Advanced Search:

Regular Search
❮ Go Back to Listings


Born: Mar 17, 1955

Date of Passing: Mar 29, 2017

Send Flowers to the Family Offer Condolences or Memory

Adjust Text Size: A+ A-

SUSAN MARGARET MACDONALD March 17, 1955 - March 29, 2017 Age 62 Susan leaves to mourn her passing her loving husband, best friend and soul mate of 38 years, Denis Paul Mager; her cherished daughter, Olivia Georgina Macdonald Mager; her mother Frances Dorothy Macdonald (Waight); siblings Harold E. Macdonald (Ariane); Mary Macdonald; Nancy Macdonald (Stephen Atkinson); nieces Marta Macdonald, Amelia and Abigail Atkinson, and nephews Amory and Manny Wood. Susan will also be fondly remembered by her many cousins and friends. Susan was predeceased by her brother-in-law, David W. Wood (2016), and her father, The Reverend Harold G. Macdonald (2009). Susan was born in Edmonton and grew up in Toronto and Winnipeg. She attended River Heights Junior High, Kelvin High School, the University of Winnipeg Collegiate and the University of Manitoba. Susan and Denis married in 1978. Susan spent time working in the Canadian Arctic with Denis, who shared her love of the North. In 1982 Susan graduated with Honours from the St. Boniface School of Nursing. Susan worked on the post-partum ward at St. Boniface General Hospital and in the community with settlement agencies serving immigrants and refugees. Susan was an activist and served the community as president of the Wolseley Residents' Association and a volunteer at Laura Secord School; Sisler High School and Winnipeg Harvest. Susan also chaired many successful political campaigns at the civic and provincial level. Her work in the settlement sector focused largely on access to health information for immigrants and refugees. Susan produced and directed two health information videos in the mid 1990s: "Health Care in Manitoba" (in several languages) and "Health Care in Canada" (in 22 languages). Susan was able to find professional narrators in all of the languages but one from within Manitoba. Susan conducted focus groups with a broad spectrum of participants in each language to ensure the accuracy of translation from the original script. "Health Care in Canada" was distributed to Canadian consulates and embassies throughout the world. Susan knew that to achieve access to services there had to be translators and interpreters. Susan worked with the Independent Interpreter Referral Service (IIRS) on the Multilingual Communication Services Review (MCSR) research project. When Susan was too ill to complete the project, IIRS's executive director presented the Research at the Next Critical Link conference in Vancouver in 1998. Many in the field went on to use the material in the training program for the 1999 Pan Am games held in Winnipeg. The interpreters that were trained were used across all sports, media and business meetings. Her work on the Health Care in Canada videos along with the MCSR research helped to inform the WRHA with their language access planning. Work life was not always easy for Susan - she was a warrior always fighting for what was right. She stood up to her detractors. When asked about the naysayers Susan's response was always to "be grateful to your persecutors for they are your greatest teachers". Susan served on the IIRS Board of Directors for several years concentrating her tireless efforts and hours of work on the budget process and on the HR policy manual. Her thoroughness was epic and the workers were important to her. Susan helped with the name change at IIRS to transform it to the E - Quality Communication Center of Excellence (ECCOE). The Deaf-Blind community will never forget Susan fighting hard to change the name from the original IIRS to reflect the new addition of serving Deaf-Blind clients in 1996. Susan went back to clinical nursing by retraining as an ultrasound technician and working as a nurse-sonographer in the Fetal Assessment Clinic at St. Boniface General Hospital. Susan retired from nursing in 2004 for medical reasons. Susan excelled at everything she did. As a firstborn child, the hopes and dreams for a better life and a better world were laid at Susan's feet and so she was inculcated with the dreams, ideals and values of the Macdonald and Waight clans. Community! Social Justice! The Arts! The Greater Good! Peace! Lead if Others Won't! Tell the Truth if Others Won't! Take Care of Those Less Fortunate! Loyalty! Equality! Duty! And Don't Forget to Have Fun!! Susan lived all of that. She taught her family and friends all of those things directly and by example throughout her life. She was their template, their inspiration and they unequivocally state she made them better people. As a mother, Susan always thought outside the box. When Olivia was born, daycare spaces were hard to come by. Susan, along with three other families, formed a daycare cooperative in their Wolseley homes. A daycare worker was hired and every three months, the daycare rotated to another family's home along with all the art and craft supplies, toys, tricycles and children's furniture that made the daycare unique. The daycare became an incubator for lifelong friendships. Susan's love for nature and canine companions were a big part of her life. She loved watching her avian friends partaking in the bounty of her bird feeder. This past winter Susan was delighted to tell her mother that a chickadee had landed on her lap. She had special bonds with each of her canine companions that included Spike, Mandy, Maggie, Molly, and more recently Mac and Missy. Susan's life to the very end was an inspiration. Susan loved her family and friends, and her thoughts were always full of love and admiration for her nieces and nephews. Her final teaching? Live life with grace, pure light and above all enduring love. She will always remain in our hearts. The Macdonald Mager family would like to acknowledge the special love, caring and support provided to Susan and the rest of the family during her time in hospital by friends Ken and Davida, Sheri, Bonnie and David. Their contributions to everyone's emotional, physical and spiritual needs is greatly appreciated and contributed to Susan's well-being in her final days and eased the shock of Susan's passing for her family. Cremation has taken place and in accordance with Susan's explicit wishes, a private Celebration of Life has been held. In lieu of flowers, Susan requested that Gifts in Memoriam in Susan's honour be made to Winnipeg Harvest, (204) 982-3581.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Apr 29, 2017

