It is with profound sorrow we announce the passing of our mother, Margaret, at Castle Peak Retirement Residence, just days shy of her 96th birthday. She was predeceased by the love of her life, Ronald Stoodley. Margaret was the beloved mother of Leanne and Richard Lamoureux and Kim and Mark Geldhof, cherished grandmother of Jennifer Walters (Kirk), Kyle Gurnsey, Carly Jones (C.J. Cartwright), and step-grandmother to Joel Lamoureux (Tanya Bewzak), Danielle Lamoureux (John Vipperman) and the late Paul Lamoureux. Margaret was a very proud great grandmother to Caleb, Kingston, Aurora, Nova, Connor, and Luke and played a special role in the life of her dear friend, Kathy Stoodley, who was like another daughter to her. She will be greatly missed by so many dear family and friends who enriched her life along the way.
Known to everyone in our family as either Mom or Nana, she was born in Meaford, Ontario, and was the only child to British immigrant parents, Frank Hilton and Hannah Whittaker. She grew up as the centre of the universe to her parents and her dearly loved aunt and uncle, Margaret Whittaker and William Sharples. At the age of four, she sat on her Uncle Bill’s shoulders as she enjoyed her first baseball games.
Mom spent her formative years in Parry Sound and left to join the Navy in 1944. She had grandiose plans of seeing the world, but graduated top of her class and was deployed to Ottawa where she served proudly as a WREN Writer in the payroll department. Being in the Navy was one of the pivotal moments in Mom’s life and truly shaped who she was. In 1945, she stood honour guard at the National War Memorial during the Remembrance Day ceremony. Every year since retirement, she dressed in her legion regalia and marched in the Remembrance Day parade as long as she was able.
After the war, Mom became a bookkeeper and worked for various companies including nursing homes. By the end of her working life, she had risen to the level of Nursing Home Administrator at Maynard Nursing Home in Toronto. She loved this occupation and treated all within her sphere of influence with dignity and respect. Mom always felt it her duty to make sure none of her residents died alone, and she often could be found sitting vigil on a Saturday night so that people were not alone on their journey. It was so comforting that we were able to be there for Mom on her journey. She knew she was surrounded by love, near and far, as she ended her days.
Mom loved to play games. As a young woman she fell in love with baseball, then graduated to bowling, curling and golf. But sports, the Blue Jays in particular, weren’t her only passion. She was a member and Noble Grand of the Georgian Rebekah Lodge of Parry Sound. She also was an avid card player and made weekly tours of the Muskoka lakes to play euchre and bid euchre. She made a glass of sherry her daily ritual and enjoyed doing crossword and jigsaw puzzles, playing bingo and visiting casinos. She loved to travel, especially on cruises, and she loved to dance! Music was central to her very essence. Even during the last weeks of her life, she could sing all the words to her favourite 40’s songs.
Basically, Mom was a party girl who always wanted to look her best. A never-ending, coordinated wardrobe, including jewelry and shoes, was the start of every day and she even had her hair done just hours before her death. It was not a surprise to anyone who knew her that she would go out in style as Mom lived life to the fullest, right to the very end.
Mom loved people and people loved Mom; that is just the way it was. She was an empathetic listener and perfect role model for demonstrating unconditional love. She exuded kindness and brought out the best in people with her keen wit and quirky sense of humour.
The family extends special thanks to Carlie and her most wonderful staff at Castle Peak, who have treated Mom with incredible caring and love for the nearly eight years she lived there. She loved and appreciated each and every person involved in her care, especially Pilar. Words cannot adequately express our gratitude for the many kindnesses shown to our mother. Thank you to Dr. Jones for her compassionate care in Mom’s journey.
Cremation has taken place. A private family interment is planned when the US/Canada border re-opens and our family can join together in celebration of a life well lived.