María-Inés (Mané) Galbraith (née Ossa) passed away peacefully in Vancouver, B.C. on November 22, 2021 after an 11-year struggle with dementia. She is lovingly remembered by her husband Michael Galbraith, daughter Veronica Booth (Matthew, of Hong Kong), son Andrew Galbraith (Emily, of Shanghai), grandchildren Sophie Maria and Alec Michael Geoffrey Booth, and Isaac Alitto and Naomi Inés Biele Galbraith, six siblings, 22 nieces and nephews, countless cousins and extended family members, and so many beloved friends.

Born in Santiago, Chile, on May 6, 1943, Mané was the cherished eldest child of César Ossa Coo and Inés Salcedo Velasco. At 18, she became the primary breadwinner for her family, supporting them for 10 years and establishing a pattern of indomitable resilience. In 1977, six years after moving to Canada, she met Michael. They married in May 1978, much to the relief of their mothers, and moved immediately to Tokyo for six years, where they welcomed two children and travelled across Japan, acquiring a love for its people, art and language. Anchored by her faith, she steered the family through grief and joy in Vancouver, Tokyo again, Hong Kong and Singapore, before finally returning to Vancouver in 2008. Alas, her plans for an active life in Canada were cut short by her dementia diagnosis in 2010.

She displayed her artistic flair in her mastery of the Sogetsu style of Japanese flower arrangement, often being asked to prepare displays for public performances at Vancouver’s Orpheum and for special occasions for friends. She had a deep love of music from around the world and was an enthusiastic board member of the Vancouver Chamber Choir.

Adventuresome and playful, with a strong mischievous streak, she was also an elegant hostess with high standards for herself and others. And yet there was no one she couldn’t draw into conversation using Spanish, English, Japanese, hand gestures or impromptu dances. She inspired family and friends to be bolder; she supported others with her enormous heart and boundless compassion, whether they were prison inmates in Ottawa, Vietnamese boat people in Japan, Salvadorean refugees in Vancouver, lepers in southern China, or any child anywhere. In Hong Kong, she visited a hospice weekly to arrange flowers for the dying, listening to and grieving with visiting families.

All who knew her have stories of how Mané loved them, and how they loved her back. Even on the other side of the world she never let bonds with her large Chilean family weaken, and she doted on her mother-in-law, whom she called “Mum”, and her Canadian family.

But above all, she adored her children Veronica and Andrew, and her great love, husband Michael.  Wherever the family lived she created a beautiful, warm, safe, and loving home. Mané’s house was always graced with flowers in the entranceway, candles on the dinner table, music and the smell of delicious food.

She was comforted and cared for in her final years by the extraordinary staff at Purdy Pavilion, UBC Hospital.

A Mass will be offered on Monday, November 29 for family only with a larger celebration of life next summer. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in her name to The Alzheimer’s Society of B.C.