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Margaret Fairey

November 25th, 1921 - July 30th, 2022
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 Margaret Elsie Fairey

“Aunt Mollie”

 Our resilient, feisty, smart, independent, and enduring Aunt Mollie, a member of the Great Generation, passed away as a Centurion at the grand age of 100-years, eight-months and 5-days. Aunt Mollie was born in Essex, England, November 25, 1921. She was a survivor of childhood diphtheria. She was hospitalized in a diphtheria quarantine hospital for six weeks where children were kept flat on their backs. Many didn’t survive. Mollie said after she recovered she had to relearn to walk.

 When Mollie was twelve-years old her 36-year old father Frederick passed away and she and her younger Sister Jo (Josephine) and Brother Derek were raised singlehandedly by their mother Margaret on their farm during the Great Depression in the “dirty thirties” near the village of Market Harborough. Mollie said there was no refrigeration and they didn’t have an ice box. Mollie still preferred things “room temperature”.

 Mollie was a survivor of WW11. When Mollie was old enough she worked in a parachute factory both to help her mother with the family and support the war effort. She had a wealth of stories of how everyone lived without complaint through six-years of food rationing, curfews and black outs.

 Mollie met her beloved husband Jim while he was serving in the Canadian Armed Forces. Mollie first met Jim while he was visiting cousins on a neighbouring farm while waiting to ship-out to Italy, where sadly Jim lost one of his brothers. When the war ended in May 1946, there was a dance in the village to celebrate and Mollie ran into Jim. He was on leave, now stationed in Amsterdam waiting with thousands of other Canadian soldiers to return home. After the dance Jim asked Mollie and her girlfriend if he could walk them home. He took Mollie home last.

 Jim returned to Holland, but, the soldiers had to wait months for passage home as so many ships had been destroyed during the war. During his wait Jim and Molly wrote letters, and every time he had leave, Jim would return to the village to see Mollie. On one of their early dates he asked Mollie in his Prairie way “Well…Should we get hitched?” Mollie delightedly accepted, despite her mother’s objection, fearing if Mollie moved to Canada she would never see her again. Mollie and Jim were married on December 28, 1946 during one of Jim’s leaves.

 After their marriage, Mollie and Jim wrote enduring love letters both when he was in Amsterdam and after his return to Canada. Mollie says there was time for over a hundred letters while she waited in England for eight months with 48,000 other War Brides for a spot on one of the War Bride’s ships. Mollie finally landed in Halifax with love letters in hand, before continuing by War Bride Train across Canada arriving in August 1947 at the Port Haney Train Station. Mollie said it was a beautiful day in Haney and for their first outing Jim took her to Swan Point in Whonock.

 Mollie got her first job at what she called “the Old Box Factory”. She would often ride her bicycle to the factory which was near Dewdney Trunk and 240th Street. Later, while Jim worked at Hammond Mill, Mollie got to know just about everyone in town working for 21-years at the White Store which she said was a fixture in Haney for years at Laity and Lougheed Highway.

 Aunt Mollie adored her dogs, two Pomeranians Poochy and Jo Jo and her teacup poodle Kona. Mollie and Jim’s travels included Australia, New Zealand, China, Alaska, the Canadian Arctic (x3) and the Maritimes. She travelled across Canada by train three times, including the War Bride’s Train and on her return visits to England. 

 Mollie’s mother came for a visit in 1951 and loved Haney so much that she returned to England long enough to pack her bags and return. ‘Nan’, like Mollie and Jim was an avid gardener. Molly would say ‘Nan’ loved to garden at the house on Wicklund Avenue and that convinced her to stay. ‘Nan’ convinced Mollie’s sister and brother to come too.

 Before her beloved Jim passed and because they were childless they generously donated their property to the city for a park for the community to enjoy. Watch for the coming sign near Dewdney Trunk and 216th. We’re hoping city council will approve it as “Fairey Park”.

 Mollie said Jim used to worry about who would take care of her if he passed before her, but, he needn’t of worried! When Mollie was 99-years two street people broke into her home in the middle of the night. As her hearing was not what it once was, she wasn’t aware of them until they were rattling her locked bedroom door.  Aunt Mollie jumped out of bed and yelled through the door “If you open that door, I’ve got a shotgun pointed right at you!”. The last of them was the sound of their scurrying footsteps disappearing down the hall. That was our feisty, courageous and smart-to-the-end Aunt Mollie.  

 Mollie always said marrying Jim, coming to Canada and enjoying their 57-year marriage was her best life decision. As per her wish, Molly died peacefully in her sleep at her home of 72-years in the early hours of July 30, 2022. Mollie’s final wish is the love letters be laid to rest with her and Jim. We should all be blessed with such a magical love story.

 Mollie ... a Life well Lived. Her wisdom will be sorrowfully missed by her nieces and nephews and other dear family and friends, many of whom she enduringly outlived. Mollie is predeceased by her beloved Husband Jim, Mother Margaret, Father Frederick, Sister Jo, Brother Derek (Eila), nephews Phillip and Colin, and niece Rita. She will be sorely missed by surviving relatives: Niece Jackie (daughter Jessica and Jessica’s children Ava, Colton and Drew and Jackie’s son Quentin), nephew James (daughter Jessica), nieces Andrea (Bernie and their children Jason, Michael and Jasmine), Lori (Bryan), Victoria (Brian), Janice (Colin), and friends Darlene & Richard as well as by other dear family and friends.

