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Date of Passing: May 16, 2015

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MARGARET EILEEN WITTY With her boys', Dave, Mike and Scott at her side, at 3:30 a.m. on May 16, 2015 Margaret Eileen Witty completed her life-journey with dignity, serenity and in peace from her home on Bowen Island her special place, looking out onto Howe Sound, big Doug Fir and garden. Those who knew Marg (Margie to some of us) will have their own memories of someone who cared; about them and others. Who held others up; never judged them; always celebrated them before herself; always asked about them, their families; always offered support; and always showed compassion when compassion was needed. What captured us? Her smile? Her beauty? Her love for life? Her uncomplicated way of seeing the world? All of that and more. Marg was born to a family rich in history; a history that linked Marg to 11th century England; to Newfoundland where she discovered the true' identity of her grandmother YoYo in the Rooms of St. John's. Born in Kingston in 1947, Marg knew the life of a soldier's daughter with its emotional ups and downs. As result, Marg was committed to her mother (the boy's Nana) Eileen Mitchell Marg grew up in Winnipeg's Crescentwood neighbourhood on Harvard Avenue. After attending St. Mary's Academy, Marg graduated from St. B' in nursing. In 1967 she met Dave and became engaged after nine days. They became life partners in the fullest sense: lovers, best friends, world travellers, sailors, parents to Mike and Scott, and grandparents to Jett and Elina (and more recently Jack and Kate). Marg was an adventurer. It was her idea to explore what life had to offer by moving from Winnipeg's Wildwood Park in 1991 (after 20 years contributing to the community) to the west coast where they lived briefly in Vancouver, then Bowen Island for the last 23 years and Nanaimo/Bowen for the last five years. She spent her last days on her beloved Bowen surrounded by family and friends. Wherever Marg went she made new endearing friends. It is that remarkable ability to develop and retain friendships across western Canada that is her legacy. Marg has left more than her impact on people. After graduation, she was an outstanding nurse in the premature-nursery intensive care unit of Childrens Hospital in Winnipeg. Later, she was known as an excellent care giver to neighbours, family and friends. Quietly, Marg had a commitment to, and deep appreciation for, the natural world. She helped organize the first Earth Day in Winnipeg and she initiated the blue box program in Fort Garry. Marg helped organize and support a number of outreach initiatives at Fort Garry United Church. She was a highly regarded loan rep for the United Way of Winnipeg. Marg enjoyed tennis at the Wildewood Club and sailing on Lake of the Woods. After moving to Vancouver, she worked for the North Vancouver Canadian Mental Health Association Office where she organized a very successful role-play program that helped foster understanding around the need to accommodate and support people with mental disabilities. She was a creative person; often sought after for design advice. She was the supervisor for extensive renovations on the Witty houses in Wildwood Park and Bowen. She was a talented weaver in Winnipeg with her big floor loom filled with large pieces. On Bowen, she developed a reputation as a talented water-colour artist who sold her work locally (if Dave did not grab it first). She was exploring oils in her last days as an artist. But, chemotherapy (34 cycles over two years) took its toll and her art was too much of a challenge. Even so, Marg and Dave kept travelling (to Paris and south western France in 2013 and Spain and Morocco in 2014). As well, she completed her bucket list' by moving amongst the orcas (and humpbacks) off Telegraph Cove. After her diagnosis in December 2012, she said that cancer would not define her; it never did. It was on Bowen Island where Margie discovered her deep spiritualism and connection to the richness of nature. That bond sustained her through her journey with cancer. On Bowen, she developed friendships throughout the island. Marg was an early member and Chair of the Board at Bowen's Island Pacific School (IPS). Her dream of her grandson Jett attending IPS was realized this year. An Endowment Fund in recognition of Marg has been established to award Bursaries to deserving Island Pacific School students. In lieu of flowers or other gifts, donations to help build the Margaret Witty Bursary Fund would be gratefully accepted. Charitable donations can be made on-line at: or by cheque to: BICF/Margaret Witty Bursary Fund, P.O. Box 18, Bowen Island, BC V0N 1G0.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on May 23, 2015

Condolences & Memories (4 entries)

  • We cherish the memories as neighbours and friends and believe that the next life has a new and brilliant star. Marge was a special light in the lives of her family, community and our world and she will continue to shine in the next one!! Our sympathy to Dave and family as she will be missed. - Posted by: Roberta and Dave Lloyd (Friends and former neighbours in Wildwood Park) on: May 27, 2015

  • To Dave Witty and family My condolences to you and your family on the recent passing of Margaret. May care and love of those around you provide comfort and peace to get you through the days ahead. - Posted by: Ernie Friesen (Friend) on: May 27, 2015

  • Dear Dave, Mike and Scott, May we offer our sincerest sympathies and prayers for Marg's death. We are so very sorry. Marg was an incredible person. We have fond memories of Mike and Scott and our children, Joel and Morrie growing up together and Oakenwald School and hockey games and Fort Garry United Church. With blessings, Lee and Bob Rye. - Posted by: Lee Rye (Friend) on: May 25, 2015

  • So sorry. Take care Dave and family. Feeling badly for the St. Mary's girls. - Posted by: Fred and Jean Ennis ('old' friends from that summer at Clear Lake) on: May 23, 2015

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