Margrit Mary Marion “Grandma 2” 1922 - 2010
Margrit Mary Marion was born on July 4, 1922 in Lethbridge Alberta. Margrit was the first born child to Leslie and Mary Ann Racine from Southern Alberta. Margrit’s only sibling Pearl, followed 7 years later.
Margrit Marion was commonly known by all of her friends as Margo. But to her family, she was affectionately known as “Grandma Two”. As a young child, Margo traveled with her parents during the construction of the Northern Alberta Railroad in the late 1920’s. Her parents wanted to ensure that she was continuing her education and so they enrolled Margo in schools along the way such as Hythe and Beaverlodge. The Racine Family eventually arrived in the Dawson Creek area in 1930 and began to settle into a rural family life.
In 1933 at the age of 11 Margo’s childhood changed when her mother passed away in the old St. Josephs hospital of Dawson Creek. Margo’s sister Pearl went to live with Mrs. Edwards, who was fondly known as Aunt Kate, while Margo was sent to the Convent in Peace River. While at the Convent Margo received vocal instruction from the nuns and how to read and play music from the Convents groundskeeper.
In 1934 at the age of twelve, while performing a solo at the Convent’s Mass service, a manager from the Edmonton radio station CFCA heard Margo sing. The manager arranged for Margo to audition for a 15 min Radio program in Edmonton, when she got the job Margo became known to the radio as “Texas Rose”. While in Edmonton Margo went to live with her uncle Pete. During her years as a radio personality the station held a contest to see if the listening audience could guess Margo’s age. When the results came in her listening fans believed Margo to be somewhere between 20 and 35 years of age, but of course at the time, she was only 12. When Margo was 15 she returned to live with her father at the st. Georges ranch in Goodfare Alberta and began to learn a ranchers way of life.
At 17 she traveled back to Dawson Creek to be with her sister Pearl who was now 10 and still living with Mrs. Edwards. Margo found a job at the local general store and while working there met the love of her life Morris Pearson, better known as “Tiny”. In the early 1940’s Margo and Tiny ventured to Vancouver along with another couple to take-on the challenges a new and exciting future. With the motor vehicle technology of the times, you can only imagine there were a few mishaps along the way.
One story Margo loved to tell, was when their car began overheating and they had no water for the radiator, plan B, was for Tiny to pee into the reservoir. As legend has it, the radiator never leaked another drop.
When Margo arrived in Vancouver, she lived at a local boarding house until Margo and Tiny were married in December of 1941.By the time they arrived in Vancouver, the war was in full swing. Tiny was building war ships at the docks, while Margo was at home preparing for the birth of her twins. Unfortunately for the family, only one of the twins survived, Margo’s only daughter, Morine. While in the Vancouver hospital, the nurses came to ask Margo if she would mind donating her extra milk to another families baby, as the mother had no milk and the baby was starving. Being the person she was, Margo jumped at the chance to help out another mother. After Margo left the hospital with Morine, Tiny got involved and everyday he delivered bottles to the hospital on his way to work, Tiny became known as the milkman. While they were living in a boat house, In North Vancouver and when Morine was 3, the family decided to foster two young boys for a period of approx. 3 years.
In 1948 Margo and Tiny began work on their new home in the North Vancouver, Deep Cove area which took several years to complete, as Tiny would not take on a mortgage to finish the project. Thru Margo and Tiny’s friends the McCormicks, she met a man named Tex, who then taught Margo how to play the wooden steel lap guitar, which renewed her interests in music. Thru Tex Margo also met Chief Dan George and numerous other musicians where she was invited to perform benefit concerts. The concerts were organized to raise money to build a catholic church on the Burrard Indian reserve, the church being completed in 1953.
During her time working with the Native community, Margo met a lot of the local women and realized that they did not know how to properly carry out the decorative bead work. So Margo got involved and taught them her techniques, today the band is widely known for their beautiful costume work. The relationships that she built at that time would last all her life and continued to be a source of pleasured remembrance.
