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Publication: Gazette, The (Montreal)
Issue: 20 February 2011
Title: Last member of one of Hudson's founding families dies at 102
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OBITUARY: Last member of one of Hudson's founding families dies at 102
Marnie Clarke lived most of her year on Main Road
Sunday, February 20, 2011
The last surviving resident member of the town of Hudson's founding families has died.
Margaret Clarke died Feb. 9. She was 102.
Here is how her obituary in Saturday's Gazette read:
MARGARET (MARNIE) CLARKE Died on Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at the age of one hundred and two. Born on July 30, 1908, she was the last surviving resident member of one of Hudson's founding families. She lived most of her long life in her family's home, Sydenham Cottage, on Main Road, Hudson, Quebec. First and foremost, she was a teacher, initially in schools in Noranda and Sorel before spending most of her career in Montreal. She developed her own curriculum to teach children of all ages with reading disabilities long before teaching specialists were trained and brought into the Quebec school system. Her generosity knew no bounds: she and her sister Amy donated most of the family farmland to the Town of Hudson, St. James' Anglican Church and to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, on one section of which is located a barn housing Le Nichoir Wild Bird Rehabilitation Centre. The new bird hospital which is to be built on the latter site will be one of the most important such hospitals, not only in Canada, but internationally. Marnie was famous for her flower gardens which were featured in a full-color, 'coffee-table-sized' Canadian Gardens in the late 1990's. Local history was among her passions and she dedicated countless hours of service as archivist for the Anglican Parish of Vaudreuil and, in particular, St. James' Anglican Church. She and her sister, Amy, shared the farm, its horses, ponies and its pets with youngsters from near and far, often bringing children from her city school for a day of riding and lunch at the farm, enlisting Amy's regular riders to help out. She was a seamstress who could make clothes and costumes for anyone, and was very active in support of the servicemen who were based in nearby locations during WW II. She was a musician and chorister and her home was filled with music for the entertainment of family and friends on many special occasions. Marnie was an avid traveler visiting Egypt, China and Tibet, as well as most of the European countries, including Scotland to strengthen her understanding of her Scottish heritage. She is survived by her loving nephews Roderick (Marian), Donald (Anne) and David (Gail) eight great-nephews and nieces and several great, great-nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her siblings: Jean, Charles (Dorothy), Edith (William Belknap), Hope and Amy. Her family, her extended family, and her close friends are deeply grateful to the staff at Chateau sur le Lac, where she received excellent care when her health forced her to move there in 2006. Notice of her memorial service which will be in her honour this spring at St. James' Anglican Church, Hudson, Quebec will be published at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations made to St. James' Church Restoration Fund, 642 Main Road, Hudson, QC J0P 1H0 or Le Nichoir Wild Bird Rehabilitation Centre, 637 Main Road, Hudson, QC or www.lenichoir.org would be very much appreciated by her family.