The news that Margaret had passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on December 23rd 2014 spread quickly via Facebook, emails and telephone calls, producing a reaction of shock wherever it was received. According to reports I have received, a lung infection increased in severity so swiftly that by the time she was admitted to hospital, medical personnel who treated her were not able to reverse her condition and within hours she had slipped away.
I know that I can safely say, on behalf of all members of the Grange Fellowship who knew her, we are profoundly saddened to lose her and we convey to her family and close circle of friends our sincere condolences.
I believe that Margaret’s connection with the Grange goes back, actually, to the 1960’s. We remember her as someone with a firm commitment to the Lord, His Gospel and His people – a reliable ambassador of the Lord Jesus.
She had a bright and sunny disposition, laughed easily, was quick witted and a “fun person.” This, despite the fact that, through the years, Margaret struggled with health issues of one kind or another, including some accidents that resulted in broken bones and damaged joints.
She had a big and generous heart and would not hesitate to help anyone in need who the Lord brought into the sphere of her life.
She worked in the financial industry and after a number of years doing this in London, she moved, in the early 1970’s to Toronto, Canada where she became a much valued member of the staff of one of Canada’s large banks, the Bank of Nova Scotia. In Toronto she met good Christian friends, in particular Harry and Joy Beylerian and their church, the Stone Church, became her spiritual home. She made a good living and enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle. During this time she took opportunities to explore Canada including taking the train from Toronto to the west coast, a journey of several days. Grace and I recall meeting that train when it pulled into the station at Mission, on the north side of the Fraser River, about five miles from our home at Abbotsford, forty five miles east of Vancouver. Leaning out of the window of one of the doors of the slowing train, her arms waving exuberantly and a beaming smile on her face, she was a complete ray of sunshine. She had a happy stay with us and before she left to return to Toronto (by ‘plane) she presented us with an expensive Lladro figurine. This, in our opinion, was way out of proportion to the hospitality we had extended to her – but that was Margaret; as I said above, big hearted and generous.
She was sensitive to the needs of others, particularly her own family. Although she had a secure future in Toronto she became concerned about the well-being of her parents. When her father became seriously unwell she made the decision to return to the UK to be with her parents. The return trip was done in style – she flew down to New York and completed her journey across the Atlantic to the UK in a British Airways Concorde.
She travelled extensively, not allowing health problems to interfere with the opportunity of adventure. This past autumn, she and her friend Anne Cannif spent a vacation in Spain. In early November she, Ann and another friend, Sheila Burroughes went to see the poppies at the Tower of London. Here is a picture of Margaret with a “Beefeater,” one of the modern icons of the Tower.
We certainly mourn her loss but, on the basis of the words and promises of our Lord Jesus and our gracious Heavenly Father, we know that Margaret is now with the Lord in the fullest and most permanent sense. Jesus said, “I go and prepare a place for you; I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” We are not saying a “forever goodbye” to Margaret, just a “see you later.”
Note: Many have added tributes/comments on Margaret’s Facebook page.