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Maureen McIlwain

Maureen McIlwain

Sunday, August 10th, 1952 - Monday, February 15th, 2021
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Obituary

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Live, laugh, love, she did all of those with joy and made the people around her better. It is with sadness and heavy hearts that we share the loss of Maureen McIlwain, cherished wife, mother and grandmother. On Monday, February 15, 2021, Maureen passed away peacefully in her sleep, she was 68. Surviving her, and holding her memory dear, are her husband Leslie Smith, her children Aaron (Erin) Smith, Mischa Smith, grandchildren Ruben, Georgia and Jack, siblings Sandy (Roberta) of Invermere BC, Wendy (Bob) Pepper of Wasaga Beach ON and Colin (Gayle) of Leeds UK and many nieces and nephews and other extended family members. She was predeceased by her parents Eric and Doris and sister Judy.

Maureen was born on August 10, 1952 in Vespra Township on the way to Montreal. She studied fashion design at Ryerson in Toronto, with a passion for textiles and pattern making which inspired many of her own fashion designs for herself and the people she loved. She pursued her passion and was able to spend time Wendy’s family, time she cherished her whole life. Moving back to Montreal after a jaunt in Europe and time with her parents in Cambridge, she met the love of her life. With a dream of the country and love and peace in the air, Leslie and Maureen moved to Port Elgin to start their family.

Maureen worked in the local prison teaching cloisonné and helping to reform the people around her. On the farm goats and chickens added to the growing family and many a fond memory was made with family and friends who made the trip out to New Brunswick. With the family continuing to grow, the family moved to Ottawa, with Maureen continuing her passion for clothing and textiles and leading the charge for living an eco and health conscious life. After a quick stint in London Ontario the family ended up in Sarnia, where Maureen became an early mompreneur owning and operating Terminal Togs. Along the way she added woodworking and interior design to her repertoire. She balanced a busy life of raising her boys, remaining very connected to her family and friends and being active in her community, following her passions of singing and bringing joy to anyone that came into her orbit.

When the time was right, the move back to the east coast came calling and Maureen followed another passion, working for Veseys Seeds in PEI and then Kingsbrae Garden in St. Andrew’s New Brunswick. Being so close to gardening and nature was very meaningful to her, and her care of and respect for the environment, and the world around us, is something we can all learn from. With a lifelong pace of change, for someone who did not always want to make the move, Maureen ended up back in Toronto, close to her new grandchildren, enabling many swims and movie nights and teaching a new generation the care and respect that others deserve.

This also created the space for her to go back to her original passion of textiles and design and Maureen poured herself into her rug hooking. Her eye for colour and texture shone through in the rug artwork she made, art that was inspired by the things that had great meaning to her, with a crooked house to boot. One last move, again to follow her grandchildren, landed Maureen in Brockville, where she continued to grow as part of the rug hooking community and spending lots of quality time with sleepovers and outings with her grandchildren, whom she loved so much.

She lent her laugh and kindness to the world and made it a better place to be. She lived for time with her family with special fondness of time in Wasaga, California and the UK. She made such a profound impact on her children, sharing her goodness and demonstrating how to show respect to all. She was an early adopter of living an eco friendly life, and her respect for people extended to all creatures great and small. While life was not always easy, as it will be, she managed to find the beauty that exists and surrounded herself with it. We love you bigger than the ocean.

Maureen will be cremated, and a private memorial will be held with her close family and friends. To honour her memory, donations to your local Food Bank are meaningful.

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Private Condolence
Plant a Tree in Memory of Maureen
16 trees have been planted in memory of Maureen McIlwain
LG

Louise Gadbois

Posted at 08:20am
In memory of my dear dear friend Maureen with profound sadness. Love to Leslie, Aaron, Mischa and to all the family.

3 trees were planted in the memory of Maureen McIlwain

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BP

Baristas at Starbucks Parkedale

Posted at 01:14pm
Leslie, Our hearts go out to your and your family! Sending all our love!
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Maureen McIlwain — Plant a Tree Now
TJ

Trish Johnson

Posted at 06:03pm
This is so sad. I'll miss Maureen. She was a kind-hearted and thoughtful friend. We had wonderful conversations driving to various rug hooking events and art galleries.
I'

Ian Smith, BHS '68

Posted at 05:52pm
It is with great sadness I learned of Maureen's passing. I have known Maureen since her Beaconsfield high school(BHS) days and touched base over the years while she was in St Andrews and enjoying her many BHS reunions. She was a person who truly made the world a better place. RIP. Ian Smith BHS '68
TP

Tim Piggott

Posted at 09:24am
Our deepest sympathies during your time of loss, our thoughts/prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

Your friends at EY PEP
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