Wife, mother, independent student of life, writer, volunteer. Born May 23, 1916, in Prince Rupert, B.C., died Oct. 30, 2011, in Delta, B.C., of natural causes, aged 95.
Who better suited to describe a life lived, than the person who lived it? Marjorie wrote, “I just want to tell you all what a joyous experience life has been for me. … I have had a husband who let me follow my own needs and interests, as I hope I let him follow his. My children and grandchildren have delighted me by their independence, and yet have given all the love I could have asked. Good friends I have had too, all of whom added their share of joy. My love to you all and may I see you in the great, “To Be Continued.”
That was when she was 80. She went on to live 15 more years.
Marjorie was already engaged to someone when she met her future husband, Harold. It only took them five months to rectify the situation and become bride and groom. They had three children over the next 26 years. Harold predeceased her and waited patiently in the middle dresser drawer for her to join him.
During her life there were incredible changes in social attitudes. She was a progressive in many areas. She was a Christian Sunday-school teacher who taught tolerance of others’ beliefs. Long before it was popular, she had her own set of tools and she knew how to use them. We all knew that if we wanted to see the light of another day, we had to put them back where we found them.
She worked in the china department at Woodward’s department store. There she learned an appreciation of fine china. When a child broke a piece, she simply mended it, stating the person was far more precious than the item. She had very few ornaments that were not mended.
While her eyesight was good, she was an avid reader and read tirelessly at the CNIB to those who could no longer read. She believed in giving back through volunteering and supported charities and those less fortunate than herself.
Although she was disappointed that she never made a concentrated effort to achieve her dream to be a writer, she kept journals of her life. Her first journal was an actual ledger book given to her by a neighbour. The first 12 pages had been removed, thus, the first entry was on page 13. She thought this was quite appropriate as it flew in the face of superstition.
As her world began to shrink and she was no longer able to do things for herself, she became restless. Her mind never let her down and she always remained curious about life. It was her body that began to shut down. True to her independent nature, she made her own decision. She made peace with her God. She took to her bed and gradually quit eating and eventually quit drinking. On Oct. 29, she was in her own home singing with her three children. The next day she found her great “To Be Continued.”
Andrea West is Marjorie’s daughter-in-law.