Extracts from Publications

Globe and Mail, The
20 February 2008, page L8
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February 20, 2008

Lawyer, company president, golfer, world traveller, bank director. Born March 24, 1909, in Toronto. Died Aug. 18, 2007, in Toronto of old age, aged 98.


When Marie Wilson married R.J.P. McCulloch six decades ago, our family became acquainted with a wonderful and highly educated woman who seemed a combination of fairy princess and liberated modern businesswoman.

Marie was an only child, born in Toronto to Albert Edward Wilson and Marie Trotter. Her father was founder of A.E. Wilson & Co. Ltd. She was brought up graciously at her parents' home in Rosedale, the same house where she ended her days last year.

In 1912, when she was 3, Marie's father opened her first bank account with Bank of

Nova Scotia. She would later sit on the bank's board as a director.

Marie was educated at Bishop Strachan School and went to the University of Toronto. She graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1935.

She practised civil law until her father became sick with Alzheimer's disease, thrusting the governance of his successful insurance company onto her shoulders. She became vice-president and later president upon her father's death in 1959. She rose to the challenge, successfully remaining at the company's helm until she sold it upon her retirement in the early 1980s.

Marie had numerous accomplishments throughout her life, and eventually was made a Queen's Counsel.

In her youth, she excelled in athletics. She was a keen badminton player and an avid golfer, a love that continued throughout her life.

Fluent in French, Marie was a regular visitor at Cap d'Antibes, France, and in later years spent winters in Palm Beach, Fla., at The Breakers hotel.

To our family, Marie was a refined lady who could balance the old world of her parents with the modern world of commerce and the demands of high society. She and Dr. McCulloch were married from 1948 until his death in 1954.

In 1977, Marie married Toronto lawyer Richard Sanders in Palm Beach. Marie and Dick loved to entertain, dance and take long walks through Rosedale holding hands. Every year, they hosted a neighbourhood invitational golf tournament at the nine-hole putting green they had installed on their front lawn. Any visit to their house or an invitation to one of their many private clubs almost always included champagne cocktails - Marie's signature drink.

Dick died in 2001, and Marie continued to live in her childhood home.

She had style and grace, and her loyalty, family contributions, intellect and pioneering spirit will never be forgotten. We raise our glass in honour of Marie and toast her with a champagne cocktail.

Barbara McCulloch Mitchell and Alison Smyth are Marie's relatives.