Peggy (Margaret) Johannsen Austin

May 13, 1918March 29, 2014

AUSTIN, Peggy (Margaret) nee Johannsen May 13, 1918 to March 29, 2014

It is with profound sadness that the family announces the passing of Peggy Johannsen Austin on March 29, 2014 in Montreal. Married to Peter Austin (deceased March 7, 1992) she is survived by her children PJ (Helga), Karin (Gus), Nancy (Don), Erik (Leslie), Chris (Rachel), 11 grandchildren, Peter Jan (Sarah), Patricia, Michael, Aisling, Andrew, Shannon, Kirsten, Daphne, Isabel, Conrad and Brigitte and 2 great grandchildren, Samantha and Charles. Peggy was the daughter of Herman Smith-Johannsen (Jackrabbit) and Alice Johannsen (nee Robinson). She is predeceased by her siblings Robert (Bob) and Alice (Jo).

Peggy had a lifetime love of nature and wildlife cherishing the Canadian wilderness. She grew up enjoying hiking, canoeing, camping and skiing in the Adirondacks and the Laurentians. During her competitive ski career, she won many races, including the 1937 Canadian Championship. She was a proud McGill University graduate from the Faculty of Science and continued her research in Botany after graduation. While raising her family of five in Hamilton and Montreal, she was busy with her many activities. She hosted her television shows, imported Norwegian ski-wear and cross-country skis and manufactured Jackrabbit Ski Wax. She had an insatiable curiosity and desire for adventure and travelling. She kept in close touch with her many Norwegian cousins and relatives around the world leaving a legacy of family connectedness for many generations to enjoy. In her latter years she was very supportive of skiing in Canada, helping wherever possible. Throughout her life, her addictive positive attitude, good nature and generous energy has brought sunshine to everyone around her.

Visitation will be held at the Collins Clarke MacGillivray White Funeral Home at 5610 Sherbrooke Street West, N.D.G. from 2:00 to 5:00 pm and from 7:00 to 9:00 pm on Friday April 11, followed by a small service for family only. A Celebration of her Life will be held in Mont-Tremblant on August 9 at 1:00 pm in the St. Bernard Chapel, followed by a reception at the Le Shack Restaurant. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Fulford Residence where she has been well cared for over the last 4 years, 1221 Guy Street, Montreal QC H3H 2KB


  • Visitation Friday, April 11, 2014
  • Visitation Friday, April 11, 2014

Peggy (Margaret) Johannsen Austin

have a memory or condolence to add?

Daniel Leonard

October 4, 2014

My dad knew her dad real well. Peggy helped me once and I never forgot it. May God bless her soul. Dan Leonard (son of Philippe from St-Sauveur).

John Cockburn

July 26, 2014

Karin. Its never easy losing a parent. I'm sure you have many wonderful memories and lots of love to be shared between you, your siblings and all of your mom's grand children. Please accept my condolences. Take care. John (Cockburn).

Jeannette and Michael Brooker

July 26, 2014

Dear Karen and gus,
Our thoughts are with you. We are honoured to have known Peggy. She was such a positive force. We will remember her fondly.
With deepest sympathy,
Michael and Jeannette

May 26, 2014

My sister (Ann Forsyth, of Denver Colorado nee: Smith-Johannsen), and I were sad to hear of Peggy's death. I had fold memories of visits to Quebec in the 50's, and seeing Uncle Herman in Sugar Hill. As times progressed, and my grandparents (my "Bestefar" was Otto Smith-Johannsen of NY and NH, was Herman's youngest brother) passed on, then our Dad Ralph. Aunt Peggy was a prolific writer and source of news to my grandparents and parents. Sadly, we lost touch with the family in Canada after they passed on. My sister Ann and I extend our condolences to the family. Sincerely, Peter H. Smith-Johannsen, Jupiter Florida.

Louise McCormick

April 23, 2014

My life was enriched by getting to know Peggy in 2002 through a Ski with the Cree trip Mar.7-15. The ski group enjoyed a reunion at her home the following year. Each year when I was in Quebec, I had a chance to ski together with Peggy, the last time at her 90th year. A wonderful role model and mentor.
Louise McCormick from Pennsylvania

Andrew Beer

April 22, 2014

The last three and a half years, I had the wonderful privilege of getting to spend an hour each week with Mrs. Austin, as we would walk around the neighborhood near the Fulford Residence. Week to week, with absolutely no exception, she was full of smiles, kind words and deeds, and a joy which she shared with all those around her. She has been an inspiration to me, and I miss her already!

Rolf and Wilma Christiansen

April 18, 2014

She had a long life and was so pleasant to chat with - her beautiful smile will be missed.

Our sincere condolences to all the family at this sad time.

Jude Wayland

April 16, 2014

The world has lost a true angel. Peggy always had a delightful twinkle in her eye, a young girl's giggle, boundless amounts of youthful energy, and the kindest of spirits. She was such a gentle, joyful person, who gave so much of herself to others. What a life well lived!

I met Peter and Peggy back in the early 80s when I was publishing Altitudes Mont Tremblant, and they were running the Jackrabbit ski wax business. We became very close friends. Peter and Peggy wrote the history column in my magazine, and we spent many hours researching and discussing Tremblant's very rich history in their living room, while enjoying a cup of tea...a spectacular bird's eye view of the mountains and lake...and Peggy's unforgettable “chocaholic” brownies and “good” cookies. (Those two recipes are now our family favourites!) Such good times.

I will forever cherish my memories of Peggy and Peter. How blessed you were to have two such remarkable parents. And to think that all that love will live on through you, your children, and grandchildren! My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Austin-Johannsen family at this sad time. Peggy will be dearly missed.

Michael Goodfellow

April 11, 2014

We have fond memories of Peggy, family and Jackrabbit at picnics at the Ridge years ago. She was most supportive of our early adventures in the cross country ski business. A wonderful lady. Our thoughts are with the family.
Michael & Joanne Goodfellow

Fidelma & Jim Muldowney

April 11, 2014

We are very sad about Peggy's death. It is indeed noteworthy when a long life such as hers comes to an end. She lived full of years and grace and accomplishments and was an example to us all. Especially in the recent years of her decline, her gentleness and appreciation for the care and love that she received from her family was a delight to behold.

Even though the end was not unexpected, it must be an especially poignant milestone for all of her children and grandchildren.

Now you have time to reflect on all of the happiness that she brought through her long life.

With our very best wishes