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Born: Dec 08, 1948

Date of Passing: Nov 03, 2020

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(née STUBEL)
December 8, 1948 - November 3, 2020
Our family has lost a treasure.
Her worth was beyond measure.

Marge was born in Winnipeg and grew up in Gull Lake, MB. She was the second of four children (Mary, Margert, Edith and David) raised by Emanuel and Ina Stubel. She was a bright child who loved school and summer camp. At camp she would win prizes for memorizing Bible verses. She went to high school in Beausejour, lived in Residence at University of Manitoba, studied Education and got her Teaching Certificate. She taught in a one room, country school, where she was also the Principal, and worked briefly as a Substitute in the Fort Garry School Division. In the 1970s and 1980s, she also worked for Acklands, SAAN Stores Head Office and Global Video. She married Laurie in 1971, and her daughter, Niki Kotelo, was born the same year. Marge and Laurie were very close, and Niki has many fond memories of growing up in apartment "806". She and Marge swam in the pool, baked together, rode bikes and shared a great love of books and photography. Marge enjoyed family gatherings and many special holiday dinners, hosted by her sister, Edie, and by two of Laurie's sisters, Marianne and Verna. Marge and Laurie loved to go on outings, drives to Lockport, or visits to Verna's and Walter's cottage. Yearly treks to Manisphere/the Ex, and cross-border road trips with Laurie were always fun.
Laurie was such a strong support to Marge, who struggled with mental illness over the years. Marge was a gentle soul; Laurie was her great protector. After Laurie died in 1996, Marge leaned on her family and faith, and showed deep, quiet strength. Marge was a very religious woman, and very much a lady. She always dressed up for church and she loved to sing hymns. She was a past member of Waverly Fellowship, Fort Richmond Baptist, and Berean Baptist Churches. She had a heart for service and a gift for hospitality. For years, she hosted a Ladies' Bible Study Group in her home. She took immense comfort in prayer and daily devotions, but she also lived her faith in other ways. Marge supported foster children in India, filled shoeboxes at Christmas for Samaritan's Purse, gave to Christian charities and sent many inspirational cards and letters to family and friends. She was proud of her Scottish, maternal heritage and loved corresponding with her cousin Maureen in Scotland. Marge was a Royalist and looked forward to the Queen's Christmas message every year. Marge also loved to read. From childhood favourites like Curious George, Winnie the Pooh, and Nancy Drew, to the literary works of Milton, Dickens and C.S. Lewis, to weighty volumes of theology, Marge always had a book (or ten) on the go. She belonged to book clubs, had an extensive personal library, and loved to ride the bus downtown to Hull's to pick up something new for her collection.
Marge's greatest love was her family and she always put them first. She was Niki's biggest cheerleader, and a second mom to her son-in-law, Chris Kempthorne. She was a proud, live-in Granny to her two precious granddaughters, Alora (15), and Aislin (10). "Granny" spent countless hours with her girls. She was never too busy to make a craft out of recycled materials, play a game, help do a puzzle, or break out the Play-Doh. She saved every single scrap of paper the girls ever scribbled upon. Ever the teacher, Marge loaded up the girls with school supplies, gifted them with books and fostered their love of learning. She bought (and happily ate) Girl Guide cookies aplenty, and she went to school concerts and events for as long as she was able. Marge was not a big TV person, but she loved musicals (Grease, The Sound of Music, Cabaret), certain old movies (Elvis and Marilyn), and classic TV shows. Alora and Aislin always will remember watching Little House on the Prairie, The Flintstones, and Charlie Brown specials with Granny.
Marge loved Christmas. Not just the Holy aspect, but the family, the food and the fun. She made amazing quiche to go with Laurie's favourite, traditional, Ukrainian dishes. And, she always made room for dessert. Her sweet tooth was legendary. When goodies were passed around, she had to "sample" every type of dainties on the tray. It filled her with joy to sing carols, to hear the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah, and to bask in the glow of the soft tree lights. Marge was so special. She was an encourager, and a great listener. She seemed quiet at first, but she liked to talk, and she really, really listened. She spent hours on the phone with elderly friends, and she connected with people one on one, and heart to heart. Marge's spirit was tranquil, and her gestures were thoughtful. She held a dear place in her heart for her many nieces and nephews, for her and Laurie's extended family, and for Niki's closest friends, Cheri and Nicole, who were like her bonus daughters.
Marge, my dear and lovely Mom, lived by example and by the Golden Rule. Her actions were infused with kindness and were fueled by gratitude for small delights: a good cup of tea, a warm hug, a laugh shared. She instilled empathy in me, supported my goals and dreams, and embodied dignity and grace. Her ability to care deeply and give to others is what I admired most. She rarely spoke unkindly of another, but she did speak up for what is right. And it was not right, by any measure, that she died positive for COVID-19, in Maples Personal Care Home, at only 71 years of age. She deserved better. WAY better. But that footnote is not her story. Her story resides in her life well lived, in the people she cherished, and in the legacy of love she leaves behind. She was unaware of the good she brought to the world, but she leaves us all the better for having known her.
Cremation has taken place. There will be a celebration of Marge's life at a later date, when we can safely hug, sing, and eat lots of dessert together.
Niki and Chris wish to thank: Donna and Eva for their compassionate care for Marge as her dementia advanced, and our family and friends for the flowers, food, calls, cards and messages of support. Should anyone else wish to honour Marge's memory, please consider a donation to Operation Christmas Child, the Sunshine Fund, or a religious organization of your choice.
In the words of Winnie the Pooh: "If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever." Rest in Peace Mom.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Nov 21, 2020

Condolences & Memories (6 entries)

  • My deepest sympathy on the loss of your Mom and Granny. Miss Stubel was my grade 5 & 6 teacher at Thalberg North school back in the day. She was my favourite teacher of all time. Marge was a beautiful, kind lady. I just read about her and am so sorry to hear of her death. May she Rest in Peace . ( I grew up next door in Stead) Take care. Debbie Sinavich - Posted by: Debbie Sinavich (My teacher ) on: Nov 25, 2020

  • My deepest sympathy to you and your family in the loss of your dear mother. I worked with your Dad at MYC in the 70’s and would like you to please contact me by phone or email. Thank you. Terri Hammerback - Posted by: Terri Hammerback (Friend) on: Nov 25, 2020

  • So sorry for your family's loss. Your mom was a young and fun teacher in 1971 when she taught at a country school called North Thalberg. Her classroom was Grade 5 & 6 - I remember that we used to do part of our music curriculum over the radio each semester. She will be remembered not only by me but by many of her students. - Posted by: Cheryl Behrendt (Otto) (She was my school teacher Gr 5 & 6 in North Thalberg School) on: Nov 23, 2020

  • Offering my condolences to you and your family, Niki. I went to Beausejour High school with your mom. We rode on the bus daily. I lived in Thalberg. Sorry for your loss. - Posted by: Elaine Klann. Née Rach (School friend ) on: Nov 23, 2020

  • I am very sorry for your loss! Your beloved mother/grandmother will live on in your hearts and in the wonderful memories you have of her! May she rest in peace! Love and hugs! - Posted by: Ms. Daly (Alora and Aislin's Kindergarten teacher) on: Nov 23, 2020

  • I knew her as she was on the same floor as my Mom and for a short time she sat at the same table for supper. I would walk her back to her room many times and got to know her. She was a lovely lady and I enjoyed her company. I am so sad to hear of her passing. May she RIP and sending my condolences to the family. The Maples Nursing home should be charged for how they have treated the residents. 😢 - Posted by: Cathy Meissner (Aquantence) on: Nov 21, 2020

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