Wood, Margaret Elizabeth
(January 10th, 2024)
Ever strong in her love of outdoor activity, Marg died January 10, 2024, when cancer took away her freedom. Margaret Elizabeth Wood was born on December 2, 1940, in Calgary, Alberta to Edith (Robinson) Wood and Henry Wise Wood, with three older siblings. Marg was lovingly cared for by her mother’s sister during her mother’s illness and after her mother’s death when Marg was seven. Her aunt Francis and uncle Walter Crow were active community members in various Alberta towns where Marg was well cared for in all ways. Throughout her life, Marg was happy for visits and camping trips to reconnect with her father, his new wife Violet, her siblings and stepbrothers and their families.
Marg excelled at playing fastball in Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Calgary, winning trophies and a provincial championship. She graduated from Viscount Bennett High School in Calgary and hoped to become a physical education teacher without teaching other subjects. This wasn’t possible. Instead, after graduating from Calgary General Hospital School of Nursing’s 3-year program in 1963, Marg accepted a nursing position at the Jubilee Hospital in Vernon, BC. Skiing was a favourite athletic activity there.
Extending her studies with a UBC Diploma in Community Health Nursing in 1972, Marg next moved to Stratford, Ontario to work in public health. Quickly, Marg was promoted to supervisor, which wasn’t her preference. She appreciated hearing people’s stories and living nearer to her sister Sandy who was a community member at Madonna House in Combermere. Many would concur with Sandy’s words to Marg, “you have a good head and a beautiful heart.”
With a move back to Vancouver, Marg was a hardworking and dedicated nurse at Vancouver General Hospital, also active in the women’s movement and cooperatives. Interested in the arts, in 1981 she moved to Nelson to be part of the Kootenay School of the Arts photography program. Marg wrote, “I approach photography both as a fine art and as a very important avenue for communication. While often described as a fast, instant type of art, I find photography makes me slow down and really look at what’s around me. I see a whole new world.” Also in Nelson, Marg made a difference in many people’s lives as a nurse in the Kootenay Lake District Hospital until her retirement in 2005.
Well remembered for her friendly smile and hearty laugh, Marg was often seen along the Dog Walk, hiking, and skiing trails, at Art Walk, art galleries and cultural events, in the pool, the library, the Women’s Centre, and at Pride, environmental, justice and Learning in Retirement events. She appreciated conversations about current events with the group that gathered at Sidewinders and enjoyed the staff’s friendliness served with coffee and butter tarts at the Kootenay Bakery Cafe Coop. Marg helped protect the library collection on what’s now the 10th Street Campus with the 2.5 month sit-in occupation at the David Thompson University Library. Marg sang with the Ragin’ Grannies, raging against the folly of warfare. She contributed to the early Kootenay Coop Radio programs as part of the Company of Older Women’s series on personal and political perspectives on feminism and served on the West Kootenay Women’s Association Collective.
Marg was an adventurer, backpacking in Europe, camping with her dog in Utah’s canyon country, exploring bone-rattling sometimes overgrown BC back roads in her red truck, kayaking in the Kootenays and at the coast, rafting down the Tatshenshini River and exploring artwork in Mexico. She also valued time alone and with her cats and dogs in her mountain home.
Predeceased by her parents, aunt and uncle, brother Gerry Wood (Vivian), and sister Sandra Wood, Marg is survived by her brother Larry Wood (Joyce), special cousins Judy and Doug Green, nieces, nephews and cousins. She’ll be especially missed by her friends in a 40 year- running Women’s Video Group, a discussion and outdoor activity group.
We wish to publicly thank the kind and devoted staff at Mountain Lake Seniors Community, Kootenay Lake District and Kelowna General hospitals and Home Health Nurse Mandy Hawke. Also, thanks to Dwyn for adopting Snoopy.
If you so desire, donations to environmental and animal protection groups would be appreciated.
A celebration of Marg’s life will be held on Saturday, February 24 from 11-1:00 in the Amenity Room at 805 Nelson Ave. (across from DQ) in Nelson, BC.