In Celebration of

Margaret Joan "Peggy" Barton

June 28, 1939 -  September 9, 2023

Peggy Barton of Toronto passed away peacefully at the age of 84. Born in Timmins, Ontario, the much loved and only child of John Robertson (Jack) Tait and Ellen Maria (nee Harju) Tait. Cherished wife of Sydney Charles (Syd) Barton, son of George R. Barton and Alice Viola (nee Vogan) Barton of Vankleek Hill, Ontario. Proud and loving mother of Laurie (Stewart Sherrit). Loving and proud grandmother (Nana) of Carter and Madison. Peggy’s caring about and interest in her families - Sherrit, Barton, Tait and Harju – was not diminished by the physical distances which separated them from her and Syd throughout most of her life.

Peggy’s life-long love of learning is apparent from her academic accomplishments. She graduated from North Bay Collegiate Institute and Vocational School in 1957. Peggy received her Registered Nurse degree from the Atkinson School of Nursing, Toronto Western Hospital, followed by a B.N.Sc. and B.A. from Queen’s University. In later years, she completed a post graduate diploma in Gerontology at the University of Toronto. As noted above, Peggy loved learning! And in close second, was her love of books! In later years, audiobooks were a great antidote to her loss of vision.

Her professional career included leadership roles in nursing education, nursing administration, and quality assurance programs. Her influence on nursing as a result of her informed guidance, leadership, mentorship and friendship was felt by students, nursing staff and other health care professionals at the Atkinson School of Nursing, Toronto Western Hospital, including its merger with Toronto General Hospital, and during a brief time at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton.

Despite the demands of her personal life and professional career, she also found time for volunteer activities on an ongoing basis. She was a long-time member of the executive committee of the Toronto Western Hospital Nurses Alumnae Association, including a term as president and archivist. She was also permanent class president of the Queen’s Nursing Class of ’62, and served on the Board of West Toronto Support Services for Seniors for 7 years, including a term as President. She was a founding member of the Canadian Association of Quality Assurance Professionals, and a member of the Q. A. Committee of the Stonegate Community Health Centre. She valued her long-time participation with the pastoral care committee at Royal York Road United Church. Fittingly, Peggy received a Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in recognition of these activities in 2002.

Peggy’s core values were family, friends, learning, caring for others and the environment, and commitment to responsibilities. Her love of music and dancing had a firm base of 10 years of Royal Conservatory of Music for Piano. She was proud of her Scottish and Finnish heritage and her Northern Ontario upbringing. Golf was her favourite sport.

Everything she did, personally and professionally, demonstrated how deeply she cared about family and friendships, and the commitment she had to others and their well-being. A favourite quote (that she had discovered in her teenage years) was; “to make the world a more beautiful place because you have been in it” (Author unknown). She will be greatly missed by her family and the many friends from her educational, professional, volunteer, church and life experiences.

Peggy's family and friends attended a memorial service on September 10th at Royal York Road United Church. Internment will occur at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Princess Margaret Hospital, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, or a charitable organization of your choice.


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Anne Randell 

Entered September 16, 2023 from Toronto

So many fond memories of Peggy as a teacher and mentor at the Atkinson School of Nursing, Toronto Western Hospital when I was a student and later with the TWH Nurses Alumnae. She was such a caring leader who later became a neighbour and friend. As a result, Laurie was one of my kids’ (Josh and Emily) favourite babysitters as we lived just around the corner.

Sending condolences on the loss of a very special woman who was a credit to our profession.

Bill Becks (North Bay Friend)

Entered September 16, 2023 from Collinngwood

I had the pleasure of living 2 doors away from Peggy and her parents. I was impressed with her focus to the work required to accomplish her high school goals and to prepare for nursing. I have pleasant memories of her and extend my condolences to her family.

Judy Watt-Watson (Colleague)

Entered September 17, 2023 from Toronto

Thinking of Syd and family. Peggy was an amazing colleague in the Atkinson School of Nursing. She had wonderful leadership qualities and I enjoyed working with her.

Carter Sherrit (Grandson)

Entered September 17, 2023 from San Diego, California

I loved my Nana very deeply, and it's quite hard to express in words just how I'm feeling right now, but reminiscing on all of the memories with her has been helping me a bit. Like all of our intense games of uno and go-fish, walks by Lake Ontario, visits to California, and making 'Peg's Perfect Pizzas' with my family. It pains me that I wasn't able to be around her more during these last couple years due to COVID, but she always had my Papa, who is the strongest and kindest man I've known. It's going to be tough moving on in life without her, but I'll honor her last conversations with me and live in a way that I feel proud, and remember all the amazing times we spent together.

Lynne Tait (Cousin)

Entered September 18, 2023 from Keswick Ont.

On behalf of Ron of Lively Ont, and myself, We would like to express our sincere condolences of the pass of our cousin. She will be missed greatly by all of her family and friends. Be safe and stay well.


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