Brooks, Margaret Constance (“Connie,” “our Con”), age 87 years, F.J Davey Home, Sault Ste. Marie, Saturday, April 5, 2014.
Wife to Lloyd Brooks for 59 years, mother of Philip (St. John’s, Newfoundland), Margaret Barbeau (Paul, Sault Ste. Marie) and Diane Brooks (Bill Derus, Thorndale, Ontario). Loving grandmother of Andrew and Rachelle Barbeau (Sault Ste. Marie) and Jane Brooks (St. John’s). Connie was born in Thornaby, England, daughter of Joseph and Nellie Houston Whitehead, and into a close family whom despite grinding poverty were held together by love, wit and laughter. Predeceased by brothers Charlie and Joe and sister Edna, all of England. Sister of Rita Hunter, Gananoque, Ontario. Sister-in-law to Eva and Jack, and Lorna and Albert Brooks.
Connie worked for an optometrist in England for several years, performing his work when he was absent, a fact that surfaced years later, surprising siblings Philip and Diane, then optometrists. After living in London, England where she continued a passion for dance, Connie boarded a tramp steamer of the Furness Withy Lines, landing in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and ultimately Pier 21, Halifax. Connie traveled into a new life in Sault Ste. Marie, home of her cousin Doreen Gooderham. Connie worked in the payroll department, Algoma Steel, becoming a member of the Minstrel Show including Chirper Wilson. Connie met Lloyd several years later on a blind date and they were married in 1954.
Connie, though relaxed, put every minute of her day to purpose, beyond the usual chores, spending her time gardening, baking, sewing, berry-picking, and making jams, preserves, and terrific pies. She was a prolific and discerning reader, letter-writer, and loved the challenge of crossword puzzles. She often backpacked or cycled for groceries and recycled decades before such things were fashionable. Lunches for school were inserted inside washed liter milk bags, themselves inside used bread bags and fastened with bread bag ties. Lunches included home baking and produce from her organic, composted garden when in season, the final resting place for all tea bags. Clothes were dried on the clothesline, frozen pants often standing up inside until thawed.
Connie enjoyed simplicity, which included observing nature. She was enthralled by the way animals solved problems often relating stories based on keen observations. She had a quick wit and a sharp mind, always able to put her finger on the most efficient and organized ways of doing things. She was austere and selective in her approach to television. She enjoyed certain comedies and it wasn’t uncommon the next day for her to recite all of the jokes. She loved travel and family. Connie passionately worked years as adjudicator’s assistant, Kiwanis Music Festival, often recalling participant names and scores. She volunteered at the Art Gallery of Algoma, teaching fitness to seniors and Meals on Wheels. Connie was part of a group they called the “card ladies,” close friends for fifty years (Eva, Anne, Sheila, Una, Anita, Rita, Diane). Independent of that she was an active bridge player.
Summers were spent at our Pine Shores, Goulais Bay camp, a spiritual place for her. She would start her visit on the beach, eyes closed, inhaling the fresh air with a smile. Connie actively enjoyed hiking, berry-picking, swimming, thoroughly enjoying the simple surround and wildlife.
“I live a charmed life,” “I’m a positive thinker,” and “I have a lovely family,” were Connie’s genuinely and softly spoken, characterizations of her life. She had no time for negativity, always seeing the bright side of things. She had a deep appreciation for live theatre and music which she attended frequently. Material things were unimportant to Connie. “If there’s anything I want, your father would buy it for me, but there’s nothing more I want. I have everything. I have my family.”
Friends and interested acquaintances are invited to a reception to celebrate the life of Connie, at The Comfort Suites, 229 Great Northern Road, Sault Ste. Marie, Tuesday, April 8, 2014 from 4 to 8PM.
Arrangements entrusted to Northwood Funeral Home Cremation and Reception Centre.