Margaret Elizabeth Clifford (nee Burns) January 24, 1933 – April 1, 2019
Margaret was born on January 24th, 1933 to Margrit “Peggy” Josepina (nee Gislisdottir) and Clifford “Cliff” Stanley Burns in Port Arthur. Margaret was the youngest of 4 and grew up mentored and protected by her brothers, consequently becoming the pitcher on the McKenzie Men's Baseball team. Margaret was an avid Blue Jays and even at age 86, backed her Maple Leafs.
As a young girl Mom spoke English and Finnish (courtesy of the Rissanen, Lehtonen, Maunula and Lassi families). She was confirmed at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Pass Lake, Ontario in 1946 with her friend Alice Charles. Margaret passed peacefully on Monday, April 1st, 2019, surrounded by the love of family and friends, and attended by her son Stephan and her goddaughter Cathy Gault Forbes. She loved generously, grieved deeply, and welcomed everyone unconditionally. Up until age 82, she insisted on cooking Christmas dinner--she would occasionally share Easter or Thanksgiving--but Christmas dinner was her gift to her family and friends.
Smart as a whip, she was one of 3 female graduates of 10th grade at Port Arthur Technical and Vocational Institute (circa 1947/1948). She went on to attend Kings Business College. Her first job was in Accounts Payable at Thunder Bay Co-Op Dairy, and after raising her 6 children, she became the Office Manager and Bookkeeper at Variety Services. For many years, she was also a District Returning Officer for federal and provincial elections and an enumerator for Shuniah District.
Margaret was a great listener, an astute observer and politically savvy. In 1970, Shuniah did not amalgamate with Thunder Bay largely due to her efforts to keep Shuniah autonomous (with lower taxes!).
Mom had a creative side, kindly knitting and crocheting for everyone, and a practical financial and entrepreneurial spirit, selling Amway, Tupperware, and encyclopedias among other things. Margaret could hunt deer and partridge. While the girls had dancing class, Margaret organized a Boys Club from the family's basement; they planted trees, sold apples and learned woodcrafting using her husband's newly acquired saws and tools. That did not stop her from regular attendance with the “Stitch'n'Itch” girls. She volunteered as often as requested, serving as Secretary and Treasurer for the McGregor Recreation Association for many, many years.
Grammie loved her friends and her laughter was joyous. Mom attended TOPS with Marlene Jarvinen, enjoyed tea and a gab with Laila Person, treasured her roadtrips with Nona Tkachuk, spoke daily with good friend Anne Perrier, and maintained strong friendships with the Gault, Duke, and Reesor families after their time in Current River during WWII.
Did we tell you she could sing with a clear, accurate voice and play piano, taught herself the accordion, autoharp and was blessed to teach youngsters to play keyboard? Momma also loved to dance.
“Mom”/”Grammie” will be sadly missed by her children: Stephan Andrew Clifford, Robert Jeffrey Clifford, Wayne Michael Clifford (Denise), Jessie-Lynn Marie Clifford, James Sinclair Clifford, and Charlotte Elizabeth Hutton (David); her grandchildren Brittany Ireland, Riley Clifford, Ralph Sedore (Audrey), Brian Hutton (Melissa), Michael Sedore (Tara), Tanya Clifford, Brandy Sedore, Beverley Farah (Jay), Luke Clifford (Susan); her great-grandchildren Allan, Tykara, Chance, Elise, Chantal and Staisha; her great-great-grandchildren Madison and Jaida; her son-in-law Randy Sedore; her sisters-in-law Helen Moon and Janet Bellhouse; her dear friends Marlene Mitchell, Esther Smith, Mary Meredith, and Gladys Kremsater; as well as many Burns and Clifford nieces and nephews in Ontario and Bjornsson and Eireksson cousins in Alberta and Iceland. She will be missed by numerous friends and family.
She was pre-deceased by her brother Bobby (1963), her mother (1968), her father (1975), her beloved husband Burford “Buck” (May 1982), her granddaughter Laura Marie Clifford (May 1994), her brother George (2004) and her brother Alf (2016).
According to Margaret's wishes, there will be no funeral service. Cremation has taken place. Interment will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, Mom encourages you to eat well and walk more.
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