 A special thanks to Gail, Dr. Zacharias, Dr. Zacharias’s Assistants Kim and Nora and Palliative Care Nurse Sharon whose caring support enabled us to make Mollie’s wish to pass at home possible.

 A Celebration in honour of Mollie’s Life will be held Wednesday August 10th at her and Jim’s home. Please drop an email to jackiebuss123@gmail.com if you need further details.

With Love Always   


Tributes

lynne leone
August 10th, 2022

My dear, beautiful friend Mollie.

How very much you will be missed...

You brought so much love into everyone's lives, we were all so Blessed to know and love you....I will always be thankful for our friendship and the beautiful happy moments we shared together over the years....

The one thing that will always make my heart smile (and there were many!!) is how very much you adored Jim. He was the love of your life and it was so clear to anyone who knew you, that you and Jim truly did live "Happily Ever After"...a real life fairy tale! Your love and devotion to one another was so inspiring , especially in these times. You gave us all something to smile and feel good about. I loved how your eyes would light up any time you spoke of Jim, especially when you would look out your kitchen window to where the two of you had sat under the apple tree in your back yard.....

You shared so many wonderful stories with me about your past, how you met Jim and the long, exciting journey from England to Canada to re unite with your sweetheart and start your new life in Canada.

You always told us you were happy every single day of your life....and you truly were. How many people can say that!
I will miss your beautiful sparkling eyes and happy face Mollie and will be forever grateful for the time we were Blessed to share together. The love, the laughter and the gift of sharing part of your amazing journey with you will live in my heart forever....

As a tribute to you Mollie, I will Honour your memory by being "happy" and so grateful for all that I have.

And in saying that, I would like to thank and Honour Janice, Darlene and Jackie for making your finals days so peaceful and filled with love. They truly were "Angels" sent from above to help guide you safely back "home"....

Now you are finally together with your true love again, a heart at Peace....

Until we meet again Mollie....I will be happy!!

Love you forever....Lynne

Lori Hughes
August 9th, 2022

Molly lived an amazing life. Significant world events and personal stories, are highlighted in this thoughtful memorial notice.
I knew Molly, and Jim, from a young age ( preschool) and became part of the extended family when my mother married her brother Derek. Memories I have of Molly and Jim are very much woven into the couple that Molly and Jim were. One is a time when my mother was seriously ill and hospitalized. My older sister and I would go to Molly's each school day for lunch. It was a 10 minute walk away. And Molly always endured that in addition to a nutritious meal, we were given a small treat to take with us on the return to school. Another very important experience was with Jim. I loved horses and Jim would take the time to bring me with him to see the local fall fair and watch the riding events as well as visiting with the horses. I always appreciated the kindness that Molly and Jim extended.
There was a few years between Molly's birth and that of her siblings. Even with an illness early in her life, she remained very healthy for the remaining years, in no small part to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I am glad that Molly achieved her wish to remain in her bridal home where she shared her life with Jim.

Andrew Stonyer
August 9th, 2022

We will miss our regular phone conversations with Molly. The last time I phoned her was shortly before her death and she was as alert and responsive as ever. She would tell me about how grateful she was for the help she was getting with her shopping etc. and how lucky she was to have such caring friends and relations. Often she would reminisce, but never at the expense of the future, Molly always looked forward. She had a deep and longing respect for Canada, what it had given her and Jim, and how much she continued to enjoy life, despite Jim no longer being with her. She was the only remaining relation we had who had experienced the privations and dread of WW2, yet what distinguished her from so many, was her determination to create a full and rewarding life out of this catastrophe.

Molly took great pleasure in people's kindness, and in the small pleasures of life as well as the big ones. Always the telephone conversation would involve the state of the nation, she along with Jim, were intolerant of financial rectitude, and the fact that at that time Canada was not in surplus troubled her. In one of our last conversations I persuaded her, I think, that with the war in Ukraine, the western world would no longer be sourcing its raw materials from Russia, instead it would be Canada, because it had a surplus of most of the materials the free world needs.

It's difficult to think of Molly, without thinking of Jim The first time I met Jim I was fascinated by his thoughtful description of events, and the seemingly relaxed way he spoke. Just a little bit slower than I was used to, and with more drawn out vowels. It was on a visit to Saskatoon that I realised why. This speech pattern was indicative of the wide open space of the prairies, from where Jim originated. Two very different backgrounds one might say, but the combination of those differences made them a very special couple. The kind of couple that are the cement, that binds the bricks of a nation together, honest to the core, quiet in their benevolence, with the deepest respect for the country that gave them so much. And so it was no surprise when they told me that they had bequeathed their plot to the municipality. People come and people go, some leave their mark as Jim and Molly have done with the Fairey Park, but the special one's can also leave their mark on those they knew in the most endearing ways. As well as their park, their example of how a life can be lived with grace and purpose is surely their legacy!

Sleep tight Molly

With love

Andrew and Linda

Jackie Buss
August 8th, 2022

Uncle Jim and Auntie Molly were both a big part of my life growing up. I will always cherish the time spent with them. My children and grandchildren will always remember them. Gone but not forgotten ❤

Margaret Surinak
August 8th, 2022

Such an honour to have known Molly!! My husband and I were casual friends, through my sister Mary Tanco. As of late, I have become quite disabled so will not be attending the reception in her honour but I will always remember Molly as one of the most pleasant interesting people I have known.

Marg Surinak

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