Margaret Buchan Waters

April 24, 1919 ~ June 17, 2020 (age 101)


Died peacefully on June 17, 2020 in Ottawa, after a remarkable life that spanned over 101 years. Margaret was born Margaret Ritchie on April 24, 1919, in Rosehearty, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Although she immigrated to Canada with her husband, William Roberts “Roy” Waters, Margaret was forever attached to her Scottish roots. She remained very close to her younger brother Billy, who lived in their family home “The Anchorage” throughout his life, and she kept in touch with her nephew Graham and his family after her brother’s death. Margaret studied Chemistry at the University of Aberdeen graduating in 1941 with a BSc in Science. She moved to Salisbury, in England, to work as a research chemist. It was there that she met her beloved Roy, also a research chemist and they married on August 6, 1942. After the war Margaret & Roy moved to Canada and settled in Ottawa. They both worked for the Department of National Defence. Margaret would continue there until her retirement, while Roy eventually moved to the Department of Health. They retired in the same year, and then spent many happy winters and springs in the 1970s and 1980s in Spain and then Portugal. Travelling was one of their many interests. Margaret and Roy did not have children of their own but were welcomed as integral members of the family of their great friends, Joan and Jack Coyne, also of Ottawa. They shared in all aspects of the lives of the five Coyne children. Indeed, the Coynes cannot recall any important family event or celebration that did not involve Uncle Roy and Auntie Margaret, who were a constant source of support, advice, and above all friendship, over many many years. Margaret was lively, intelligent, engaging, and full of energy. She was a voracious reader and a great listener and could hold her own on any topic from history and politics, to art, to literature (especially poetry), even sports. Her good friends Don and Isabelle Montgomery remember how much she enjoyed attending Senators hockey games well into her nineties. Until Margaret reluctantly conceded to the exigencies of age, she continued to live in their long-time residence on Nanaimo Drive after Roy’s death in 1996. On any given day, she would be out walking, or travelling all over Ottawa on OC Transpo (she refused to drive!), often popping into a nearby McDonalds or Tim Hortons for a coffee while shopping. She continued doing her own taxes until her late nineties. Margaret had a special love of animals – she and Roy were adoptive parents to a wide range of cats, from Putt-Putt to Monty, who regularly travelled with them to Spain and Portugal after retirement. Indeed, when she finally moved out of her home into an apartment at age 93, she chose the location immediately when she learned that there were over thirty dogs and owners in the building! During her time there, she was well-known for spending time in the lobby meeting the various dogs and chatting with their owners.

Margaret Waters approached her later years with fortitude and grace and was delighted to receive a letter from the Queen on her 100th birthday. She will be remembered with love, and as a kind, thoughtful, and generous friend to many. Condolences and tributes may be made at www.tubmanfuneralhomes.com.


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