Marion Hart, a lifetime resident of the Chesterville area, passed away at Winchester District Memorial Hospital on Wed., April 25, 2012, following a brief illness. She was 86.
Marion was born at the family farm in Gallingertown on Nov. 15, 1925 –the youngest of three children born to John Montgomery McConnell and Beatrice Higgins. She was the sister of Roy and Charlie McConnell.
She attended Gallingertown Public School and began work at the age of 15. She worked for several area families for some time, before joining the housekeeping staff of the Ballantyne Farm at Colquhoun in the early 1940s. While there, she met a young farm worker by the name of Roy Hart, and eventually they were married in 1942.
Roy’s parents, Ernest and May Hart, had bought a small farm nearby. In the first year of marriage, Roy and Marion owned a Jersey cow and they’d walk daily to the Hart farm to do chores, milk the cow, separate cream for sale, and then walk back to Ballantyne’s for work there. In 1943, they moved to the Hart farm and began their dairy farming life — the family home where Marion would live for the next 70 years.
Marion and Roy raised three children, Mark born in 1944, Brenda born in 1950, and Lee in 1951. In the early ’50s Marion worked for a brief time at Gillard’s Grocery Store in Chesterville, and then stayed home to raise the family.
In the late ’50s work began on developing the St. Lawrence Seaway. The Harts took in three boarders during the construction years. In 1961, Marion was offered a temporary, two-week job as a guide at a new tourist attraction known as Upper Canada Village, which was developed as part of the Seaway project. The rest as they say was history, as that began a 30-year career for Marion at the Village — five years as a guide, and 25 years as craftsperson in the spinning and weaving department in the McDermid House. Her 30 years at the Village were a tremendous opportunity for Mom to develop a wide range of skills and talents, meet a whole community of people, and develop many life long friendships.
After retirement, she and Roy never slowed down, were always involved in the community, were active visiting friends and relatives, enjoying bus trips and travel, and spending time with a growing family of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She was an active member of Colquhoun United Church, and later Williamsburg United Church, as well as the United Church Women. For many years, she was also an active member of the Carmen Forward Weavers Guild.
Marion is survived by her children, Brenda Hart (Walter Conrad) of Carp, and Lee (Angie) of Calgary, her daughter-in-law, Connie Hart of RR# 1 Chesterville, her sister-in-law, Keitha McConnell of Iroquois, her grandchildren, Chris (Dawn) Hart, Debbie (Dwayne) Pirie, Greg Hess (Jackie Schultz), Shannon Hess, Amanda Hess, Allison Hart (Ryan Ellis), and Nathan Hart (Kenna Morris), and her great-grandchildren, Jasmine Hess, Madison Hart, and Dylan and Austin Pirie. She was predeceased by her husband, Roy, her son, Mark, and her brothers, Charles and Roy McConnell. She is also survived by a nephew, Kevin McConnell.
Friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home in Williamsburg on Sun., April 29 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 pm. The funeral service was held at Willliamsburg United Church on Mon., April 30 at 11 am with Rev. Ralph Taylor officiating, followed by interment at Maple Ridge Cemetery in Chesterville. The pallbearers were Chris Hart, Allison Hart, Greg Hess, Nathan Hart, Shannon Hess, and Amanda Hess.
Donations to the Williamsburg United Church or Winchester District Memorial Hospital would be gratefully acknowledged by the family.
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