In Memory of




Obituary for Margaret Alice Newton

Margaret Alice Newton
nee Etsell
August 2, 1932- August 18, 2020

Peacefully, after a long and courageous battle with cancer, Margaret passed away at her home, surrounded by family, on August 18, 2020.

Margaret entered life a little underweight but full of determination. Her parents Earl and Marjorie Etsell lived on a farm near Lenore MB, which had been in the family for nearly a century. She was the first of their four daughters and she became a leader and mentor for her sisters Marjorie, Jean and Elizabeth. On a mixed farm everyone had to play a part and looking after the young ones was often her contribution.

She and her sisters attended Hagyard, a one room rural school three miles from their home. Transportation was by cart or sled depending on the season and temperament of the pony. Their playgrounds were the ski hills and Salt Lake, a small prairie lake on their property. Beside the usual problems of farm life their house burned down in 1937, and they had to live with relatives until a new one could be built. The Etsell family has strong roots and is resilient and means were found to provide good educations for the girls.

Margaret went to Lenore School for grades 10 and 11 and to St. Michaels’ Academy in Brandon for grade 12. She was always a good student and won a gold medal and other awards for educational excellence. She trained in Brandon to become a laboratory technician and worked briefly in the laboratory in which she was trained. She then moved to Selkirk and worked in the hospital laboratory. By coincidence, at that location she was many miles closer to her future husband, Gordon.

Margaret and Gordon were married on August 7, 1954 in Virden just a few days after her 22nd birthday. Margaret transferred to the Cadham Lab. in Winnipeg and Gordon got a job teaching in St. Vital. Their son David was born in May 1957, daughter Barbara in February 1960 and daughter Kathy in March 1961. Margaret was kept very busy with the three children aged four and under. She got some respite from the Y Neighbours group, a social half-day, with other mothers.

Weaver Bay, where their new, larger home was located, had lots of young children and Margaret’s children had many playmates and made some permanent friends. Margaret was very busy at home, helping her children with homework, taking them to music lessons, Girl Guides and Scouts. When she got the opportunity, Margaret was an avid reader and she passed this trait onto her kids, getting each of them library cards at an early age.

Reluctantly Margaret had to leave her work at Cadham Lab so she could raise her children. However, she went back to Red River College when they were teenagers, to refresh her skills and qualifications as a lab technician. As usual Margaret was at the top of her class. In 1973 Margaret returned to work at the Cadham Provincial Lab working part time until she retired in 1990.

Margaret and her husband Gordon enjoyed travelling and went on many trips prior to and following their retirement. This included trips to England, France and Italy, bus tours and cruises. They really enjoyed Mesa, Arizona, and for ten years enjoyed the warmth and variety of a second summer each year. Margaret also enjoyed spending time at their cottage at Brereton Lake with family and friends, where many memories were made.

Margaret is survived by her beloved husband of 66 years, son David (Robin), daughters Barb (John) and Kathy (Larry), grandchildren Candice (Clayton), Trevor (Lesley), Michelle (Geoff), Alexandra (Gerald), Ashley (Aaron) and Mitchell (Yesenia) and great grandchildren Roman, Jaxson, Thomas and Addilyn. Margaret is also survived by her sisters Marjorie, Jean (John) and Elizabeth, and sisters-in-law Lynne and Nora. Margaret was predeceased by her brothers-in-law George, Bill, Arnold and Robert. We will all miss this kind and brave lady with the million dollar smile.

Margaret’s family wishes to thank the doctors and staff at the Victoria Hospital, Misericordia Hospital and Riverview Health Center, where Margaret received care over the past year. The family would also like to thank the staff from Home Care Assistance who provided daily comfort and care at her home and later during her hospital stays.

Regretfully, due to restrictions regarding Covid-19, a private service took place on August 28, 2020. A brief service was also held at St. Vital Cemetery afterward. A celebration of Margaret’s life will be held when circumstances permit. Visit the Neil Bardal Funeral Centre web site to view a recording of the service. Condolences can also be left on the site if you wish.