Mary Prudence “Prue” Canham
May 3, 1922- October 22, 2020
Mary Prudence “Prue” Canham was the long-awaited and beloved first child of Ralph and Edna Bertolin when she was born in Denver, Colorado on May 3, 1922. After moving to Montana for a well-remembered year when she was in first-grade, Prue’s family settled in Seattle, Washington, which became the home of her heart. There she spent a youth filled with roller-skating, traveling with her father on business trips all over the West, and attending school football games. She graduated with a B.A. in languages from the University of Washington in 1944. During World War II she tracked aircraft approaching the West Coast and then worked for the Army Engineers. Seeking adventure, Prue took the train across the country to New York City in 1945. There she met John “Ed” Canham, who was attending medical school with her brother at Columbia University as part of the Army Specialized Training Program. They married in 1947. During a military career of over 30 years, Prue and Ed lived in many places: New York City, San Francisco, Virginia, Würzburg (Germany), Nashville, and Denver. Prue was active in the Army Wives Club and held down the domestic front when Ed served overseas. Upon retiring from the military, they settled in Oakland, California where Prue was a literacy volunteer, enjoyed the symphony and opera, was an active member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Piedmont, and held every officer’s position in the Alameda Retired Army Wives Club. In 2014, Prue moved to Huntingtown to be closer to her daughter. She became a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Prince Frederick where she sang in the choir. Prue loved to sing and to read, especially history, and was an amateur painter. She will be best remembered for her unfailing love and kindness to all who came her way, her sense of humor, and her love of beauty in all its forms. Prue was preceded in death by her husband, Colonel John E. Canham, MD, son Francis A. Canham, and daughter Ann K. Ross. Prue is survived by her children, E. Michael Canham, MD and his wife Susan of Greenwood Village, CO, Mary Canham of Prairie Village, KS, William J. Canham and his wife Maureen of Bethesda, Michele Lyons and her husband Sean of Huntingtown, and Melissa Canham-Clyne and her husband Jake of New Haven, CT, grandchildren Steve, Lara, Atticus, Jane, Aneurin, and Kathleen, and great-grandchildren Julian and Emily. She also leaves a devoted son-in-law, Wilford Ross; sisters-in-law Barbara Bertolin and Del Bertolin; and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends of her children whom she loved. Prue passed away October 22, 2020 at the Caribbean Breeze Assisted Living Facility in Huntingtown.
Services will be held on Saturday, October 31 for immediate family only. Family will provide a Zoom link to those who request it.
Saturday, October 31, 2020