Obituary of Margaret Hannah Elizabeth Montgomery
Montgomery, Margaret Hannah Elizabeth
Margaret (Woolley) Montgomery’s family shares news of her death at the Saint John Regional Hospital on Tuesday, June 29th, 2021, after a very brief illness. Her loving husband, Jack, predeceased her in 2014. She was born February 1st, 1933 to the late James and Rebecca (Merrilees) Woolley, immigrants from England and Ireland. With her brother, James, and sister, Iris, Margie grew up in “The Valley,” attending St. Paul’s Anglican Church, and graduating from Saint John Vocational School. After teacher-training, Margie began her home economics teaching career at St. Stephen High. Returning to Vocational, Margie enjoyed many years teaching there, leaving with the birth of Stephen in 1963. Maureen (Steve Betts), and Andrew (Katharine Caesar) completed the family. All three children spent many years hearing, “Miss Woolley!” shouted across streets and store aisles. Right up until passing, she frequently met former students at doctors’ appointments, hospital visits, and in stores. Margie treasured her sister Iris. Each was often mistaken for the other when they were out and about; sometimes playing along with the mix-up in their identities. For decades they were each other’s best friend, confidante, and help.
After her youngest began school, Margie returned to teaching at Rothesay Junior High, eventually moving to Harry Miller Junior High, retiring early to travel the country with Jack in their VW camper van. Trips to visit Stephen in Vancouver, and Andrew in Delray Beach, Jacksonville, and Atlanta were part of Margie’s winter respite for many years. She also enjoyed time in Maine with Maureen.
When 80 years old, the light of her life, grandson Liam Andrew, was born to Andrew and Katharine. To sing and read to Liam, Nana learned to use an iPad. She danced cookie cutters across tables, sewed sleeping bags for Peppa Pig’s family to use on camping trips, knitted hats and scarves for Liam’s miniature snowmen after rare Atlanta snow falls, and doled out daily presents curated for every visit spent with her precious Liam. Joy-filled every minute spent with Liam, Nana departed this life with Liam’s words of love to, and about, his Nana in her heart. Wanting to live long enough for her grandson to remember her, with some grit and ardent independence, she did.
In the greater Saint John area, Margie is survived by her sister, Iris Barton, and her sisters-in-law, Mary Weeks and Jackie Montgomery, and brother-in-law Donald. Many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews also mourn her passing. On the Canadian west coast she is survived by the children, grandchildren, and great grandchild of her late beloved brother James. In Maine, Maureen’s step-daughter and two step-granddaughters will miss her visits.
Arrangements are under the care of Brenan’s Funeral Home, 111 Paradise Row, Saint John (634-7424). On Monday, July 26th, at St. James the Less Church, 1760 Rothesay Rd, Rothesay, visiting will be from 1 pm until the start of the funeral service at 2 pm, with private interment to follow at Fernhill Cemetery. For those unable to attend, the funeral service will be live-streamed and may be viewed by going to Margaret’s memorial page. To honour Margie, please consider donating to Canadian Cancer Society NB, Heart & Stroke Foundation of New Brunswick, St. James the Less Church, and Saint John Regional Hospital Palliative Care Unit. Online condolences may be placed at www.BrenansFH.com.
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