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Margueritte (Marg) Elizabeth McCarthy

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Margueritte (Marg) Elizabeth McCarthy

Place of birth: Edmonton, Alberta

Religious affiliation: Protestant

Margueritte passed away peacefully at the age of 97.

This dynamic woman will be lovingly remembered and greatly missed by her five children and their spouses; Lynette (Roger) Wince, Rick, David (Chayle), Shane (Gayle) and Sherree (Denis) Robichaud; 14 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren and 7 great-great- grandchildren. She is also survived by an older sister Angella Kube (age99), numerous extended family members and precious friends. 
Predeceased by her husband Donald in 1973, her parents Robert and Margaret Kuhn, siblings Marjory Kuhn, Audrey Mack, and Robert Kuhn, as well as grandchild Stephen, great grandchild Brennan, two daughter-in-laws both named Carol, and long-time friend John Seidel.

Her career included elevator operator at Woodwards during WWII, after the last of her children were off to school – district manager for Carlton’s Cleaning Carousel, and finally a clerk for Alberta Worker’s Compensation Board – retiring at age 68. After ‘retirement’ she went on to volunteer at Youth Emergency Shelter, Salvation Army’s Community and Family Services well as their Suicide Prevention line, The Strathcona Senior’s Association, the Mustard Seed, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and at her church Evangelical Covenant (later known as Sanctuary Covenant).

A heartfelt thank-you for the special care and attention she received from Dr. Christie Ma, the Palliative Home Care Team, and the entire staff at the Grey Nuns Hospital (emergency and Unit 54). You all made her final journey comfortable and pain-free, while giving us time to reflect and say our goodbyes. A special thank you to Emergency Department as we waited for a private room; we got quite rowdy in our celebration and memories of her incredible life. We are most grateful to God for allowing her the years she had as our mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, friend, confidant and cheerleader.

A Celebration Service was held on April 20, 2015 at Connelly McKinley Funeral Home, Edmonton followed by a celebration of life reception. Not sure where the microphone got to, but there were stories promised to go with the slide show photos that were never told. They were NOT to be missed, but somehow they were. On this sight we hope to rectify this…since we feel everyone should have the privilege of knowing this incredible, dynamic, loving woman of such great strength and tenacity.

In lieu of flowers, it was suggested donations be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Humane Society or The Salvation Army.

2 Responses

  • Sherree Robichaud On

    Sherree's Tribute

    Mom was by no means a pack rat. Twice a year she would clean and go through every drawer and closet, ridding herself of everything she no longer found useful. Yet, she kept every letter, card and childhood drawing she received. That’s decades of shoeboxes, pictures, albums and the like. As a family we went through her treasured memories, things she wanted us to know but didn’t tell us when she was able. We discovered she didn’t always toe the line for what society at that time expected. I think my mom carried around some guilt, and regrets. The last few months I spent time reading the bible & praying with her, as well as reading excerpts from a book on Heaven. She received much comfort in stepping away from the old thoughts of having to earn forgiveness by the way of penance. The only thing God really required was a sincere, heartfelt “I’m sorry”. We saw the parallel to the way she related to all of us. She expected the best – telling us we could to anything we put our mind to, and then helped us achieve it. When we made mistakes (whether deliberate or innocent) – she pointed it out with loving honesty. There was a certain way of doing things …and at times that was that. But I don’t remember mom ever hanging on to past transgressions and rubbing our noses in them. I will always treasure my time spent with mom. For most of my entire life, I was viewed as the ‘baby’ of the family. But my final role was one of a confident, coordinator and ultimate caregiver. Sometimes we disagreed (wedge pillow, walker, what to eat/drink, and much of it we worked through). One comment I will treasure was when EMS arrived she asked for Gatorade. The ambulance driver said “I’m sorry but I can’t give you anything to eat or drink”, to which she said “Ask Sherree”. Mom, you are my hero, showing me what strength is. You were brave, resilient, tender, thoughtful, protective, caring… and I could go on and on. I believe she now has excellent hearing and sight, a completely restored body and boundless energy and a new purpose – to oversee all of us. I guess there is no hiding what we are up to now.

