November 14, 1925 – October 14, 2020
Ranch wife, small business accountant, Toastmaster, Life Member of the Hospital Auxiliary, wildflower aficionado, proof-reader, gardener, mother, musician, Rosemaler, knitter, life-long learner…Margaret (Maggie) lived a full life.
Only child of Donald and Jessie Mackay in Vancouver, she enjoyed extended family life with aunts, uncles and two cousins.
Growing up during the Depression she established life-long habits of thrift, managing on what one had, repairing and re-purposing. As a young girl she developed a passion for horses. This interest, coupled with her sense of responsibility, led her to study Agriculture at UBC. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree in 1947.
She then taught with the UBC Extension Department, sometimes as far away as Dawson Creek. Maggie met her future husband, H.R. (Dick) Trehearne, when he attended a course in Vancouver in the winter of 1948-49 while Bill Shopshire fed Dick’s cattle as well as his own. Dick and Maggie were married in November 1949.
On their ranch at Jura they built a life together. It must have been quite a learning curve for a city girl to get used to no phone, no electricity, sketchy road maintenance, and learning to bake bread in a wood stove. She never complained but did mention that she had to wear mitts in the winter to set the breakfast table! In the spring, she later wrote, she “was amazed by the wonderful wildflowers”.
They raised two children, Cathy and Ian. They sold the ranch in the early ’80’s after Dick qualified as an electrician, and moved to Birch Lake for many happy years. Here Maggie enjoyed a large garden, and more free time (although she was closely involved in the electrical business with accounting and sometimes helping with delivering supplies and other support.)
She joined the Hospital Auxiliary, making many new friends. She served several terms as Secretary. She helped with sorting donations of items at the Thrift Shop into her early 90’s and said, “My favorite day of the week was Thursday, when I went to work at the Thrift Shop”. Her favorite day of the year was the annual Christmas Bazaar.
She loved Scottish music and history. Starting in high school she was a drummer in the Glengarry Girls Pipe Band and a Highland Dancer. In later years she and Dick participated locally in Scottish Country Dancing and in Burns’ Night Suppers, which she MC’d for 18 years.
She did not find public performances easy, but if she committed to dance or speak or hold office, she learned the basics and applied herself diligently. In time, she could enjoy the activity. She happily recalled coaching the Princeton Ambassador candidates in public speaking, noting their progress over several weeks.
Maggie was also an accomplished musician, who could both read music and play by ear. She played piano since childhood, and later taught herself the accordion.
She knit for her family, designing patterns on mitts and sweaters. As her strength and dexterity diminished, she knit purple baby caps for the Click for Babies program. She finished her last one in August.
Her appreciation for wildflowers never dimmed. With her talent for careful observation and research she became a local resource on the subject, and her reference books are sprinkled with her handwritten notes.
Margaret’s unique personality, her sense of responsibility and independence leavened with a lively sense of humor, curiosity and creativity will be missed by her family, Ian and wife Jan, in Terrace; Cathy, in Delta; extended family including grandchildren Bryan, Nicole and Sherry and families; she was also Granny to the younger members of Steve’s family. She also leaves many friends ranging from those she had known since before she married to ones met more recently. She was predeceased by husband Dick and son-in-law Steve.
Flowers are gratefully declined. Margaret did not want a formal service, and now is not the time to gather, but if conditions permit when the wildflowers bloom, a low key event will be announced.
The family would like to thank the Medical and Home Care staff who were so kind and supportive, enabling Margaret to live in her home as she wished.
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