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MARGARET RITCHIE (published on May 09, 2009)

MARGARET RITCHIE (nee DIXON) On April 24, 2009, in Nanaimo, BC Margaret Ritchie passed away gently in her sleep, at the age of 91 years. Margaret Peggy was born at home on a farm in Hamiota, Manitoba delivered by a neighbour and farm worker, where her father was a sharecropper and handyman to all in the district. She moved with her family to Winnipeg into a house on Inkster Blvd. that she and her siblings referred to as the glass lobby house because of its glazed porch. Several moves over the next 17 years, from Inkster, to Good, to Colony, Simcoe and finally Marjorie Street, gave her an intimate knowledge of most of central Winnipeg. She was christened in St. Mathews Anglican Church, attended CGIT there and volunteered, with her sister Dorothy, with the Scouts and Kindergarten Settlement in the poorest part of Winnipeg. She married William Ritchie in 1939, had a son Allan and soon after found herself travelling from coast to coast across Canada, while her husband, having enlisted with the Canadian Navy in 1941, took training in Victoria and was subsequently posted to Sidney then Halifax, where their second son, William, was born. Peg and Bill returned to St. James, Winnipeg at the end of the war where they lived from 1945 to 1961 raising a family of four, with the postwar addition of two daughters; Anne and Kathy. Moving to a small farm in Lorette, Manitoba, at age 44 was an arduous but exciting time in her life. Working with the gardens and animals was something she reminisced about often long after having moved away from it. To supplement family income she also took employment with the Federal Government in 1966 and in 13 short years, with her innate people skills and strong work ethic, had become manager of the Manpower and Immigration Central Registry, records department, for Western Canada. In 1979, she took early retirement at the onset of her husband's fatal illness, and after his passing, took up urban hiking and painting with the Winnipeg Seniors Group making many very close friends and some pretty good art as well. In 2002, at age 85, she once again pulled up roots and moved to Nanaimo, BC, and delighted in the lovely weather, friendly people and beauty of the Coastal environs. Margaret spent her last seven years, happily exploring Vancouver Island and making new friends. She was a just do it type of person with a sharp mind, willing spirit, and a strong philosophy for life, Do everything you can about what you can and don't worry about what you can't. In coming from such humble beginnings and achieving what she did she has certainly been true to herself. Margaret was well loved by many, significant to most who met her and will be greatly missed. Cremation will be done in Nanaimo and interment in Winnipeg, Manitoba, mid summer. In lieu of flowers or cards, Margaret would appreciate a donation to any Children's Hospital. Margaret is survived by: daughter Kathleen Ritchie of Nanaimo; son Allan Ritchie and family of Langford, BC; son William Ritchie and family of Pickering, ON; and sister Dorothy Beach and family of Scarborough, ON; and many nieces and nephews and their families.

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