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Mooney (Koep), Margaret Mary

Margaret Mary Mooney —1935-2021 – daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, friend, mentor, feminist, social worker, hiker, lover of books, lover of nature, lover of ideas – died January 19, 2021, in Nelson, BC.

Born May 13, 1935, Margaret spent her formative years in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. She married, raised her family, and found her calling in Lethbridge, Alberta. Years later, following her spiritual journey, she settled in Nelson, BC, then Sechelt on the West Coast, then back to Nelson for the last twenty years of her life.

Feisty, stubborn, and determined, Margaret deeply believed in justice. She was a passionate feminist in a time and place that frowned on activism and strong women. Wanting to make the world a better, safer place for women, she left the church and pitched in at the Birth Control Information Centre and the Women’s Centre in Lethbridge.

She dreamed of getting a post-secondary education, even as her family grew. In the late 70s she started attending university, trading babysitting with friends while she studied and kept the house going. It took years, but she finally attained her Bachelor of Social Work degree. And although her career was not a long one, she remained a lifelong learner, devouring books on everything from Buddhism to feminism and the environment to social policy.

She was intensely proud of her five children and loved us unconditionally. She believed we were capable of anything and supported our unique choices. She exposed us to a much wider world than many kids knew: symphonies, Renaissance Fayres, political protests, consciousness-raising and social justice. She delighted in her grandchildren and enjoyed watching them grow and blossom.

Life was not an easy road for Margaret. She was appalled by greed and ignorance, and she felt every injustice in the world deeply. But through both her reading and her desire to connect with those from all walks of life, she never lost her ability to care about others and to hope for change. Sadly, her health issues eventually robbed her of the ability to drive, then read, then walk, then talk.

Margaret was predeceased by her sisters Pat Weresch and Terry Davis. She is survived by sisters Maureen (John) Short and Helen Lynch, brothers Mike (Shirley), Dan (Claire), and Kevin (Nancy) Mooney, children Mark (Deb), Kathy (Dave), Rob, Gregg (Linda) and Jeff (Gayle) Koep, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Margaret will also be missed and remembered by many nieces and nephews, friends, neighbours, random strangers on the street, on the bus, in the park – as well as friends and family of the late Robert (Bob) Koep.

We are so grateful for the kindness and care shown to our mom by the wonderful staff at Nelson Jubilee Manor in her last months.

In accordance with Margaret’s wishes, she was laid to rest at the Dumont Creek Cemetery near Winlaw, BC, on January 23, 2021. Nature was her balm – may she find eternal solace in the trees and forest, where she can bask in peaceful, beautiful surroundings. We smile as we imagine mom once again going for her beloved long drives and long, long walks.

Remembrances and condolences may be sent to her granddaughter, Kayli Koep, at koepkayli@gmail.com.