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Mabel Corlett

CORLETT, Mabel Passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 14 2019 at the age of 80 after long struggle with a debilitating lung condition. Her family expresses its gratitude to the thoughtful staff at St. Lawrence Place for their care and sensitivity in making her final months as comfortable as possible. Mabel is predeceased by her sisters, Elizabeth "Zibby" (Corlett) Wegenast and Mary Ruth (Corlett) Paterson, and her brothers Albert, Johnny, and Alexander "Sandy" Corlett. Mabel will be remembered by her cousins, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews spread across Canada, the US and England. A Celebration of Life will be held in May. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Mabel can be made to her chosen charities: Queen's University, University Hospitals Kingston Foundation or Sydenham Street United Church. Born on 7 February 1939 in the small mining town of Noranda, Quebec and inspired by her father, Dr. Albert "Bert" Corlett (Former Head of Mining Engineering at Queen's University), it should be no surprise that Mabel was a pioneer for women in the geological sciences. Mabel became the first woman to obtain a BSc in Geology at Queen's and after earning her MSc and PhD at the University of Chicago, her research took her to Switzerland and Russia in the 1960s. She returned to Queen's to teach Mineralogy where she has the distinction of being one of the first tenured women professors of geology in Canada. After teaching in the Geology department for 17 years, Mabel started her own business. At the Wool Room, she guided fellow knitters to create magnificent art pieces for wear or exhibition in galleries. She created her own knitting patterns and designed a sesquicentennial sweater for Queen's that was also presented to HRH Prince Charles on his visit to Kingston. Mabel created knitted designs in support of the Kingston Sheepdog Trials and her beloved Wolfe Island where she had a cottage and magnificent garden for many years. Since her childhood, Mabel has been a devoted parishioner of Sydenham Street United Church, where her mother Jean Ferguson Corlett had the honour of being the first woman elder in a United Church in all of Canada. Mabel was a devoted volunteer with several groups in Kingston. She was an avid sailor and longtime member of the Kingston Yacht Club where she loved to socialize. She also loved to ski and when her knees would not allow it, she remained active with the morning aquafit group at the YMCA. Despite her health challenges, Mabel remained extremely sharp and still made a point of correcting other's mistakes in sums and spelling. She will always be remembered for her quick wit, brilliant mind, and wonderful laugh. "J'ai rejoint ceux que j'aimais, et j'attends ceux que j'aime" ?Bossuet A Celebration of Life for Mabel will be held at one of her favourite hangouts, the Kingston Yacht Club, 1 Maitland Street, Kingston, Ontario on on Saturday 11 May 2019 from 2:00-5:00 pm. 13334853
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Memory Candles(1)
Inspiring Artist
Posted by Wendy Lewis (Knitting mentee) On Monday, May 27, 2019
The Wool Room was a sanctuary to me during my years at Queens. Mabel assisted me through many projects over the years, including her famous sesquicentennial sweater and I still have the pattern! Under her mentorship, I was able to take my knitting to the next level and truly began to understand the math and physics of knitting. I came across her business card today and a google search led me here. My condolences to Mabel’s family and friends. She guides my hands in every stitch.
She was a terrific guide
Posted by Susan Taylor (Traveller on Knitting Tour 1996 Skeins & Skerries) On Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Mabel was a very knowledgeable guide on our trip to Scotland. She enjoyed a glass of scotch along with my husband. I am still trying to finish the tam pattern designed by her

Great lady and great memories

Memories of Mabel
Posted by Carolyn Relf (past student) On Wednesday, April 24, 2019
So sorry to hear about Mabel's passing. I was part of the class of '84 and like everyone else in that year, took her Field Methods class, climbing the stairwell in Bruce Hall to measure a stratigraphic section of rocks she'd placed on every landing. Always smiling and laughing, she had a friendly word for everyone.
Jane, my condolences to you and your family
Posted by Janet Sidey (Former student) On Tuesday, April 23, 2019
I had one class with Dr. Corlett at Miller Hall (Field Methods, perhaps?), but I have a more vivid memory of running into her at the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa. My kids were likely 3 and 6 at the time, so about 21 years ago! It was Sheep Shearing Festival and she was there with a display of her knitting. I had no idea that Mabel was so involved in knitting and design. Her pieces on display were lovely. What a multi-faceted woman!

Janet Sidey

Queen’s Geological Sciences, Class of ‘83
Posted by Mike Young (Former student) On Tuesday, April 23, 2019
As one of the ‘83 gang, I can say we all loved Mabel and her deep knowledge and boundless enthusiasm for not only geology, but for her students. We all felt her deep love for the subject but she also made geology more than just a subject, she made it a passion for us. She’s a big reason why Geol ‘83 was such an excellent experience for us all. Mike Young, Perth Australia

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