Margaret MacGregor Curtis passed gently to heaven on October 10, 2018 with loved ones at her side. Born February 9, 1924 to James Hutton Gemmel and Hilda Godfrey Towersey Gemmel in London England. Upon the declaration of World War II, Margaret was a graduate of Clarke’s Business College. In an effort to support the troops, Margaret enrolled in nursing school in 1942. She nursed injured soldiers until D-Day in 1945. Margaret immigrated to Canada in 1947. She was employed as a nursing assistant at Chatham Public Hospital. She co-managed Glen Gordon Manor on the shores of Lake Erie. She was a member of the original team of professionals that opened the Southwestern Regional Centre where she became a residential counselor. Margaret went on to work as a dental assistant at the centre, then Vocational Instructor, and finally Director of Vocational Services while studying for a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at University of Windsor. By the late 70's, Margaret and her team were instrumental in facilitating job placement and community housing for almost 1000 residents.
Margaret was a founding member of Chatham-Kent Crisis Line, The Southwestern Regional Centre Credit Union, the CK Association of Community Living and an executive member of the Canadian Association of Rehabilitation Personnel. Margaret was an active member of the United Church, leading the Canadian Girls In Training (CGIT) for many years. She started the first Home and School group at Cedar Springs Elementary School. Throughout all these accomplishments, her greatest achievement was her children and grandchildren. Her home was a welcoming place where a pot of tea and a listening ear was always present. It was important to her to demonstrate respect and responsibility not only to her children, but to her nieces and nephews from a very young age.
Margaret married the love of her life, Armand Curtis (1993), in 1979. Margaret raised 6 children. She was predeceased by her step daughter, Deanne (James McPhail), son Glen Barton (Donna) and daughter Betsy (Jim Steele). She is survived by 3 daughters, Barbara (Don) Phair, Vi Burlein (Mike Papps) and Julie (Rick Chambers). Margaret was very proud of her 13 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren as well as 3 great-great-grandchildren. Margaret also leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews, her long time companion Paul Albert, and numerous dear friends both in Ontario and Florida, whose lives were touched by her loving kindness.
On behalf of the family, we would like to say "thank you" for the exceptional care, support, and compassion our mother received from the 5 West staff at Riverview Gardens. We would like to acknowledge the caring friendship of Cathy Bachynski.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Terry Fox Foundation.
A Private Ceremony and inurnment will take place at the Mausoleum in Woodland Cemetery, London, ON.
Online condolences may be left at www.mckinlayfuneralhome.com