Marcelle De Freitas

Marcelle died peacefully on Wednesday, June 5th in Toronto.


She was born on the Caribbean Island of St. Vincent, the third of eleven children. In her final year of high school she was the island’s top girl student and was awarded the Island Scholarship, which paid for her university education. With rumblings of war in Europe, her parents did not want her to go to Britain as other scholarship winners had done, so she came to Canada to study at McGill University instead.


Two years after graduating from McGill with a Bachelor of Arts degree, she was hired in 1944 to teach Spanish and Sewing classes at Havergal College, where she was much loved and respected until her retirement in 1984. To honour the many contributions she made to the school during her 40-year tenure, a Havergal House was named after her in 1995. She visited the school for the last time in 2010 to celebrate her 90th birthday with students, faculty and staff of the Marcelle De Freitas House.


Throughout her life Marcelle was deeply involved in service activities in Toronto. She was tireless in her support of the outreach work of St. Stephen-In-The-Fields Anglican Church (College St.) Stop 103 (now The Stop) and many other organizations. She loved children, was a wonderful cook, a gracious hostess and a warm and loving person of great integrity, compassion and goodness.

Her friends thank all those who cared for her at Lakeside Extendicare.  As per her wishes, cremation has taken place. A memorial service with Eucharist will be held at the Chapel of St. James-the-Less, 635 Parliament Street on Wednesday, July 3rd at 10:30 a.m. The Havergal community will mark a celebration of her life this coming fall. In lieu of flowers, Marcelle wished for donations to be made to the Havergal College Foundation, Lakeside Extendicare, or St. Stephen-In-The-Fields Anglican Church.  Condolences may be forwarded through