Condolences & Memories (9 entries)

  • An amazing person with a passionate commitment for active community service and to change the world to make it a better place. She made significant contributions to the direction and style of advocacy of Winnipeg Harvest. As well she shared her passion and skills of engagement as an active leader in the Wolseley residents association. Social justice, advocacy, and justice for the less fortunate. These echoes of Susan will stay with us for a long time. Thank you Susan. My thoughts and prayers to Denis and Olivia on the sadness of her passing but the gift of a passionate and powerful legacy. David - Posted by: David Northcott (friend) on: May 10, 2017

  • Dear Denis and Olivia I worked with Sue on 3A many years ago. She was truly committed to her Profession and an excellent advocate for All who entered her life. I considered her a friend as well as an associate . I am greatly saddened to hear of her passing and send you my sincere sympathy.Take care , Sincerely, Claudette posted by Claudette Mitchell ( friend ) May 9th, 2017 - Posted by: Claudette Mitchell (Friend) on: May 10, 2017

  • Thank you all for your kind words and warm thoughts. Denis - Posted by: Denis Mager (husband) on: May 04, 2017

  • My sympathies to Denis and Olivia for your loss. Peace in this sad time. - Posted by: Margot Morrish () on: May 02, 2017

  • Susan was a truly amazing spirit and woman. Our very sincere condolences from our family to yours and especially to Frances, a mother losing a daughter is so sad. My family lived across the street on Norquay when all of us were kids and Father MacDonald married me back in 1975. Susan will be missed by many and we were all blessed by knowing her. - Posted by: Sylvia Fischer (friend of the family and once lived on Norquay Street) on: May 01, 2017

  • Dear Uncle Denis and Olivia, my deepest sympathies are with you at this time. You will be in our thoughts.xoxox - Posted by: Jennifer Kirby (Niece of Denis Mager) on: May 01, 2017

  • Sue, you were an amazing soul who I will always remember with a full heart. You had a light that emanated from within like a shining star. Thank you for all of the love, kindness and friendship that you have shown to myself and my family over the years. Denis and Olivia, please know that my heart hurts with you at this time. I am so sorry for your loss. All of my love, Soleil - Posted by: Soleil Shepherd () on: Apr 30, 2017

  • Dear Denis and condolences to you and Olivia on the loss of your wife and mother Susan. Thinking of you in this difficult time. - Posted by: Raymond Poirier () on: Apr 29, 2017

  • Dear Denis and Olivia, I am profoundly sorry to hear about Susan's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Denise Poirier - Posted by: Denise Poirier (Cousin to Denis) on: Apr 29, 2017

❮ Go Back to Listings