MARGARET MELINA DOWNIE
19 July, 1921 – 2 September, 2020
MARGARET DOWNIE (1921-2020)
With great sadness, the family of Margaret Downie announces her passing on Sept 2, 2020, at the age of ninety-nine. Margaret was born Margaret Melina Kyle in Winnipeg and lived most of her life in the Fort Rouge area, attending Riverview Church, marrying her husband J.R. ‘Ron’ Downie, and raising four sons. As her mother Hilda had done, she taught elocution for several years, passing on a lifelong love of words and poetry to many of her students. In her later years, community theatre would also be a deep source of pleasure for her. But many of her activities revolved around her church. For years, she participated in the social network of the Couples Club there, later worked in the provincial United Church office, and eventually served as secretary to her own congregation at Riverview Church, where her close friendships in the community proved an invaluable asset to the successive ministers she worked with: Rev. Bill Hickerson, Rev. Dave Pritchard, and Rev. Linda Murray. She sang in the choir, often with her one or more of her sons, and, with Ron and his harmonica and clarinet, instilled in her boys a love of singing and making music which has deeply enriched their lives. She enjoyed dancing, and in particular, square dancing with Ron was the source of many lasting friendships. In their retirement, Marg and Ron made a trip to Britain to connect with distant family and explore their roots. Marg’s interest in her Scots-English heritage led her to participate in a Gaelic choir, and to create a ’Heritage room’ full of artefacts, which her children and grandchildren will remember, in the attic of their house. Ron died in 2001, after 58 years of marriage, and she eventually found the house too big to manage, and moved out of her Fort Rouge neighbourhood for the first time, to live at Lions Place, not far from where she had worked at United Church House. Eventually, she moved to Fred Douglas Heritage House, and from there to Misericordia Place, where she died within weeks of celebrating her 99th birthday with chocolate cupcakes, visits and phone calls. The family would like to thank all the staff at Misericordia Place who provided Margaret with such good care before and during the Covid-19 pandemic.The brothers living in Halifax (John), Whitehorse (Bruce), and Toronto (Glen), whose in-person visits were necessarily less frequent, give special thanks to their Winnipeg brother Paul and his partner Andrea whose attentive care and personal contact meant so much, and filled Mom’s last years with the comfort of familiar faces. Margaret was predeceased by her younger brother Bill in 2019. She is survived by her four sons: John (Sandy Dibb), Bruce, Glen (Dale Hall) and Paul (Andrea Philp); five grandchildren (John’s children, Caitlin and Ian; Bruce’s daughters, Janet and Jennine; and Glen’s daughter, Emma); and two great-grandchildren (Jennine’s children Stella and Sacha). In each of them, she leaves behind a heightened awareness of the value of family and community, and an enduring example of a life well lived.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to remember Margaret are invited to make a donation in her name to Misericordia Place, or a charity of their choice. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
MARGARET MELINA DOWNIE
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