Friday, 21 November 2014

Week 47 - Margaret Helen Milne Grant Switzer

Margaret Helen Milne Grant Switzer (1907 - 2006)  

Frank Grant and Margaret Milne wedding day October 27,1928
Margaret Helen Milne was born on December 7, 1907 at Virden, Manitoba.  She would have been named in honour of both sides of her family as her dad had a sister Margaret (nee Milne) Chisholm in Scotland and her maternal grandmother Margaret (nee Duncan) Jamieson, had died in Chesterfield, England two years before she was born.  It would seem both these women were known as "Maggie" but this Margaret was not.  Her father had another sister in Scotland called Helen and she came to Canada the year after Margaret Helen was born.  Helen Milne Mearns Connon has an interesting and tragic story, stay tuned to this blog for that one....

On the 1911 and 1921 Canada census, Margaret can be found living with her father Alexander and mother Jeannie in the Wallace Municipality.  Sisters Frances and Nan have been featured in previous blog posts as well as brothers Charlie and William. Other Milne siblings were John, Alex and Jim.  We know the family spent a couple of years in the Keremous, BC area when Margaret was young. 

She married Francis George Penny Grant on October 27 in 1928 in Hargrave, MB. "Frank" Grant had been born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland in 1893.

Margaret and Frank began their married life in McCreary, Manitoba engaged in farming. They moved to Winnipeg for a while and  later settled in the Gainsborough district near Portage la Prairie, MB.  Initially they farmed but later both Frank and Margaret worked at Southport, the former Candian Forces Base at Portage as did many of their neighbours.  Those were tough years in the thirties and money was hard to come by.  

Margaret Milne in the middle with her sisters - Nan on the left and Frances on the right in 1955.

Margaret raised her five children and after Southport, cooked at Portage General Hospital for several years.  She belonged to the First Presbyterian Church and was a member of the Women's Missionary Society and Ladies Evening Guild. Margaret's first husband Frank died in 1961.  She remarried to Edgar Elmer Switzer, who was born in 1912 in Steele, North Dakota,  in 1969.  He died in 1985 and she on March 25, 2006 .

Family of Frank Grant and Margaret Milne:
Her obituary says she was a great volunteer, always ready to lend a helping hand.  She loved to play cards and bingo. It also says she cared deeply for her family and loved to visit with her 13 grandchildren and 29 great grandchildren before she died at age 98 in Pilot Mound, MB.  Her granddaughter Lynne (with the middle name Margaret) tells me her own daughters knew Margaret as "G.G." and enjoyed a special relationship with her.  Margaret was always upbeat and happy, no matter what came her way.  She sounds like a special lady indeed and I'm glad I got to know her through this blog post.

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