It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Margaret Murray Cowan Hickey. Margaret was born on September 16, 1924 in Windsor, Ontario, and died in Coquitlam, BC on September 1, 2019, just short of her 95th birthday.
Margaret was predeceased by her parents Hugh and Sally Cowan, brothers Stewart, Hughie and Tom, husband Everead and son-in-law Barry. She is survived by her brother Richmond, children Everead (Georgie), Mary, Sally Anne and Veronica (Dave), 17 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.
Margaret’s life was truly one of adventure with many deep valleys and high hills. As a result of the financial crash of 1929, her family embarked on a six week journey from Windsor, Ontario to the shores of Francois Lake in BC, where they settled to begin a new life in the country.
Margaret spent the next years on the family farm learning to milk cows, ride horses, raise animals and help the family become self-sufficient throughout the depression. During the war years, she helped run the farm including driving teams of horses to harvest the crops.
Margaret excelled at school and walked or rode horses four miles to attend the local one room school. She was sponsored through the church to attend high school in Prince Rupert, where she completed Grades 9 and 10. When World War II broke out, Margaret was needed at home so she completed Grades 11 and 12 by correspondence, while helping to run the farm.
Margaret was issued a temporary teaching certificate during the war and taught at the one room school that she had attended as a child. In 1945, she married Everead Hickey and lived on a farm in the same area. Together they worked to develop a thriving farm and became parents to four children.
Everead died suddenly in 1957 and Margaret found herself a widow at a very young age, with four children to support. She moved the family to Burns Lake and worked in the post office. In 1959, Margaret took the courageous step to attend UBC to obtain her teaching certificate. She loved teaching and taught throughout BC, eventually settling in New Westminster in 1966.
After retiring in 1990, Margaret took up memoir writing, publishing seven collections of stories and poems, mainly about her childhood experiences. Her goal was to publish a book for every Cowan Family Reunion, for the enjoyment of her entire extended family.
Margaret loved her community of New Westminster and for many years enjoyed watching the comings and goings from her front window, which looked out over Moody Park. She took great pleasure in seeing and visiting with family, friends, colleagues, former students and their parents. She always had time to stop for a chat.
Margaret was an independent woman ahead of her time. She met every challenge and showed great perseverance and determination to overcome the many obstacles she encountered. Margaret was a wonderful role model and inspiration to many that knew her. She will be greatly missed.
Special thanks to Dr. Metzak for his continued support and the staff at The Madison Care Centre, who showed such compassion and caring throughout.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, September 10th at 12 noon at St. Peter's Catholic Church, 330 Royal Avenue in New Westminster, BC. Burial to follow at Burns Lake Cemetery in Burns Lake, BC on Friday, September 13th, 2019 at 1:30 pm.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the CKNW Kids’ Fund, the New Westminster Retired Teachers’ Bursary fund or a charity of your choice.