MARIANNE ELIZABETH GIRLING
February 15, 1927 - August 24, 2018
Peacefully at home in Toronto. Beloved wife of the late Robert (2012). Loving mother and best friend to Karen Girling. Great admirer of loved son-in-law Bruce MacLellan. Proud and adoring Meemee to granddaughters Sara and Ally MacLellan.
Predeceased by her siblings Joan (1974) and Denny (2006). Survived also by Andrea, Jane, Ann and her favourite cousin Bill.
Marianne was a champion of living life. She attributed her spirit of adventure to her father, Murray (1964), whom she always remembered fondly. He instilled in her a lifelong love of Lake of Bays, paddling and especially swimming. Her independent escapades expanded with a four-month trip to Europe in 1948. She and her friend lived in the aftermath of World War II – quite an eye opener for two young women from Windsor, Ontario. Shortly after her return, she and Bob were engaged. Marriage, home ownership and two daughters followed. Marianne practised the fine arts of plumbing, carpentry, use of an axe, and all other household arts necessary to maintain home and cottage. The adventures continued throughout their lives together. Around 1970, Marianne arrived at their Tecumseh home with a motorcycle. Not to be outdone, Bob purchased his own and that established years of trailering their bikes or snowmobile to explore all regions of Ontario.
Marianne excelled creatively with sewing, knitting, and millinery; her standards were high. She was in demand as a young woman to sew formal dresses for her friends as together they attended big-band dances at HMCS Hunter in Windsor and at Bigwin Inn. She and Bob loved to dance.
Always a non-conformist, she was a woman ahead of her time. Decades before it was understood or fashionable, she ate impeccably and exercised regularly, and continued to do so throughout her life. Until a few years ago, she would attend neighbourhood exercise classes and easily swam more than 100 lengths of her pool each day. Her credo was “keep your body moving.”
At an early age, she learned from her mother Helen (1979) the importance of giving back. Marianne spent decades as a professional volunteer, in her church, hospital, and grass roots communities. With those organizations and as family cheerleader-in-chief, her focus was almost always outward. She was notoriously frugal about herself, but quietly generous to those in need. Children and nature and those less fortunate than she have benefited from her giving.
After she and Bob moved to Toronto in 1974, and until her legs let her down, she would walk and bicycle miles each day. She took advantage of everything the city had to offer from hikes, to concerts, to lectures, to baseball games and every festival and parade. Her favourite outing was one that had a destination.
Marianne’s love of words made her a formidable Scrabble player and a prodigious reader. Her spreadsheet of library books that she read during the last few years contained more than 1000 entries. If you are so inclined, please remember her with a donation to Toronto Public Library Foundation, or a charity of your choice.
The family will receive friends at the Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Davisville Avenue) for a reception on Wednesday, September 5, from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Condolences, photographs and memories may be forwarded through www.humphreymilesnewbigging.com.
Private interment at St. John’s Cemetery on the Humber.
M3: you are always in our hearts.