Obituary of Margaret Verna Brereton
Margaret Verna Brereton of Red Deer, Alberta, passed away on January 11, 2024, at the age of 97.
Margaret Brereton was born at Elnora Hospital on October 12, 1926, to Ed and Olea Anderson. She was raised on a farm easy of Huxley, with her brothers Alan and Orville. She went to school at the Donaldson School, Huxley School, and finished her high school at Elnora School.
After she finished her schooling, Margaret moved to Penhold and worked in an office. Weekends were at home, or at the local dance hall, dancing with air force trainees. It was during this time that her family received the news of Alan’s passing after being shot down over Holland. She moved to Calgary and worked in a restaurant after the war. In the late 40’s, Mom moved back home to the farm to assist in the care of her mother Olea, who was suffering from chronic arthritis.
She enjoyed music and dancing, and in 1949 she met our father, Mac Brereton of Elnora, at the Pine Lake Dance Hall. She said that she was not really impressed with him upon their first meeting, but they met there again several weeks later, and the start of a 60-year marriage was beginning. Dad would pick Mom up and take her to Trochu almost every weekend so she could visit her mother in the hospital.
In 1951, there was a wedding at the farm, north of Huxley. Grandma Anderson had her dress draped over her in the wheelchair because it hurt her too much to try to put it on. There were 13 people for the reception, so Grandpa Anderson added one plate for the dog, so that there would be 14. When trying to leave for the honeymoon, Grandpa Brereton would tie tin cans to the bumper of the car. While Mac was untying the cans, Grandma Brereton would jump into the back seat, giggling and laughing. While Mac was shooing her out, Grandpa would again tie the cans to the bumper. Margaret and Mac made their home the Brereton family farm, west of Elnora.
In 1952, Doug was born. Followed by Don, Darryl, Wesley, Jean, and finally Bill. While Mac was leading his boys as a Boy Scout Leader, Mom became a Girl Guide Brownie Leader, even though she didn’t have a girl old enough to be a Brownie. She very much enjoyed the experience. She stayed active by curling, and some of her children thought the curling rink was their second home. There were also many card games with friends and neighbours, and large cousin parties with Dad’s cousins and the McPhees. Don and Darryl were members of the Elnora School Band, and Mom and Dad’s blue station wagon followed behind many a parade in case one of the band members couldn’t finish the parade. In 1969, there was a change of vocation for Dad, and a change of location for the family. They moved to Three Hills, where Dad and Mom started a Co-operators Insurance Office. Working out of an office in a sunroom at the front of a small house with six kids was a huge challenge. In 1970, their son Bill was diagnosed with a brain tumor. A challenging operation shortly before Christmas, a startup business, and four teenagers in the house could only cause stress for them both. The Three Hills Rebakah’s Lodge gave Mom and Dad $50 a month to help with the money until they didn’t need it anymore. They were a lifesaver. Bill was left blind and paralyzed on one side. He was always Mom’s favourite (He never got into any trouble like the rest of us did), and it was a hard day in 2018 when he passed away.
One of Mom’s joys was having school students do work experience training in her office. She was so proud when two of her trainees, Rita and Marilyn, ended up running their own insurance businesses. Besides working in the insurance office, Mom was a CGIT Leader in Three Hills for a few years. She also joined the Three Hills Royal Purple ad was the Honoured Royal Lady for a year. Always active in the community, she now found time to camp, play golf, and rarely missed a dance. They also spent a lot of family time at their cabin at Hidden Valley Golf Resort on the Siksika Reserve.
In 1979, Dad received a promotion, and Mom, Dad, Wes, and Bill, moved to St. Albert. As well as working in an insurance office, she became an Avon representative as well. She built up an impressive client list (more like a friend list), and won many accolades for her sales from Avon. She continued to be an Avon representative into her early 90’s.In the early 1990’s it was time to retire. The favourite pastime now was Mesa Arizona in the winter, golfing and hiking, and a park model trailer at the Lakewood Golf Course in Sylvan Lake. Family, friends, and relatives were always close by.
Time and health issues caused Mom and Dad to move into Saratoga Towers in Red Deer for several years, and then into Victoria Park Seniors Residence. They were treated so well there and enjoyed the staff and residents immensely. Dad passed away in 2012. Mom continued to enjoy her time there, and even at the age of 90, was walking up two flights of stairs to her room from the lobby. She met a new friend, Howard, while there. Like her brother Alan, Howard had served in a Lancaster Bomber during World War II. Mom and Howard became great friends, companions, and support for one another. After Howard’s passing, Mom’s health went downhill, she moved into Revera of Inglewood so she could have more care. She loved the staff, and the residents. Mom, Elsie, and Janet were known as the “Golden Girls”, a group of best friends. She was the last remaining Golden Girl.
The family would like to thank the Residents and the Staff of Revera of Inglewood for their friendship and care over the past 3 and a half years. The staff over the past several months have treated Mom with such compassion and love that we cannot thank them enough. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. The family also wants to thank Dr. Odendaal for his care and compassion towards Mom over the past several years.
Mom is now with Dad, Bill, and Wayne. Probably dancing up a storm.
Margaret will be lovingly remembered by her four sons, Douglas of Cotacachi, Ecuador, Donald (Jenn) of Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia, Darryl (Janice) of Munson, Alberta, and Wesley of Red Deer, Alberta; her daughter Brenda-Jean Webb of Red Deer, Alberta; as well as by her 11 grandchildren, and 15 great grandchildren.
Margaret was predeceased by her husband, Mac Brereton; son Bill Brereton; son-in-law Wayne Webb; brothers Alan and Orville Anderson; as well as by her parents Ed and Olea Anderson.
A private memorial service to celebrate Margaret’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a charity of the donor’s choosing. Condolences to Margaret’s family may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate “Brereton” in the subject line.
Arrangements in care of
Meaningful Memorials Funeral Service
A locally owned cremation and funeral provider
serving Red Deer and all of Central Alberta
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Blackfalds, Bentley, Bowden, Delburne, Eckville, Elnora, Innisfail, Lacombe, Olds, Penhold, Ponoka, Rimbey, Spruceview, Sylvan Lake, Sundre.
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