OLMSTED firstname.lastname@example.org_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-06-27 published
OLMSTED, Marjorie Kingsland (née SALTER)
(February 25, 1917-June 23, 2007)
Marjorie OLMSTED lived 90 years of what she would have termed an 'ordinary life', but to those of us who knew and loved her, she was extraordinary. She brought joy to others in the simplest way possible - yet few achieve it - she made us laugh. Constantly! Her keen eye combined with quick wit left any situation open to her humorous quips. Marj will always be remembered as kind, gentle, artistic and creative, and most of all, funny. She loved the sound of laughter and even as Alzheimers slowly diminished her memory in later years, with a twinkle in her eye she managed to bring delight to others daily. This beautiful Scottish/Irish lassie with the gorgeous auburn hair and freckles was born in Quebec City on February 25th, 1917 to parents Lillian and Norman SALTER who later moved to Ottawa. At 14, Marj met her childhood sweetheart, Earl OLMSTED, whom she married at 23 and they remained together for 76 years. Not an easy feat when you consider they endured the 2nd World War being apart. (Lt. Col. OLMSTED [Ret.] was overseas for 5 years and is one of the few living survivors of the Normandy Beach landing.) For 2 of the war years Marj attended Kemptville Agricultural College, one of the highlights of her life. This was followed by a life being an 'army wife' with moves from Ottawa to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Fort Churchill, Manitoba, and Madison, Wisconsin accompanied by their four children - Eric, Valerie, Eleanor, and Bruce. She was able to put her home economic studies to good use in her chosen career as a devoted and outstanding Mom. Marjorie lived for many years on Broadview Avenue, Ottawa and in Amberwood Village, Stittsville surrounded by wonderful neighbors. On one of their postings 45 years ago, Marjorie discovered she had breast cancer. Her humour helped her through those dark times and upon waking from major surgery asked her doctor 'Does this mean I can no longer wear double breasted suits?' He encouraged her to find a new hobby so she signed up for art lessons as a form of therapy and found a hidden artistic gift that blossomed into years of painting (often with her beloved dog Lara at her feet). Using mixed media, she would amaze relatives and Friends with her original artwork and poems to suit special occasions. Always a journalist and poet, at the age of 80 Marj wrote an article entitled 'Diary of Breast Cancer.' Not only was it published in the Ottawa Citizen, but it has been widely distributed to thousands of women across Canada to offer them hope and inspiration. Her illness never returned and she lived cancer-free 45 more years! Marjorie's #1 passion was her family and grandchildren - Jana and Pat CLENDON of Calgary, Lani EL- GUEBALY of Vancouver, and Tally, Lindsay, and Geoffrey OSBORNE of Toronto - and many happy reunions took place at Marj and Earl's beloved Red Pine Camp on Golden Lake, Ontario where lifelong Friendships were formed and strengthened each summer for over 65 years. Beauty was an ongoing theme in her poems; Sugarbush Pointe and Red Pine Camp captured for Marjorie the best that camaraderie and nature had to offer. Perfect and personal pieces of Canada. Already sadly missed by her husband, children, and grandchildren, some very special people who will mourn her loss are relatives Noreen LANGDON, Rita SALTER, Ted and Muriel LANGDON, Alan and Waveney SALTER, Doctor Nady EL- GUEBALY, Doctor Ray OSBORNE, Judy KETCHESON, Marilyn EL- GUEBALY, Bill SALTER Jr., Mary and King CHAPMAN, Andrea and Albert PETERS, Doug and Jean SALTER, Red Piners and lifelong Friends in the Ottawa Valley. She was recently predeceased in August 2006 by her first-born son Eric, also by her parents, her brothers Bill and Jack, her niece's son Scotty, many aunts and uncles, fellow grandparents Ahmed and Andree EL- GUEBALY, and nephew Geoffrey LANGDON. In the summer of 2002 Marjorie said, 'soon I will be flying with wings.' We are forever grateful that we had a few more years to enjoy her company before she flew away. Marjorie loved words and here are a few of her own which foreshadowed this occasion.
End of Summer
Touch the rustic railings one more time And gaze at the quiet lake. The leaves are brittle now And rattle in the breeze. Feel the sun, half warm, half chill, And say goodbye to summer. A quiver is in the poplars; A shiver is in the pines, On the lake the waves wear A lacey fringe of winter white And one bird flies Into a fading sky.
Special thanks to Evelyn ALBAN, who is like a member of the family, and to the loving staff at the Claremont Retirement Residence in Toronto, especially Barbara. You are truly an amazingly loyal and caring group of people. A Graveside Internment Service will be held at Capital Memorial Gardens Cemetery, 3700 Price of Wales Drive, Nepean on Thursday, June 28, 2007 at 3: 15 p.m. For further information please call Tubman Funeral Homes at 613-722-6559. In lieu of flowers, donations in Marjorie's name to the Ottawa Mission, 35 Waller Street, Ottawa, K1N 7G4, would be sincerely appreciated. Anyone wishing to read 'Diary of Breast Cancer' can find it on Val Warner's website www.walkandtalkforwomen.com.
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