Our dear Margie was loved by many and widely respected for her gentle, warm and forward-thinking ways. She lived a life led by a strong moral compass, generosity of heart and a way of always making those around her feel worthy and welcome. Commonly described as strong and graceful, she remained true to those qualities even through these last years of cancer diagnoses and subsequent treatments. Margaret Luella Stewart died on Monday, November 23rd at Sakura House Hospice at the age of 67, after nine days of exemplary care for both she and her family. Margaret and her famous smile will be dearly missed by partner of 50 years, Scott Stewart; children Emily Stewart (Oliver Pavia), Neil Stewart (Shannon Hasen) and Annie (Kyle) Corbin; beloved grandchildren Quincy & Violet Corbin and Weston & Max Stewart; sister Charmaine Farrell, brother Steve (Sue) Stewart and sister-in-law Carole Stewart; sister-in-law Nancy (Dan) Boyd and brother-in-law Peter (Donna) Stewart; many nieces and nephews and extended family and friends. Margaret was predeceased by her eldest brother Larry (Carole) Stewart, parents Frances and Donald Stewart and mother- and father-in-law Shirley and Ken Stewart.
Growing up as the youngest of four in Woodstock, Ontario, Margie had many fond memories of her dear parents and older siblings and her cute, but naughty dog Mike that she was given for her 7th birthday. One of her most treasured memories of her young years was the train trip she was lucky to take with her parents to Winnipeg and the special blue and white pinstripe dress her big sister gave her for the trip, forever dubbed the “train dress”.
Always game for an adventure, Marg and Scott moved many times and enjoyed lots of travel within Canada in the early years of their relationship, allowing for many different job experiences including a summer of beekeeping in northern Alberta, stints as a gardener, as a university library clerk in Guelph and as a floral designer in Ottawa. Finally settling on working as a letter carrier for over 20 years “wee Margaret” was a treasure to her colleagues and a delight to her many customers. There, she loved the balance of social time while sorting her days’ mail at the office and solo outdoor time while walking many kilometres each day in the late mornings and afternoons.
As a mother Margie was devoted and kind and (almost!) ever patient. She was an attentive listener and had a deep respect for and trust in her children. Many evenings were spent taking the girls to their ballet classes and Neil to his karate lessons, cooking family meals and laughing together watching favourite family shows. Afternoons were spent welcoming the kids’ friends to the house as teens and delivering cars full of boys to the nearest skateboard parks in Ingersoll and Stratford.
From young adulthood on, Marg was a spiritual seeker. In her twenties, she began practicing meditation and continued to be interested in matters of the spirit. In the early 1990s she fell in love with the Siddha Yoga path. Margaret and her daughter Emily, along with their dear friend Lesley Penwill and occasionally with daughter Annie in tow, enjoyed many visits to the North American hub of Siddha Yoga meditation in New York state, where they spent time in spiritual retreat. The virtues of welcoming each other with love, treating the natural world with respect and seeing the best in one another were some of the aspects of the Siddha Yoga path that aligned with Margaret’s long-held values. She found great joy and peace in the traditions and practices of Siddha Yoga right to her final days.
Luckily Marg retired at age 60, giving her seven years of extended annual spring trips with Scott to Victoria, BC where they would visit with their long time friend Leanne Brown. Her retirement gave her the time to find her true joy in various types of community dance, enjoy her beautiful home with Scott and dog Gerri in Mount Elgin, Ontario as well as making her even more available to be a present and supportive mother and adoring Grandma.
In her final months Scott took great care of Margaret in their home along with daughter-in-law Shannon Hasen and their three grown children. During this time she and her family were blown away by the incredible outpouring of well wishes, favoured memories and heartfelt messages, proving just how many she touched in this lifetime.
An online Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, December 5th at 2:30pm. For those who would like to attend, please email email@example.com for event details. Cremation has taken place and the ashes of Margaret’s bodily remains will be buried at Grove Cemetery in South-West Oxford in the coming spring months.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Margaret’s chosen charities would be greatly appreciated. She was a great supporter of environmental conservation and social justice. She actively supported the work of Amnesty International and Nature Conservancy Canada.