Margaret Merchant was born April 27, 1929 at Gadsby, Ab., one of 12 children born to Archie and Martha McKay.
She was the first of her siblings born in Canada. The family lived at Westwood’s community until her mother passed away when Margaret was only 13.
At that time she went to live with her oldest sister’s family, Mary and Elmer Smith at Castor. She completed her junior and senior high school at Theresetta where Uncle Elmer was a teacher.
At the end of her Grade 12, Margaret won a scholarship to further her education and went to University of Alberta Normal School.
Her first teaching post was at Lauderdale –a one room school with grades 1 to 8. In conversation one time, she mentioned that some of the grade 8 boys were bigger than her.
In 1950 she and her younger sister came to Coronation where she had a teaching position. A local girl, Sheila Merchant, became friends with them and kept telling her brother Don about the virtues of the new teacher. Curiosity overcame Don. It didn’t take very long to become smitten and they were married on a very rainy July 6, 1951.
In 1953, Linda was born followed by Allan in 1954. Unfortunately a farm accident took Allan into God’s hands when he was two. In 1956 Ross became part of the family and in 1962 Neil joined his older brother and sister.
Margaret went back to teaching at the beginning of the 1965/66 school year. It was not in her plan at all but a temporary two week teaching job lasted 25 years.
In late August, Don Kilback the principal at the school came for coffee. His plight was dire. It was a week till school opened and they did not have a grade seven teacher for the “new” math program.
She finally agreed and the rest, they say, is history.
She retired in 1987 and her and Don took up travelling and managing the senior’s manors, Kings Court and Windsor Manor for a number of years.
After Don passed away in 1995, she kept herself busy with her home, her flowers and watching her birds.
She especially enjoyed her kids, grandchildren and great grandchildren and coaching her beloved “Blue Jays” from her chair and cheering on her Oilers.
She lived on the farm a mile north and a mile west of Coronation for the past 65 years.
This winter Margaret had a brief time of feeling unwell. When the idea of a temporary move for winter months was broached, she told Linda, “I’m not moving anywhere. My next move is to the cemetery.”
She won—she did it her way!!!!!
Funeral services were held in the Coronation Community Hall on Thurs., March 2, 2017 at 2 p.m. with Rev. Barbara Zimmerman officiating.
Brother-in-law, Dale Merchant gave the tribute and her loving grandchildren shared stories of Margaret’s life and adventures, especially the cat.
Nephew and niece Doug and Shirley McKay presented their gift of music and song.
Margaret was laid to rest in the Coronation Cemetery beside her beloved husband Don at 11 a.m. with her grandchildren: Donald, Dale Krysta, Karen Osetsky and Daneca Leatherdale and Justin Merchant as pallbearers.
Family and friends gathered after the service for a time of fellowship and a luncheon by the Coronation Community Lunch Committee.
Long time friend Jim Campion gave a loving tribute of his working and personal friendship with the Merchant family.
Donations in Margaret’s name may be made to Trinity United Church or the Coronation Cemetery.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.parkviewfuneralchapels.com .
Parkview Funeral Chapels & Crematorium entrusted with the care and funeral arrangements, 403-578-3777.
Card of Thanks
The Merchant family wishes to thank all of the friends and family that helped them get through the difficult time of losing their Mom, Grandma, Aunt and Friend.
To all those that helped during the service and all those that sent food, flowers, donations and kept them in their thoughts and prayers.
To Parkview Funeral Chapels for their guidance and support with allowing us to have a service of remembrance for Margaret that we will cherish.
With heartfelt thanks,
Linda and Ray
Ross and Sasha
Neil and Terri
and our families.