Margaret Jane Hutchison
Predeceased by parents Andrew and Georgina Hutchison, brother Alick, sister Jessie and brother-in-law Andrew Kittmer. Aunt of Colin and Nancy Kittmer (West Lorne), Sheila and Bill Arthur (RR#1 St Marys), and Charles and Linda Kittmer (Deep River). Great Aunt to over forty nieces and nephews.
It is with a deep sadness I announce the sudden passing of my aunt, Margaret Jane Hutchison, in her 96th year. Born in Inverness Scotland, she was the youngest of three kids, the family immigrating to Canada when she was three years old. A fiery, red-head lass, she quickly adapted to her new homeland, full of fun and adventure exploring the countryside outside Windsor/Leamington, always within earshot of the waves of Lake Erie and sight of the Monarch butterflies engulfing her father’s fruit trees.
She excelled in school choosing a career in teaching when conjugating French and Latin verbs was still considered of value for young minds entering the world of commerce. She never married, had no offspring, but for 35 years was surrounded by kids at school, and was an active member of my family for as long as I can remember. She relished the rigours of life on a dairy farm in southern Ontario on weekends and summer holidays, bottle-feeding new-born calves, bringing the cows in for milking, herding young cattle that had broke through the barbed wire road fence back into confinement, and honing her tractor-driving skills bailing hay or plowing the corn stalks down.
During those years I also recall fun family times playing hockey on the pond east of the barn, games of tin can cricket, bowling at the lanes in Ingersoll, going to the drive-in movies in Stratford or playing card games and crokinole at family gatherings … and she was always there in the thick of things.
My contact with her and family diminished somewhat when I went off to university, marriage and my own career, but my portfolio of memories continued to evolve whenever we made the long trip down south for a family gathering or celebration. She continued to make her presence felt in our family, until she was the only remaining “parent figure” left. Still, she was in good health and living on her own, until she fell and cracked her pelvis and the doctor said no more! The good thing to come from this was she finally agreed to move to Supples Landing in Pembroke where I could keep a closer eye on her extracurricular activities.
Now, my aunt was a very independent and private person. My efforts to integrate her into the social activities of the retirement residence schedule were met with outright defiance and indifference to say the least. Her complaint that she could not hear well enough to understand was understandable in itself, although I suspected her auditory challenges were more related to a self-regulated situational hearing than anything else. After two years of ongoing discussions, I think we both adjusted our expectations on this topic.
While I say her passing was sudden, it was not entirely unexpected. For the past year she would often question how anyone could live beyond ninety-five and maybe she should call it quits. In response I would ask her how she felt, remind her she had no aches or pains, was still mobile with a good deal of flexibility, and still had things to do. She was ok, a fact she reminded herself every few steps, but maybe her time had finally come. We will miss her, her warm smiles … and her hand-knit popcorn sweaters.
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