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Publication: Globe and Mail, The
Issue: 4 June 2009, page L10
Title: Hilda MacMinn (Lives Lived)
Web Link: link
Wife, stepmother, mother, grandmother, gracious hostess, charity worker, dog lover. Born Jan. 24, 1910, in Montreal. Died Nov. 22, 2008, in Toronto after a series of strokes, aged 98.
From Thursday's Globe and Mail, Thursday, Jun. 04, 2009 09:43AM EDT
Hilda McGlashan Stark White Logan MacMinn arrived, not in a hospital, but in Montreal's Linton Apartments to Norman and Florence Stark. A sister, Martha, arrived 2½ years later. Their lives seemed uneventful until their preteen years, when they walked home from Sunday school as the police were notifying Florence that Norman had been hit by a train while skiing. Not only did they lose their father but their mother became deaf for months.
The family no longer had any source of income, forcing a move to Toronto to live with the girls' grandmother. Florence met a man in the investment business and when the girls were 11½ and 14 years old, she married Arthur White, who later adopted them and gave them his name and a whole new lifestyle. They moved into his mansion in Rosedale, equipped with a butler named Davenport.
The Whites decided to send the girls off to finishing school in different countries, Hilda to Switzerland and Martha to France. They were away from home for more than two years, with no communication except letters sent by ship.
There were many suitors in Hilda's life, and one to whom she was engaged for three years. At her parents' request she broke off that engagement. She later met a widower, Sydney Logan, who was 29 years her senior and had a daughter and son, Frances and Beatty, almost her age. After marrying in 1935, they became her family and focus. A daughter, Anne, arrived in 1948.
The Logans entertained, travelled and cottaged. Whether being presented to royalty in designer gowns or salmon fishing in hip waders, Hilda was always elegant and gracious. Throughout the war years she used her nursing training to volunteer daily at the blood donor clinic.
Logie died in 1953, leaving Hilda a young widow. She sold the house and the cottage, and did not reconsider cottaging until 1967, when she and Anne took on an unfinished place in Bolsover, Ont., which they fixed up year by year. For Hilda, a cottage meant guests - nothing was fun unless you could share it with others.
At 79, Hilda was present for the cutting of the umbilical cord of her first grandchild. She had to take her driver's test at 80 and was overjoyed to pass: When she obtained her first licence, she didn't even have to take a test.
The sad part about longevity is that Hilda lived to bury many of her immediate family, and all of her lifelong friends.
Hilda was best known for always considering others before herself, even when ill. But she preferred to be remembered for the fact that "I still have all my own teeth."
Anne M. Logan is Hilda's daughter.