  • Sherree Robichaud On

    Shane and Sherree's Eulogy

    Marg was the youngest of five children born to Margaret and Robert Kuhn of Maryland. Her father was a machinist for Ford Motor, while her mother was a registered nurse. Her two oldest siblings were born in Detroit. In 1907 they answered the call of the wild … becoming homesteaders to Athabasca Landing. There they took up farming, and Mrs. Kuhn continued nursing – delivering babies, attending births and helping the sick; actually performing many doctor’s duties throughout the north. It was there that two more siblings were born in a sod-roof homestead. They say when it rained outside, in continued on the inside for days afterwards. Even though the family moved to Edmonton shortly before Mom was born, she still had a home birth – delivered by her mother. When mom was 2 the family moved to Minburn where they continued to farm and granny to nurse. Favourite memories include hay rides and country dances, feeding chickens, chores and shenanigans (like a cow stuck in the kitchen doorway). For Christmas they each got to choose one present from the catalogue, and when money was extremely scarce, her mother created a doll from grandpa’s work socks - her favorite doll. We now call that up-cycling. They attended Wilberforce one-room school house in Minburn west of Vegreville until 1925 when they moved back to Edmonton. Mom attended Grandin School. As a teen, she and her friend Alberta would watch amateur theatre at the Empire Theatre. There was a grumpy looking guy that caught her attention. When she asked Alberta, she was told “That’s Don McCarthy – his older sister taught me school.” Having introduced them during the intermission, he offered to buy them both hamburgers at the Right Spot afterwards. Hamburgers were new to Edmonton at the time. Fast forward a few years and they married and started a family. They decided to only have the one daughter Lynette – and give her all the things they never had. Lynette was three when dad went to war. He would be gone 4 years. Mom got her first job at Woodwards in the boy’s department and later as an elevator operator. When the war ended and Don returned home, Mom decided to stay home with seven year old Lynette and their dog Soxxy. We remaining children owe a big thank you that particular dog, for when she died as a result of an accident, mom was totally devastated. Her doctor asked how she would feel if it had been Lynette (age 9 by then) who had died. A year or so later Rick came along, followed by David. At 37 she had another surprise and 13 months later another. Rumor has it that Shane was first called 'oops' and Sherree was 'not again'. When Sherree was born an ecstatic 18 year old Lynette presented her with a pink bouquet and a note that said “I know you could do it mom”. Marg worked for Carlton’s Cleaning Carousel from 1965 until they closed in 1974. A few weeks after they closed (the love of her life) Don passed away. When she applied as a claims clerk at WCB, she was told she would most likely not be hired due to her age - she was just over 50. She had no choice but to return to work and couldn’t take ‘no’ as an answer (she was famous for that). So a few months later when that same job posting came up again, (she had been on an aggressive diet and lost 5 years). She reapplied and got the position – where she stayed until retirement in 1985. She should have retired in ’83, and received back pension as a result. She used some of that money to travel. Her travels included China, and eventually South America and Machu Picchu – a life-long dream come true. She continued to travel well into her eighties. Places we lived include 69th avenue where she met an English war bride, Min Martineau. Our car was stuck and mom was pushing. It suddenly became unstuck, covering her with mud. Min stuck her head out the door, laughed and said “you look like you could use a cup of tea”. The two couples became fast friends, to the point where they celebrated every Christmas Eve together, ushered each others' children into the world and together raised the entire brood. It was a sad day when Min passed, followed recently by her husband Joe. Greg is still a part of our family – our mom’s fourth son. From there we moved to Jasper Place and then back to the south side to the Pleasantview area (for the past 55 years). Mom had an amazing way of making each child and grandchild feel that they were her favorite. She was the only person I know who could simultaneously hug you and kick you in the backside. She could call you out without you feeling small. She made every one of us believe that we could do anything. Growing up both her and dad were sheltered from the full extent of the things we did. After we had all moved out, we would get together and tell stories. We would shock her with all we got away with. Some of those things were quite dangerous. We would tell her stories and mom