Margarete Emminghaus was born in Germany on January 1, 1923 and passed away peacefully at Birchmere Manor in Orillia on April 13, 2019 in her 97th year.
Ms Emminghaus lived a long, fruitful and fulfilling life that she dedicated to the care, support and service of her family, to the communities in which she lived , and to her United Church faith communities. She was a talented sewer and knitter; a prize-winning photographer; a world-wide traveller; an early adopter of reduce, reuse, recycle; a lover of the natural world; and a woman who quietly lived her Christian faith every day.
Ms Emminghaus is survived by her sister Christa Buitenhuis and by five nieces and nephews and their families. She was predeceased by her sister Hilda Waugh in 2018. Her family will miss her as the family history and story keeper and will continue to honour and respect the values that she lived by and that she made evident in all her relationships -her generosity, her strength & resolve, her determination, and her life-long mission to serve others before herself.
Ms Emminghaus immigrated to Canada, to the New Liskeard area, with her family in the spring of 1930. In Germany she had attended school for one year and was the first in her family to learn English after arriving. She remembers that on her first day of school in Canada she learned three words, 'dress', 'pencil' and 'book' and went right home to teach these words to her sisters and parents. Throughout her childhood and young adult years she assisted her family by being the translator with the outside world, neighbours, stores, government agencies, schools, customs agents and so forth. Once she started to earn money in 1939 she helped to support her younger sisters so that they could obtain high school and post-secondary education. During this time she also financially assisted her parents as needed.
Very early on Ms Emminghaus was clear about, and focused on, her desire to work and serve within the church. To that end after completing a two year high school commercial course, she found work with a firm in New Liskeard in 1939. After eight years at Hill-Clark-Francis Ltd, spent working, saving and supporting her sisters through their schooling, Ms Emminghaus finally had
enough money saved to afford one year at Alma College in St Thomas- one year in which she had to earn eleven high school credits so she could graduate with a Senior Matriculation and thereby qualify for admission to the United Church Training School. During this year, not only did she carry a very heavy course load, she also worked in the school's book and snack shop to earn money to help pay her expenses. At the end of this successful year, (where she earned a Governor General's Medal for her academic performance), she returned to Hill-Clark-Francis in New Liskeard. She worked two more years until she had saved enough money to afford the two-year course at the United Church Training School in Toronto, which prepared her for lay leadership in Christian Education.
Ms Emminghaus graduated from the Training School in 1952 and her first appointment - from 1952-1953 - was as a port worker at Pier 21 in Halifax, N.S. From 1953 to 1957 she was appointed as the Director of Christian Education and church secretary at First United Church in Corner Brook, Nfld. From 1957 - 1962 she was appointed as the Director of Christian Education at George St United Church in Peterborough, On. From 1962 - 1966 she was appointed as one of three persons on the Maritime Conference Christian field staff and was located in Sackville, New Brunswick. From 1966 - 1970 she was appointed as Girls Work Secretary for the Board of Christian Education of the United Church of Canada in Toronto. Her last appointment, from 1970 to her retirement in 1988, was at the Centre for Christian Studies in Toronto.
Her retirement years from 1988 to 1996 were spent in Toronto and in continued volunteer service to TUCERR house and to Deer Park United Church. As well, she was a help and a support for two of her neighbours in their declining years.
In 1996 she moved to Orillia and continued to be active in her faith community at St Paul’s United Church, volunteering, making new friends, being active, taking trips, and translating and collating family history. She always had a project or two on the go and always took the bus or walked everywhere at a good fast clip.
Recognizing that her health was declining she moved into Birchmere Manor in 2014 and resided there until her passing. The family wishes to thank the staff of Birchmere and Dr Lowry for their kindnesses and compassionate care over the years. Staff from Happy at Home shared her last years and their visits were treasured by her. As she often said "it is so good to have a real friend who cares".
The family is gratified that in her last years she received the same kind of care and compassion that she had given to so many people for so many years. A good life, well lived.
A brief memorial service, followed by refreshments, will be held June 23 from 12 noon to 2 pm in the Parlour at St. Paul's United Church, Orillia. A private family interment will take place at a later date.
Memorial donations to St. Paul’s United Church-Orillia through the Simcoe Funeral Home, 38 James St. E. Orillia ON