Margaret Mackenzie
Margaret Mackenzie

Obituary of Margaret (Peggy) Mackenzie



1923 – 2022


Peggy Mackenzie passed away on Tuesday, October 25th in her 99th year.  She will be dearly missed by her daughter, Catherine Nugent, and her son, Donald (Jean), as well as by her six loving grandchildren, Margot (Augusto) Bellani in Italy, Jackie (Jake DeKlerk) Leggett in Australia, Robert (Kata Ambrus) Mackenzie, Alec Mackenzie, Anna (Daniel) Rosen and Johnathon Nugent, and by four great-grandchildren, Morgan and Brady DeKlerk and Georgia Mackenzie and Sophie Rosen.  She was predeceased by her beloved husband of 63 years, Robert (Bob) Mackenzie (2011) and by her parents, Lydia and William White.


Peggy was born in Montreal in 1923 and graduated from Montreal High School in 1941 with a scholarship to attend McGill University.  During WWII, and while attending McGill, she worked in the Marconi Radio Factory and, subsequently, as an executive assistant to the Personnel Manager of Henry Morgan & Co.  After graduating from McGill in 1945, she applied to a new programme in Business Studies at Radcliffe College in Boston in conjunction with the Harvard Business School.  Upon graduation from Radcliffe, Peggy was offered a position as a Counsellor of Students with the Harvard-Radcliffe Graduate School.  In the spring of 1947 she met and, after a whirlwind romance, soon married, Bob Mackenzie, a Canadian P.Eng. and war veteran who was graduating from the Business School.  After the wedding in Montreal, they moved to Brazil where Bob took a management position with the Brazilian Traction Company, a private Canadian utility company operating in Brazil.  Peggy and Bob continued living in Brazil until the early 1960s.  During this period, they made many friends who they would later enjoy visiting all over the world.  Peggy, already fluent in French, learned to speak Portuguese and devoted her management skills to social events and fundraising for the Expatriate Hospital in Rio de Janeiro.


In 1962, when political upheaval in Latin America led to the nationalization of part of the Brazilian Traction Company, Peggy and Bob returned to Canada to start life anew.  Peggy decided to re-enter the work force, at this point in her mid-40s, and after a few years in private industry and academia, accepted a position with the Ontario Civil Service in 1971.  Probably because of her language skills and personal experience with re-settlement and diverse cultures, she was placed in charge of Reception Services just as the province was facing the challenges of coping with the surge of Vietnamese refugees.  Peggy founded Welcome House and continued working for the Citizenship Branch of the Ontario Government until her retirement in the late 80s.  During this period, she also served a term as President of the Harvard Business School Club of Toronto, the first woman to do so.


Peggy loved travelling and entertaining.  She had a keen sense of humour and sharp opinions about most things.  She was never happier than when swimming in the ocean or sailing in Georgian Bay with friends. She and Bob travelled the world together well into their 90s. She had a wonderful, long, and interesting life and was loving and supportive of her family, always encouraging them to do whatever they chose to do.  She will always be an inspiration to those of us who knew and loved her.  The family wishes to especially thank the staff at Sunrise of Oakville for their compassion and care during her later years.


A Celebration of Peggy’s life will take place at the Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Davisville) from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. EST on Friday, November 4th.  Memorial donations are appreciated in lieu of flowers and can be made to the Alzheimer Society of Canada ( Condolences and memories can be forwarded through


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