Our mom was born in Winnipeg and always loved the big skies of the Prairies. She married Clarence Smith secretly in 1949, in her last year of training at the Royal Alex, because it was frowned upon for the student nurses to get married.
They settled in Pincher Creek, where Margaret worked as a nurse at St. Vincent’s Hospital and where her six children were born. She used to joke about being in the throes of labour by herself because the nuns had gone to vespers.
After 20 years in Pincher Creek, she and Clarence, along with the two youngest children, resettled in Medicine Hat, where Clarence founded the Cypress View Vet Clinic with Dr. Alan Bergen. Margaret joined the Victorian Order of Nurses.
She decided to take a degree in nursing from the University of Lethbridge in 1985, claiming that she had to “keep up” with all the degrees of her children. She and Clarence made several trips to China, where Clarence taught animal husbandry and Margaret taught English. They drove to El Salvador with the Pastors for Peace. They visited Jamaica, where they supported the Blossom Garden Children’s Centre. They also supported the My Father’s House orphanage in Bucharest, Romania.
After Clarence died in 2001, she remained active in Unisphere and Blossom Gardens and donated to many charities as well as the United Churches in Pincher Creek and Medicine Hat. She delivered for Meals on Wheels for years until it was suggested that she may be a menace to the public on the road.
Our mom and dad were committed admirers of Tommy Douglas and, in particular, universal health care. They believed that society must create a floor of medical assistance below which no person can fall. They taught us to share what we have with those in need.
Margaret’s immediately succeeding generation (all pretty grey ourselves) are Arnold (Peggy), Richard (Pat), Marjorie (Dale), Dorothy, David (Val) and Noreen (Roger); along with beloved son-in-law Russ.
A celebration of life will be held when the weather gets warmer and when we can schedule her six children, 13 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren to converge in one place.
Our entire family wishes to extend a very sincere “Thank you” to the many people who have helped us care for Mom over the past several years. She was blessed to have both friends and family nearby, but special thanks must go out to the walkers and companions from Extended Family Services who helped her get her daily “fresh air and exercise.” The incredible staff at River Ridge helped Mom (and us) through her last days with grace and dignity. Prior to that, Meadowlands provided the difficult transition from independent living to memory care.
You have made this journey with Mom a journey that we could bear. We will remember your kindness and consideration always.
Condolences may be made at www.gracememorial.com.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to Grace Memorial Affordable Burial & Cremation