Tropical 3

Margaret Alice Cook

November 29, 1926 ~ May 22, 2021 (age 94)


Margaret Cook-Byars

At the Deep River and District Hospital on Saturday May 22, 2021 at the age of 94 years. Loving wife of the late James Byars and daughter of the late Gordon and Ellen Cook.

A “wee” bit of History

Margaret moved to Chalk River with her parents in 1930 and attended S.S. #3 Buchanan School and later went to Montreal to attend Business College. She was the first female employed by Fraser-Brace at the beginning of construction of the Research Plant. When construction was complete she was transferred to N.R.C and after 3 years left and joined Fraser-Brace at head office in Montreal until 1962 when Fraser-Brace closed. R.J. (Dick) Belfour, one of F.B.’s young engineers accepted to run the Eastern office for Brown and Root – an American company- so Marg joined him as head secretary. In 1966 Dick accepted a very senior position at S.N.C. and she was asked to join him and his group – she continued at S.N.C. until retirement in 1991. She didn’t want to remain in Montreal so moved to Deep River in July, 1991. 

Margaret loved to travel to Scotland which she did for many years to visit relatives and friends and to tour the beautiful countryside. In retirement she joined a group to visit Hawaii, New Zealand and Australia. Her tours have included Canada coast to coast, Europe, the Scandinavian countries, several U.S. states. Later Marg and Jim spent many holidays in the Caribbean and in particular the Dominican Republic.

Margaret was a keen Scottish Country dancer for many years (1957-1999) mostly in Montreal, then Deep River and Pembroke. Her travels to attend classes and Balls included Princess Street Gardens in Edinburgh, Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Kingston, Washington D.C. and many towns close to Montreal. Margaret was a Life Member of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. Margaret also enjoyed years of golfing though she admitted she was not very good but did have a hole-in-one. After moving to Deep River she joined the curling club and thoroughly enjoyed the game. She found great enjoyment working in her garden.

In February 2003 Margaret and Jim Byars were married – Andy McKee performed the ceremony, a garden party was held in their backyard in celebration that summer. Sadly Jim passed away in December 2005.

As a matter of interest Margaret was a volunteer for the Hospital Auxiliary for 25 years and 7 years at the Food Bank. She was also a volunteer for a number of years at the curling club.

Respecting Margaret’s wishes cremation has taken place with interment at the Forest View Cemetery, Chalk River. In memoriam donations to the Deep River Community Church or St. Andrews United Church, Chalk River would be gratefully appreciated.

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