Margaret Gilchrist (Beattie) Cairns, March 13, 1937 (Glasgow, Scotland) – September 11, 2023 (Toronto, Canada), passed peacefully at age 86, holding the loving hands of her daughter. To Margaret, family was her number one joy and they will miss her dearly. Mother to Nicole (Roger) Cairns and the late John (Kelly) Cairns. Sister to the late Jessie Smith, the late Jimmy Beattie and the late Allan Beattie. Grandmother to Cameron, Quintin, Griffin and Keegan. Former wife and friend to the late John (Jack) Cairns. Grandmother in spirit to Sydney, Carson, Brendan, Nicholas and Martin.
Margaret will be remembered for her zest for life, her pure joy and laughter, her generous and giving nature, fighting for the underdog, a love of singing and dancing, a passion for travel, calling everyone “darling”, an unquenchable thirst for reading and the unwavering love she showed toward her family, especially her grandchildren.
Having come from very humble beginnings, Margaret’s strength of character and sense of adventure drove her to immigrate to Canada at age 23 and to eventually start and manage a successful travel company (Seniors Carefree Travel) with her sister Jessie. Her leadership and organization skills, intellect, bravery and charismatic personality were the perfect ingredients for this thriving venture that allowed her to share her passion for people and travelling the world. When she wasn’t touring 30 seniors around Hawaii or New Zealand (her two favourite places), you could find her reading a book on her balcony, swimming daily at the pool, taking supplies to the local children’s charity, helping a friend, organizing a community event, singing everywhere and anywhere including her quartet (The Just Four) and the Scarborough Village Singers choir, or performing in amateur theatre in Scarborough and Pickering. She loved to go out dancing several times a week, look after her grandchildren and attend all of the sporting events and activities that her children and grandchildren were involved in; nobody was cheering louder at a pee wee hockey game then Grandma.
Margaret enjoyed life to the fullest and she inspired and supported those around her to do the same. We like to think of her laughing with her son John and reuniting with her loved ones, dancing the jive with her friends, hiking the bens and lochs of Scotland and swimming in the ocean off Waikiki. Save a dance for us Mom!
Please join us for Margaret’s Celebration of Life at Leaside Retirement Residence, 14 William Morgan Drive, Toronto, on Saturday, October 14, 2023. Sharing of stories and memories to begin at 1:00 pm followed by refreshments.
Should you wish, in lieu of flowers, donations “in memory of Margaret Cairns” may be made to Sistering https://sistering.org/ (supporting the safety and well-being of women) or StepStones https://www.stepstonesforyouth.com/ (supporting youth homelessness).