MARGARET EILEEN ALEXANDER
19 February, 1925 – 2 October, 2021
Super ager Margaret (Peggy) Eileen Alexander died Saturday, Oct. 2 at her Victoria home and surrounded by family. She was 96 and up until days before her peaceful death she was still extending her genuine interest in the lives of her family and friends, all of whom were confounded that she became more and more glamorous as years passed.
At various times she lived in Ottawa, Calgary and Kelowna before setting deep roots in Victoria where she happily lived 43 years. Throughout her life she spoke with friends about her time growing up in a family of 10 on an Ontario farm near Ottawa, where naturally there was a lot of hard work but taking a larger presence in her memories was the kindness of her parents who instilled in her the value of education and the closeness of her siblings who featured large throughout her life no matter the distance that separated them.
She completed high school (senior matric, equal to first-year university) in Ontario and spent her late teens and early twenties in Ottawa, working, dancing, shopping and making life-long friends. She went on to graduate with honors from the university of life, always deeply interested in the lives of others, easily making friends — many decades younger than herself — and staying current about national and world events.
Kelowna too held a special place in her heart as it was here she raised three children in an idyllic setting that offered endless days at the beach and bountiful gardening. This was also the place she discovered untapped inner strength as it was here she had to adapt to a new reality of being a single mother to three young children. Determined that her divorce would not end the financial security needed to give them the life she dreamed for them, she became a valued management support employee for senior managers within the BC Provincial Government. Lessons and participation in hockey, swim, rowing, and skating were never rationed for her children, and Peggy enjoyed the time at rinks and pools almost as much as her kids.
With frugality lessons engrained from those years, post retirement Peggy continued to work as a valued babysitter — staying with one family for more than a decade — and she often rented a room in her home to adults upgrading their university education over the summer months. Without exception all those people became her friends for life, a testament to her capacity to develop deep, meaningful relationships with those around her.
Yet when it came to card games, her warm smile and gracious manners belied a steely, strategic mind. For years she regularly played bridge either at the Cedar Hill Recreation Centre or at friends’ homes. While flexible in every day matters, she most often was in ‘control’ when it came to a game of hearts with opponents rarely seeing it coming.
She loved her garden, taking pride that many of the flourishing trees and shrubs she started from mere clippings, and right up and through this past summer she was still doing chores in her oasis.
None of those enthusiasms compared to her passion for her near and extended family. She stayed current and reveled in the successes of her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.
She is survived by both her oldest and youngest siblings Grace Scarabelli (nee McVey) of Victoria, Helen McVey of New Westminster, and Barry McVey of Ottawa; three children Nancy Alexander (Phil Clark) of Prince George, Sue Alexander of Oliver, and Jeff Alexander of Whistler; grandchildren Jessica Troy, Patrick Troy (Meagan), Kaitlin Troy and Matthew Troy; great grandchildren Eric, Mea, Emma and Hadley; and a host of nieces and nephews all of whom she took pride in their accomplishments.
Like most seniors, the pandemic profoundly affected Peggy’s last years, confining her mostly to her home, ending social engagements with friends and activities, like bridge, that she was passionate about and kept her engaged with the wider world. Her children ensured she had continued companionship throughout the past two years and they surrounded her with their love right up until her death at home.
The family sends heartfelt thanks to family doctor Dr. Marie Skinnirder for ongoing care given to Mom over many years and, more recently Dr. C. Baldwin, and the teams at both Royal Jubilee Hospital and VIHA. The love, care and compassion shown proves we have one of the best health care systems in the world.
Service will be held at 2pm, November 3, 2021 at First Memorial Funeral Services Chapel, 4725 Falaise Drive, Victoria, BC. As space is limited, please RSVP to Sue Alexander, 778-554-0907 or email email@example.com. Live streaming and messages can be accessed below. We respectfully ask that all Covid protocols are followed, facemasks are mandatory as is the necessity to RSVP to the above mentioned.
In lieu of flowers please donate to the Canadian Red Cross Society or Hospice.
Celebration of Life
Wednesday, 3 November , 2021
MARGARET EILEEN ALEXANDER
2 November 2021
It is with sadness that I note the passing of Peggy Alexander. I first met her in Kelowna during the 1970's. She was my office manager in the Water Rights Regional Office in Kelowna for about six years. When she arrived, she transformed the office systems from paper documents to a computerised system. She learned quickly and was soon dealing the with public at the counter. She was a pleasant and positive member of our office team. I met her several times recently in Victoria and we laughed about our time in Kelowna. She was a very good person.
2 November 2021
Peggy was a kind and friendly neighbour, cheerful and a pleasure to be with. She. never failed to make a kindly inquiry about my wifes welfare. She was quite remarkable in her final weeks - thoughtful to friends, alert and talkative as always.
I will certainly miss her as a good neighbour over 3 decades.
From my vantage across the street I was heartened by the unfailing support given by her family during her decline. These expressions of family love are testament to her success in life where it mattered most.
18 October 2021
Thank you Peggy, for stopping by my home 30 years ago to say hello, as I was working out in the front yard. I will miss those strolls by my house and the lovely informal chats we have had in the driveway, the backyards of our homes, and on the phone.
Your involvement in the local issues of our neighbourhood and your support, were that of a true neighbour who cared for others. We joined forces to share our voices on various issues, and I admire your support for the friends and neighbours in your life.
I also love your great gift of conversation and how you can pull stories from others that bring everyone to a place of mutual sharing. What a great memory you have for the most amazing adventures in your life! I loved listening to your recollections of your passages of life.
Most of all Peggy, you will always be an inspiration to me as a kind, gentle but strong woman with great independence, who lived in her own home well into her 90's!
You will continue to be my friend and I hope you will drop by anytime to have a chat and a cup of tea.
... love you.
11 October 2021
I have known Peggy most of my life. When I was growing up in Kelowna she was a close friend of my mother’s. As a rebellious teenager I lived with Peggy and her family for a few months after high school before moving to Vancouver. I kept in touch with Peggy through my years in Vancouver and beyond. She attended my wedding in Victoria and has always, or so it seems, been a part of my and my family’s life. When Michael and I moved to Saskatoon with the kids, a highlight of our annual visit to Victoria was to spend time with Peggy. She was the ultimate hostess and always fed us sandwiches and sweets She genuinely took delight in our visits and watching the kids as they grew up. I will miss Peggy’s kindness, generosity, and intelligence. She was one of a kind.
9 October 2021
Mrs. Alexander was an integral part of my life growing up & ironically my husband’s
( Craig) father was an integral part of hers.
Peggy’s daughter Nancy was my best friend in elementary school and highschool while attending the public school. Peggy treated me with respect & understanding while Nancy and I continued our “ hooligan “ friendship and still until this day. On the other hand, Craig’s dad ( Brian Weddell) was her lawyer , in which Peggy relayed to me a few more months ago just how grateful she was to him, helping her through hard times and offering free calls whenever she need be.
Mrs. Alexander was one very kind special woman. I will miss her so.
My condolences to Nancy, Sue and Jeff and all of the families and friends she touched.