Obituary for Margaret Bracken

Margaret Allen Bracken (June 21, 1930-May 21, 2023)

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Margaret Bracken on Sunday May 21, 2023, at the age of 92, at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, surrounded by all of her children. She was born in Birmingham, England to Ethel and Robert Allen and was the much-loved younger sister to Roy, Raymond and Norman. Despite losing her father at a young age and growing up during the war, she had a childhood full of happy memories and exciting stories that she loved to share with her children and grandchildren. A year-long trip to Canada in 1957 turned into a lifetime when she met her husband, George. They quickly settled down to start a family in Peterborough and eventually moved to Smiths Falls. Margaret and George enjoyed a full life together raising five children, running a successful business, and volunteering in their community. Margaret volunteered for many years with the Girl Guides of Canada, the Ontario Home and School Association and at the Kingston General Hospital. She and George were keen travelers and enjoyed exploring different parts of the world; favourites included Africa, New Zealand, Russia, China and the Arctic. Margaret shared her endless curiosity and optimism, and her love of books, music, and travel with her family, creating a lifetime of memories. She maintained a close relationship with her family in England with annual visits, often in the company of George and a variety of children. When the last of the children had left home to continue their education, Margaret decided it was also time to continue hers. Over the course of 10 years, still making time for her ever-expanding number of grandchildren, she proudly earned a B.A.(Hons) in Religious Studies from Queen’s University in 1997. Margaret and George eventually retired to Kingston and enjoyed being a part of the community. They also spent more time in Vancouver with the west coast branch of the family, taking the opportunity to escape the Ontario winters in a climate that was more reminiscent of Margaret’s childhood. After George’s death in 2015, Margaret spent more of her time out west with Jane, Robert and Alison; enjoying weekends on Pender Island, and venturing back east in the summers to visit with Lesley in Fonthill, and George on the Rideau, as well as relaxing at the family cottage on Gananoque Lake. Margaret was a loving and supportive mother to all of her children, a fierce, kind and generous friend; and a smart and funny presence to the end of her life. She will be greatly missed.

Margaret was predeceased by George, her husband of 57 years. She is survived by her five children Jane (Neil Benwood), Lesley (Tom Coyne, deceased), Robert (Mary Lou Lauria), Alison and George (Colleen Kelly). She will be lovingly remembered by her 14 grandchildren Thomas, Nicholas, Andrew, Matthew, Lena, William, Claire, Adam, Jonathan, David, Emily, Joseph, George and Ryan. She joyfully welcomed her first great-grandchild Thomas in the past year. She will be missed by George’s brother Glenn, as well as her many nieces and nephews in Canada, England and the United States.

A Celebration of Life will be planned at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Margaret’s name to Olivet United Church or The Thousand Island Watershed Land Trust.  

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