Margaret Louise McCormack-Sosnkowski
May 16, 1935 - January 12, 2020
Ruel McCormack of Point DeRoche Prince Edward Island and his wife Monica had ten brilliant, beautiful, firecracker daughters. All Ruel’s girls, and his six sons, too, would likely agree that daughter #7, Margaret aka Peggy, Pegals, Pegaloon, was the most intrepid. The lesson Peggy forever conveyed was that life should be interesting. Don’t say why, say why not! was her reflex response to any potential adventure. From her family farm to school in town, from PEI to Edmonton, from Canada to Europe, Margaret was the opposite of a (damn) naysayer.
If Peggy’s greatest goal of all was to be deeply loved – mission accomplished. Her husband Tony adored her. Deine Tony he signed his countless shamelessly schmaltzy cards, for they’d met in Hemer, Germany, on one of her early adventures working at a Canadian military base school. Tony’s many postings followed: Montreal, Kingston, Petawawa (that one hurt), Ottawa, London, UK, Bonn, Germany, Toronto, then retirement back on the Island. Creating Christmas no matter where for daughter Louisa and son Andrew, skiing, gallery hopping, treasure collecting, pizza restaurant collecting, riding the diplomatic whirl, Peggy made the most of everything.
An inveterate learner – Peggy filled countless notebooks with Italian grammar and French history, boned up on opera, laughed at Shakespeare, set her clock by CBC radio. An avid teacher literally – of French to little kids; she was their lively Madame who brought them carrot sticks when she worried they were hungry, who got a Garage Sale Commando pin from her beloved sister Teresa in honour of the way she’d go on the hunt for classroom games and toys, and socks for their little feet. Peggy’s inner-city students won citywide French prizes. At home where they had her to themselves, Louisa and son Andrew never went without books, art supplies, museum visits. There were excursions galore for Andrew and his wife Rebecca’s children, Sean, Bianca and Claire, on their many summer holidays to Brackley Beach.
The kind of person who loves babies, birds, the cats who hunt the birds, shaggy dogs, shaggy dog stories, cryptic crosswords, tea cosies of interminable vintage, family sayings, arch quotations, cheersing her sisters with Labatts Blue in a wine glass, making frittatas for brunches, casseroles for the overwhelmed, chowder at New Years, pitching in, having her say, giving hell when warranted. We could go on. Little sister Joan’s biscuits, Persian rugs from auctions, 19th century engravings from teensy antique shops, Saks Fifth Avenue cashmere, Froggy’s cashmere, driving her little red pickup truck to the symphony wearing her pumps and pearls ideally for some Beethoven, seats with extra legroom for a jaunt to the continent with meticulous Tony, conducting Handel’s Messiah with a wooden spoon. Nieces and nephews with big plans and hearts. Notes from her daughter. Calls from her son. Her husband’s hand in hers, pulling him to her for her goodnight kiss.
That pert tilt of the head, those cheekbones for miles, that ultimate desire to help. Intelligence that served her come what may. What sweet dreams we wish to Margaret Louise McCormack-Sosnkowski. She died peacefully, a culmination of the fastidious, gentle care she always received at Atlantic Baptist Home. Louisa, her cherished sisters Mary and Rita, devoted niece Janice, and wonderful friend of these last ten years, Patricia Roberts, were at Margaret’s side.
A memorial service will be held in the summer at St. Andrew’s Church in Mount Stewart. In lieu of donations please do something good for a school that means something special to you.
Arrangements entrusted to MacLean Funeral Home Swan Chapel. Online condolences may be made at www.macleanfh.com