Irene Margaret Campbell Atkinson (nee Macmaster) passed away peacefully at Mount Sinai Hospital at the age of 85.
Irene was born in Greenock, Scotland to the late Ninian and Greta Macmaster (Reeves). Her family immigrated to Canada when she was twelve. She became a proud Canadian citizen in 1959.
As a young wife and mother, she started a daycare in Toronto based on the Montessori Method.
When her children started school, Irene decided to run for School Trustee. For forty years, she was a dedicated School Trustee at the Toronto Board of Education and its successor, The Toronto District School Board. Irene was elected Chair of the Board, and was also Chair of the Finance Committee for a number of years. In 2013, at age 77 she survived a house fire, suffering smoke inhalation, and yet recovered and returned to work. She was a fighter and an incredible advocate for students.
Irene is lovingly remembered by her three daughters, Maggie (Murray Smith), Pam Evans (David) and Julie Rumak (Ray). She is survived by her husband, Ronald, her brother Ninian (Norm) Macmaster, and her niece Bethany Beaumont Roy. Irene is predeceased by her beloved sister, Dorothy Beaumont. Irene had a close relationship with her cousins in Scotland, Agnes and Margaret.
Irene enjoyed travel, summers at Bella Lake, the patio at the Boulevard Club, getting together with friends, single malt Scotch, cigarettes, and a good book. She was a force of nature and strove to make things better.
Irene was an ardent animal lover and an avid reader. For those who wish, donations may be made to an animal charity of your choice or to the Toronto Public Library.
Special thanks to the staff of Hazelton Place Retirement Residence where Irene spent the last 18 months, and especially to the invaluable personal support workers.
Due to Covid restrictions, visitations on Saturday July 31 will be held between 4 and 7 at Turner and Porter Yorke Chapel by invitation only. Those who wish to attend please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-389-8941.
The Funeral Service which will be held on Sunday, August 1, 2021, at 11:00 AM is private; however, for those who wish to view the service online, you may copy and paste the link below.