Our beloved wife, sister, mother, grandmother and friend, Marg (Marguerite) Stovel, passed away on Saturday, January 17, surrounded by her family. Marg was an inspiration to all who knew her and we will miss her dearly. A Ceremony of Life will be held at 1 pm afternoon of Monday, January 26.
Marg was born in Calgary on October 14, 1928, one of two daughters of Swiss parents. Growing up in the Depression, life wasn’t easy and Marg remembered walking alone to town as a five or six year old to pay taxes for her parents or buy meat when it was on sale. Still “we never felt deprived,” she said. “Our parents made sure of it.”
She was a keen student, especially enjoying math, French and Latin. As a child “I read everything I could get my hands on,” she said. She was also an accomplished student of piano. At the age of 16, after her family moved to Salmon Arm, Marg began senior matriculation (first year university equivalent) and then taught piano for a year while deciding whether to pursue music or teaching. Teaching won out.
After completing teacher education at UBC, she taught school in Summerland,
Castlegar and Burnaby, all the while playing the piano for musical productions. In Burnaby, she also joined the Air Reserves for 2 ½ years, working for a while in radar until women were moved to administration.
In Burnaby she met her partner in life, an adventurous man who loved the mountains, Bud Stovel and moved to Revelstoke. Here she continued teaching, specializing in grade seven. “I always liked that age group,” she said. She taught at Central School (high school), Selkirk School and eventually retired from the Big Eddy School. Her students loved her. She was tiny and spoke quietly but she could hold their interest and attention and they knew she cared for them deeply.
In her teaching and life, Marg was foresighted. She taught French and brought activities from the Quebec Carnival into the classroom. She travelled to take courses on anti-racism and computers in the 1970s because she recognized their importance. She raised her children with an appreciation of multiculturalism and hosted monthly multicultural dinners.
Marg was an adventurer and loved to travel, often with Bud, and daughters, Laura, Jeanette and Krista, who inherited her curiosity about the world. She travelled several times each to Europe, Africa, East Asia and Australia, often to visit her children abroad.
Her friends and family remember her as wise and kind, caring for those around her and far away. For years Marg and Bud collected cans so they could help fund small educational projects in developing countries. If someone was isolated or lonely, Marg would visit.
She had a twinkle in her eye, she loved to tell a good story and she showed great courage and sacrifice for those she loved. “As my mom would say…” has long been an introduction to words of wisdom used by her daughters. She was devoted to Bud and, to the end, they would walk or sit hand in hand. She was the center of our family and we will miss her greatly.
Marg is survived by her husband, Bud Stovel, her daughters, Laura, Jeanette and Krista Stovel, her sister, Lil Barraud and her grandchildren Evan and Emma Nip and Nii Noi and Tettey Tetteh. She also leaves behind many dear friends and cousins Heather, Mike and Alexis Welch, who she cared for deeply. We also thank Dr. Cam MacLeod, Dr. Neil Leslie, Tuulikki Tennant and the wonderful nurses at Queen Victoria Hospital for their outstanding care.