Margaret passed away very peacefully in her 87th year at Lakeshore Lodge, comforted in her final days by her loving family. Known to friends and family as Margot, she was bright, cultured, curious, an avid reader, an early feminist and fearless when provoked.
Margot was born in St. Asaph in North Wales, the eldest of three daughters. Her middle sister, Joan Garnett, predeceased her by 11 days, and she is survived by her youngest sister, Janet Farrington; her three children, Iain, Frances and Nicholas; Sally; and her three grandchildren, Graham, Malcolm and Eric.
Cerebral and studious, she went to London to study nursing where she met and married another bright soul, Dr. Brian Newbigin (1934 – 2006), followed by three children in quick succession, the latter two born in the couple’s new home in Canada. While Brian studied to become an eye surgeon, Margot devoted herself to raising her children with kindness and affection mixed with a certain British toughness: the children always walked the 2.5 km each way to and from school, regardless of the weather.
Margot read widely and eclectically including folk lore, the women’s movement, religion, mysticism and more. She was perhaps happiest when studying literature at the University of Toronto, delighted to be on campus and attending lectures as a mature student. Encouraged by Brian, she was also an adventurous cook and developed culinary enthusiasms from their travels abroad, such as a multi-month interest in Portuguese food that finally exhausted itself, much to her children’s relief.
Later in life, Brian and Margot moved a number of times, including living a few years in Saudi Arabia, before settling in Mississauga. Sadly, following Brian’s death, Margot’s life became increasingly small and difficult due to mental health challenges and declining vision. Taken into long-term care following a broken hip in 2016, she regained her mental equilibrium and became a staff favourite for her unfailing gratitude and gracious disposition.
Margot was a woman of many enthusiasms and eccentricities for whom the world and its demands were sometimes a challenge, but she will be remembered as someone who was bright, curious, elegant, cultured and kind.
Her family offers their deep appreciation to all the staff at Lakeshore Lodge for their wonderful care over the years, going above and beyond during the pandemic and being so very kind and caring during her last few weeks and days. Cremation has taken place and the family will celebrate her memory privately.