Marjorie Marie Gray (nee Hornblower) passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 7, 2014, at the Dundas Manor Nursing Home in Winchester, at the age of 96.
Born in her family’s home, in Doon Village, now Kitchener, Ontario, on December 13th, 1917, Marge was the second youngest of seven children to William John and Edith Louisa Hornblower (nee Peacock).
Marge moved to the area in 1964, after transferring between Best Foods Factories from Ayr to Cardinal and stayed a most valued employee at Casco-Best Foods, routinely in the Corn Starch section, until her full retirement in the early 1980’s.
To remember her, the average observer might have been fooled by the stoicism or integral approach to avoid gossip and melodrama, in thinking she was a bit crusty or the type to put on airs. But to those who knew her best, it was Marge’s reserved sincerity, compassion and generosity for others that was truly under that stern exterior.
Indeed, it was her sincere humanitarian nature, her continuous thirst for knowledge and the intense desire to travel the world that her family will remember of her best.
Her splendid wit and humour, her tales of travel across Canada, the continental U.S. and Hawaii, Ireland, Scotland, England, and her phenomenal memory for detail (especially Depression era song lyrics) were joys and experiences most prominently shared with friends and family.
Whether it was during a healthy discussion of politics over the euchre table, or during passionate banter about some controversial move that the Toronto Blue Jay’s made to the starting line-up, Marge could be easily coaxed into adding her two cents (or anything upwards of 10 dollars) worth of ideas on a vast array of subjects at the drop of a hat.
And yet, over her lifetime, Marge’s proud, stubborn independent attitude saw her complain little about her tireless routine of (at times) three jobs a day to support the six children in her care. Through those physically and emotionally draining decades, it was her easy-going, consistent attitude to the duty of motherhood and breadwinner, combined with a dedicated and reliable work ethic that continues to endear her to family, colleagues and friends.
Indeed, her story evokes extreme pride from the women of her family in that she never burdened others with the discrimination and horrors endured for simply being that of a woman and wife, and particularly that of a single mother at a time when separating or divorce was a stigma hard to live down in any small community.
Nannie, as her family called her, was an incredible role model, who instilled integrity, honesty, and respectful standards in all she met. And although she hated losing control of her body these last few years, Nannie left a legacy to approach life, love, work, friends and family with the highest level of ethics, wisdom, respect and resilience.
Marjorie is fondly remembered by her children, Florence (Jim) Brennan of Perth, Ralph (Helen) of Cambridge, Gordon of Medicine Hat AB and by her granddaughter Lynn Runions (George) of Iroquois and her brother Jack of Detroit;.
Marjorie was predeceased by a daughter Marilyn Coulter, a son Ernest, a grandson James and several brothers and sisters.
She will be sadly missed by 15 grandchildren, several great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. Marge is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Friends called at the Marsden McLaughlin Funeral Home Iroquois on Saturday, January 11, from 11 a.m. until time of the service. Funeral service was held at the Funeral Home at 1 p.m.
Donations to Iroquois United Church would be gratefully acknowledged by the family.
Online condolences may be made at www.marsdenmclaughlin.com.