Obituary of Maury Packard McCrillis IV
“If you live to be one hundred, I want to be one hundred minus one, so I never have to live without you.” Before he left us so terribly suddenly on Saturday, 16 May 2020, Maury McCrillis IV was our world. He was the kindest and most thoughtful man ever to pick up the bagpipes or wear a uniform. Maury’s appreciation for the sweet, simple things in life and his genuine smile were what made us love him the most. He made us feel strong and capable, motivating so many people to strive to do their best in this world. He was an adoring husband, a loyal son and brother, a devoted friend, a respected mentor, a talented bagpiper, a fierce highlander, and a proud Canadian Forces member. And, united in love beside his darling wife Elizabeth, he was so excited to soon to become a daddy. Maury was born in the United States, but spent most of his life in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, a place he loved and that, looking back after he moved away, brought a tear to his eye. He was a Cape Bretoner to the core. Learning to play the bagpipes at an early age, piping was a passion and skill that formed the paths in life that he chose. There was little he loved more than to put on his kilt and play. From major military ceremonies to small community events, piping was Maury’s life. It brought him all around Cape Breton with his dad and his friends in his youth, all over Canada and the U.S. with the Canadian Forces and, ultimately, to CFB Borden, Ontario, in 2015 where he met his wife, Elizabeth. True love makes us move mountains. And, together, Maury and Elizabeth immediately made drastic life changes to allow them to be together; inseparable. Maury would travel back and forth on the Marine Atlantic ferry to spend weekends with Elizabeth, who lived in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Together, under a shroud of warmth and new love, they forged an ironclad bond based on the principles of trust, togetherness, adventure in nature, and living their lives in simplicity, privacy, and joy. As individuals, they made one another whole, allowing each other to flourish and become the best version of themselves. Together they moved to Peterborough, Ontario in 2016, building a warm and cozy nest in Woodland Acres, finding new and beautiful places to adventure in the woods together with their dog, Hazel, and learning to love the Kawarthas’ rolling hills and rocky edges of the Canadian Shield nearly as much as the wilds of Cape Breton. And together, on 26 May 2019, they were united in marriage in a quiet ceremony in the spring woods of O’Hara Mill homestead and conservation area, surrounded by only the history of those who came before and those who they loved the most. In coming to Ontario, Maury left behind the Cape Breton Highlanders, a Canadian Forces Reserve Pipe Band in Sydney, Nova Scotia, who he had dutifully served since his teen years. Together with his army comrades, Maury truly embodied the Highlander lifestyle and his friends remember him as a great guy to have a pint with or to lead them on a wild adventure. As a child, his sisters, parents, and aunts and uncles lovingly recall his wild exploits but, just as much, they remember him running happy and free in the woods of Loch Lomond, building forts, reading books, riding his horse, skiing, competing with and fiercely defending his sisters, and building their log home together, as a family. As their only son and brother, Mickey, as he was fondly known, was a bright star in their lives. In Ontario, alongside his wife, Maury flourished. He quickly found his niche with the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment family, both as a Human Resources Administrator and a central member of the Hasty P’s Pipe Band. He grew confidently into his 30s by developing new passions and interests, recently enrolling as a student at Trent University, working part-time toward a business degree and, along the way, developing a true passion for learning about and advocating for the North. He was a man who was always growing, learning, teaching, and loving. His zest and enthusiasm, his razor-sharp focus, and his appreciation for the little things in the everyday mundanity of life is a lesson to us all. In losing Maury, we have lost so much. Left to face the stark reality of enduring the rest of their lives without him, but yet having become better people because of their time together, he leaves forever broken hearted his darling wife Elizabeth McCrillis and their baby girl on the way, Ainslie Paige, his mom and dad Lisa and Maury McCrillis III, his sisters Courtney, Cordelia, and Briana and their respective partners Matthew, Griffyn, and Nathan, Courtney’s children Yvaine and Milo, his dear friend John Lindsay, and so many friends past and present of the Cape Breton Highlanders and the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment. Our lives will never be the same. “If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.” Arrangements are entrusted to The Hendren Funeral Homes, Lakefield Chapel, Lakefield Ontario. You are all warmly invited to come together to grieve his loss at a memorial in Peterborough sometime in the coming months. Any donations in Maury’s memory to support Elizabeth and Ainslie as they move forward, lost and alone without him but stronger too as he lives on in them forever, are gratefully accepted at https://www.gofundme.com/f/mcpl-maury-mccrillis-iv-cd or by e-transfer to John Lindsay at firstname.lastname@example.org. Condolences and/or memorial donations may also be received at www.hendrenfuneralhome.com or by calling 705-652-3355.