In her 101st year, Marjorie (Mickey) passed away peacefully on July 25, 2022, predeceased by Dennis (Den) Seward (2018), her husband of 63 years. Put simply, Mickey loved living! An indomitable spirit buoyed her through an astounding century of life, prevailing over adversity with fortitude and her resolutely positive outlook.
Born in southern England, the youngest of 8, Mickey exhibited her trademark independence and zest for adventure already at age 12, biking 25 miles to swim at Brighton Beach. When WW2 shattered her halcyon youth, Mickey’s core philosophy: “If you want to feel better about yourself, go out and help someone else,” led her to London to train as a physiotherapist (PT), working immediately with war casualties. When the bombs fell, staff and patients retreated to the hospital’s basement to continue the work.
A trailblazer, Mickey merged career, travel and adventure. After the war, with specialist training in pediatric polio, Mickey’s skills took her to Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). Later, Mickey journeyed again into the unknown, arriving to the frozen landscape of Port Arthur (Thunder Bay) to take on a new PT role. It was here, in the mid-1950s, she met her love-light, Den, and began a young family. Moving to Toronto, they settled in their beloved home in the valley where Mickey selected plants and trees to create a gorgeous back yard. Confined to her bedroom this summer, family arranged flowers and bird feeders so Mickey could still enjoy her cherished garden, soothed by the music of Streisand and her adored tenors.
Mickey extolled language. A passionate reader, formidable Scrabble opponent and dedicated crossword puzzler, her vocabulary was stellar. Embodying her belief: “If you want to receive letters, you need to write letters,” Mickey gifted many her newsy, articulate, hand-crafted prose. As technologies evolved, Mickey, champion of lifelong learning, readily mastered her trusty iPad.
Elegant and poised, Mickey was beautiful and stylish, warmly welcoming guests with charm and interest in their lives. Hospitable and gracious, Mickey was an excellent cook, sharing recipes from around the
world. Just last November, radiant in red, Mickey celebrated her 100th with a birthday bash, attended by many longtime friends and neighbours. Still sparkling as the belle of the ball, Mickey was feted as the matriarch and Empress of the valley!
Beyond all, Mickey held abiding love for her family: soulmate Den, children Catherine (Norm), Julia (Phil), Jane (Damir), Lisa (Tony), Patrick; grandchildren Ryan, Christopher, Alexander (deceased), Ben (Chantal), Carly (John), Gemma, Mackenzie, Teah, Tyler, Reilly, Jack, Seb, Sophia, Olivia; great-grandchild Everly. Mickey fondly remembered family vacations by the sea in the Cape Cod area, often accompanied by her adored sister, Aunt Kitty. Mickey also relished simple family visits, her witty conversation, punctuated by robust laughter, nimbly spanning pop culture to insightful questions about family activities and plans. Her grandchildren were blessed by Mickey’s ability to unconditionally focus her attentive listening on them.
Huge thanks to Mickey’s amazing caregivers: Evelyn, Gloria, Emelyn, Ruby, Ruth and the medical team: Dr. Watson, Dr. Graham, the Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care. They all helped us keep our promise to care for Mom in her beloved home. We’ll love and miss you forever, Mickey!
The family will receive friends for a Celebration of Mickey’s Life at the Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Davisville) on Tuesday August 30th at 1:00 p.m. The service will be livestreamed for those unable to attend in person. A reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to SickKids Hospital, one of Mickey’s preferred charities: https://www.sickkidsfoundation.com/waystodonate/inhonourorinmemory2. Condolences may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.
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