Cherished Amherstburg resident passes away at 97

 

By Jolene Perron

 

Margaret Squire had many accomplishments during her life, from teacher to author and more, and her loss is being felt by the Amherstburg community.

Well-known as an English teacher at General Amherst High School, where she taught for 21 years, Squire had a passion for Shakespeare and the art of literature. She touched many lives, much of it due to her passion for life.

Squire was an immigrant from Austria-Hungary, which her children John Philip Squire and Wilma Peters explained became Romania the day after she was born due to the Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War One. When she immigrated to Canada at 9-years-old, she could speak German, Hungarian and Romanian and her first area of business was to learn English. Peters said she continued to speak German and English fluently all her life.

Margaret Squire passed away Dec. 20 at the age of 97. Squire led an accomplished life and spent the last few years of her life as a resident of Seasons Amherstburg. (Submitted photo)

“She loved the English language and as a teacher, she tried to infuse that into her students,” said Peters. “Shakespeare was her passion and she made it come alive in her classes.  She also genuinely cared for each and every one of her students, and if they needed anything, whether it be about school or personally, she was there for them.  It was fun for us as her children to also have her as a teacher.”

John described her as “a life-long student” and “a loving mother of three children, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.” She was also a world traveler, having visited more than 85 countries and lost count. She published her stories about travel in two hard-cover books, “Globe Trotting Granny,” and “Globe Trotting Great-Granny.”

“(She was) a kind and caring role model for all of us on how to live a fulfilling life for almost 98 years,” said John. “As her only son, I carry her with me every day of my life. Her focus on English and the English language, her fourth language, spurred me into a major in university English, a brief stint as an English teacher and a 40-year career as a newspaper journalist, now based in Kelowna, British Columbia.”

In what John called her “long and productive retirement,” Squire would travel the world, joking she was “spending their inheritance” by doing so. Her children would tell her to spend it all, and leave them with great memories when she passed. After Squire’s husband passed, she began taking her children with her on her trips. Peters explained she had a map of the world and would mark every country she visited. According to Peters her only regret would be not visiting the Antarctic, which was the only continent she didn’t get to see.

“Her other retirement pleasure was auditing courses at the University of Windsor,” said Peters. “ She would take two courses every fall session and two courses in the spring.  These would range from history to geology to psychology to women’s studies and so on.  She also enjoyed attending University Players’ and Windsor Light Opera productions.  Of course, there was many a trip to Stratford to see its plays.”

Margaret Squire decorated her door at Seasons Retirement Home, as seen in this 2014 photo.

Eventually, Peters said Squire moved into Seasons Amherstburg were she got involved in the numerous activities, participated in the outings and even was involved with the residents’ council. Squire was well-known throughout Seasons for decorating her apartment door in accordance with the season, as well as being able to pick up four-leaf clovers nearly every time she walked outside. She was chosen as the recipient for Seasons’ Remarkable Resident for a life well-spent in 2013.

“When I returned to southern Ontario every other Christmas, I immersed myself in her busy social life at Seasons Amherstburg, from meeting all her friends to competing in horse racing, bingo, trivia contests and card games,” said John. “Even though I became a wordsmith like her, she could always beat me in a friendly game of Scrabble. And everyone I met, from dozens of former students to her new friends, they always sang her praises. It’s no wonder that she was awarded the University of Windsor’s Clark Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service in 2004. No wonder she was named Seasons’ Remarkable Resident in 2013. No wonder she could find so many four-leaf clovers every time she went for a walk. She led the luckiest life of anyone I’ve ever met. Two lifetimes in fact, judging by my experience and now, through her obituary.”

Margaret Squire has her photo taken with Santa Claus (Submitted photo)

Squire will remain a role model for everyone whose lives she touched to live life the fullest every day. As her obituary reads, “no tears, celebrate!” as her final request, she asks everyone “to rejoice with her on her last trip.”

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