would exclaim “you did what”. Sherree would often tease her saying we weren’t all that well supervised. We were “THAT FAMILY” in two separate neighbourhoods. Dad had a dozen or so chickens given to him, ones that, were very rubbery and snapped back when eaten. He would take whole, frozen chickens down to Hobbo’s Bush (near where Koch Mercury sits today) and cook them over creosote-soaked railroad ties, roast them until they were burnt, then eat until he hit frozen, and continue roasting. Our dad would also make frequent trips to the dump. It was considered a success if he came back with less than he went with. One day, he came home with a case of Canada Dry Ginger Ale. There was a reason they had been thrown out - double the fizz. Well, the boys found a way they could use them as ammunition. "Shake and point". The only problem is we did it in our basement. When mom came downstairs she took two steps inside the rumpus room and stuck to the floor. We then got a lesson on the fine art of housecleaning. One day after school, Sherree and a friend walked past our church, St. Agnes. The door were not locked so they wandered around inside. The door to the back room was also unlocked, so they helped ourselves to the communion wafers and found offering envelopes. They proceeded to go door-to-door fundraising, managing a whole $18. Her friend offered to hang onto it until they got married some day. He moved away and she never saw him again. If it’s true “The hotter the fire, the stronger the steel” then we are all responsible in part for her becoming a dynamic lady with such strength of character, someone independent, tough, yet tender. Mom’s faith was very important to her. She came to Ian’s dedication service and decided that she liked this church and the message. It was different from the Catholic Church she had grown up in. Without saying a word to anybody she began going to a church and bible study. After about a year she asked Jesus into her life. That relationship grew stronger every year. Mom experienced good health most of her life, overcoming cancer 3 times in her later years. It was these times that taught us how to express our love for each other and mom in words as well as deeds, give hugs and stay in touch. Mom was able to stay in her home she loved so much because of Sherree and Denis. All of the family was concerned about our 90 year old mother being on her own. Sherree and Denis offered to move into the basement 7 years ago, and she became mom’s full time care giver 11 months ago, while Denis looked after the cleaning and maintenance. The thing mom enjoyed the most was visits from her family. Mom stated a few weeks ago “I am not afraid to die but I will miss my wonderful family” When we saw that her health was failing, the call went out to her family far and wide to come see mom one last time and say goodbye. Between personal visits and Skype she talked to almost everyone. Mom had her last visitor and went to lie down. Shortly after she lay down she had a stroke. We had no idea time would be this short. An ambulance was called and she was taken to the Grey Nuns where we experienced the very best care, treatment and dignity. I do admit we were a rowdy bunch at the hospital, telling those stories she loved to hear, and laughing. We knew that the time was short and we wanted mom to go out to the sound of laughter. It’s a good thing the room we were in for most of the time was quite private. When asked if she was ready to shed this earthly body she kept saying “Not Yet”. She had some things she still had to do. She placed her hand on Ali’s tummy, her way of blessing her yet unborn great-grandchild. She gave career advice to Sherree. Most importantly she talked to Dave and Rick and said “when I close my eyes I see Jesus.” Although her quality of life was slipping away and she was sedated, she was comfortable and pain free. She did not experience the final stages of lung cancer – which we are all grateful for. From the time the stroke occurred she was never alone, most of the time someone either talked to her, held her hand or stroked her hair, telling her “I love you mom”. The very last night Sherree stayed; praying for her, reading the bible, playing music and even sang to her ( I think that’s what finally convinced her to leave). Had she not had the stroke we could not have had this glorious good bye. It goes without saying – but we will anyways – that she was highly adored and will be greatly missed. Many have gone before her – 3 of her siblings, one grandchild Stephen, one great grandchild Brennan, two daughter-in-laws both named Carol. Angella Kube, her older sister at age 99 is still here and living at Venta Care. Her footstone which rests on Don's grave at Hold Cross reads: Margueritte Elizabeth McCarthy 1917 - 2015 "An Inspiration To Us All" Interment is scheduled for September 18th at 11 A.M.


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