Margo and Tiny were avid hunters and during one trip back to the peace country they decided to travel the new, John Hart highway which unfortunately was not paved or even gravelled passed 100 hundred mile house junction. The summer of 1952 was a wet year and getting thru the swails in the road took a great effort from them both. At one point Margo remembered getting out of the car, pulling her pants up to her hips wading into the mud to guide Tiny thru the ruts of the road.
After arriving in Pouce Coupe, they took Morine out to Doe River to visit Russel and Minnie Albright and that is when at Ten years old, Morine met her future husband Jack Albright for the first time. Morine also met her Pearson half brothers and sister for the first time, for Margo had always considered them proudly as her own. Morine and Jack were married in 1964 in North Vancouver and they moved back to the farm in Doe River to start their lives together. Jack and Morine had two girls Alana in 1966 and Nadine in 1970. In late 1970, the decision to move to the peace country and the selling of their home had been started when Tiny got ill and passed away in April of 1971. Margo followed thru on their plans and moved in May of that same year and laid Tiny to rest in the Rolla cemetary.
After moving back to Dawson Margo became reacquainted with her childhood friend Bernard Marion. They later married, and after a lengthy illness Bernard passed away peacefully at their home. Margo continued to be active in her community and the Royal Canadian Legion was one of her memorable interests. Being that Margo’s father and husband were both veterans, it cleared the way for her to become an associate member. Margo held numerous volunteer positions including a liaison officer for the air cadets’ squadron 353, which was by far her favourite position.
In 1972 the not so famous music group “The Auroras” grew out of Jack and Morine’s back yard when Margo, Morine and their neighbour Karen decided to get together and jam. The first gig they played was for the legion zone meeting. This was to be the first of many, and as their popularity grew they needed a new name and MARGOS Northern Lights were born. Over the years many musicians came and went but her love for the music remained until her bands retirement in 1980.
In 1986 Margo bought a hair salon and named it Chez Maries which Margo, Morine and Alana worked in until it was sold in 2000. On the odd occasion, you may have even caught Jack washing some young widow’s hair.
Margo’s first great grandchild Kyle was born in 1989 and was getting confused at the amount of grandmothers that he had in his small world, so he came up with the title of grandma “2”. Margo proudly took on the name and told anyone who would listen the story of her new handle.
Margo uprooted her trailer one more time to Jack and Morine’s acreage in 1998. At 76 she was still very active and wanted to travel but not without her family. Jack being a truck driver was always on a schedule, so Margo bought a new mobile unit, A Winnebago. This enabled her to sleep as late as she wanted without driving Jack crazy trying to get her out of bed.
Margo is predeceased by her beloved husband Tiny Pearson and Bernard Marion.Her sister Pearl Martel, and step children Charlie, Morris and Melvin Pearson.She will be fondly remembered by her family Morine and Jack Albright. Her granddaughters:Alana and Billy Copeland and their children, Bailey, Brooke and Wyatte. Nadine and Michael Pace and their children, Kyle, Braydon and Jesse. Her step children Clifford Pearson and Lenore Keyes (Pearson).
Being the woman that she was, kind, compassionate, head strong, always there, a person that would share with you her opinion good or indifferent, but would be there to support you in any capacity in times of need. Margo will be missed by her family, her friends and all that she knew, for there will only ever be, one Grandma “2”.
Margo leaves behind to mourn her; daughter, Morine (Jack) Albright; step-son, Clifford Pearson; Step-daughter, Lenore Keyes; grandchildren, Alana (Billy) Copeland, Nadine (Michael) Pace, and 16 step-grandchildren; great-grandchildren, Bailie, Brooke and Wyatte Copeland, Kyle, Braydon and Jesse Pace; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Margo was predeceased by her husbands; Morris Pearson and Bernard Marion.
A Funeral Mass was held on Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at the Notre Dame Roman Catholic Church in Dawson Creek, British Columbia.