesday’s Child, where toddlers and children were introduced to Albertans through their TVs in hopes of finding adoptive families.

Of those featured during the segment over the years, about 70 per cent have found new families, in part because Pullishy was a constant advocate.

She died May 16 in Victoria, B.C., at age 68, after fighting various cancers for 25 years. She produced Wednesday’s Child until the week of her death.

“She found young people inspirational,” said friend Marian Pangburn, who hired Pullishy to teach in the radio and television program at NAIT in the mid-1990s. “She was not quick to judge. She took them at their face value.” And met them at their eye level, throwing Frisbees with kids or pushing them in strollers as she tried to show off their personalities.

Pangburn ended up adopting one of the children, just after CTV — then CFRN — pulled its monetary sponsorship for the weekly segment. That left Pullishy to team up with Dave Thomas of Wendy’s restaurant fame to fill the funding gap.

“She was so sincere,” said Pangburn, whose adoptive son, Justin, is now 24. At age nine, he was living in Calgary and expressed a desire to have a family and siblings.

Pangburn’s birth son was only nine months older than Justin.

“People warmed up to her, little people like my son,” Pangburn said. “What she did was brought out the best in Justin.”

Pullishy also brought out the best in students at NAIT, where she taught for about three years. She also opened her own business called Endeavours Communications. But her passion was Wednesday’s Child, and her own two daughters, Krista Long, 45, and Kari Marshall, 43.

Long said her mother was a stay-at-home mom when her daughters were young, baking cookies for them and sewing all their clothes. One Christmas, she sewed matching purple corduroy outfits for the two girls to match her own.

When Long was in Grade 1, she remembers going to school in homemade mini-skirts and matching hair ribbons, looking so cute in ’70s disco clothes that the girls in junior high fawned over her like a doll.

So when Pullishy went back to college for a communications diploma, Long said her young classmates thought her mother was the coolest thing ever. That became especially true when Pullishy’s photo showed up on the front of the TV Guide. She had also trained as a sign interpreter for the deaf community and was working for QCTV before it became Shaw, using sign language for a television show.

“She kind of became an advocate for deaf people in the community,” Long said. Pullishy interpreted for a deaf woman while she was giving birth and sometimes went out with police to help in domestic disputes involving deaf people.

“Looking back then, she did what no one else was doing, which was so good for my sister and me,” Long said.

Long remembers her mother seriously considered adopting one of her Wednesday’s children, although that never happened. Instead, she pushed to have siblings adopted by the same family, and mentioned their handicaps without dwelling on them.

“She was kind, open-hearted and fully aware of things going on in the world,” said Bruce Hogel, who worked at CFRN from 1965 to 1990. Hogel sometimes went with Pullishy to find Wednesday’s children. Before Alberta Social Services became involved, Pullishy had to ask private adoption agencies for guidance.

“She was infatuated with children,” Hogel said. “She was a foster mother they could trust and open up to. In her own way, she was the Mother Teresa of social services. Never went out of her way to seek out glory.”

The work earned Pullishy a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award at the Alberta Film and Television Awards on May 25.

More recently, Pullishy poured her love into her four grandchildren, ages 17, 14, 13 and eight. She joined Facebook for them, learned how to text with 17-year-old Julia Long about their favourite TV show, Criminal Minds, and became an inspiration for her 13-year-old grandson, Cameron Marshall in Victoria.

Cameron has congenital myopathy, a neuromuscular disorder, and when he saw his grandmother walking with a group called Sole Sisters despite her lung cancer, he jumped aboard the exercise train. On April 28, Pullishy watched from a wheelchair on the sidelines as Cameron finished the Times Colonist 10-kilometre race.

Pullishy divided her time between Edmonton and Victoria, gardened before she moved into a condo with longtime partner Ken Park, played not-so-good golf, solved crossword puzzles, and held Royal Wedding parties for Charles and Diana, then Will and Kate.

“She did not want a funeral,” Park said. “She wanted a party.”