September 19, 1942 - September 26, 2023
It is with profound sadness that the family of Margaret Mullen (nee Gibney) of Campbell River, BC, announces her peaceful passing on September 26, 2023, surrounded by her devoted family.
Margaret was born on September 19, 1942, the second eldest of five children in Coventry, England, to parents Thomas and Mary Gibney. Margaret was predeceased by her husband, Mathew Mullen, her parents, and her sister, Jean Wynne. Left to mourn her passing are her beloved children, daughters Jacqueline and Marie (Mike Scott) and son Andrew (Sophie); grandchildren Claire and Kevin Allgaier and Madeleine and Tess Mullen; great-grandson Tré Allgaier; brothers Andrew (Colette) and James (Kathleen); and sister Kate (Barb), as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and family friends.
Margaret met and married Matt in Coventry, England, in September 1962. In 1964, together with baby daughter Jacqueline, they immigrated to Canada, settling first in Uranium City, Saskatchewan. In early 1967, Matt and Margaret moved their young family to Fort McMurray, AB, which now included son Andrew, who was just ten days old. Their daughter, Marie, arrived in May of the following year. Matt and Margaret's love of their new homeland inspired many other family members to immigrate to Canada. Life was full of family gatherings, celebrations, graduations, weddings, and travels. A strong matriarch, Margaret instilled the importance of family and fostered personal relationships with each member. She was a loving, devoted, fun, inspirational mother, grandmother, and GG.
Although Margaret was born in England, she proudly identified and celebrated her Irish heritage. Margaret began her Irish dancing career as a young girl and pursued it passionately for the remainder of her life. She began teaching at the age of 16 in Coventry, England, and then established the Tara School of Irish Dancing in Fort McMurray, AB, Kamloops, BC, and Campbell River, BC. Margaret earned her TCRG and ADCRG in 1975 and Grade Examiner certification in 2010 from the Irish Dance Commission (CLRG) in Dublin, Ireland. The Tara School of Irish Dancing competed throughout Western Canada, producing champions in solo and team dancing, and were among the first dancers to represent Western Canada at the World Championships in Ireland. More recently, Margaret focused on community performances and show productions. Margaret adjudicated Feiseanna (Irish dance competitions) nationally and internationally. She was particularly fond of traditional Ceili dances and was known for providing thoughtful and genuine feedback to help individual dancers improve their style and technique during grade exams. She was one of the founding teachers who brought Irish dancing to Western Canada. Margaret was honoured to receive the Gradam Award in 2010 and was recognized by CLRG as a "Legend of Irish Dancing in Canada" at the World Championships hosted in Montreal in 2015. Although Margaret had many outstanding achievements in the world of Irish dance, she stayed true to her mission to impart her knowledge of and passion for Irish culture while encouraging her dancers to strive for excellence and to dance for the joy of dancing.
Friends and family will remember Margaret for her beautiful smile, kindness and generosity, strong work ethic, sharp wit, and fabulous sense of humour. A timeless beauty, she was known for her elegance, grace, and distinct stylish fashion.
Margaret's family thanks the doctors, nurses, and staff of North Island Hospital Campbell River & District and Dr. Chad Malloff for their kindness and compassionate care during her recent illness. Heartfelt thanks to Margaret's beloved friends, Joan Levett and Linda Payne, for their unconditional love, friendship, and support. Thanks also to Fathers Jan Grotkowski and Mel Bayron and St. Patrick's Parish for providing spiritual guidance and community in Margaret's life.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Patrick's Church, 34 South Alder St., Campbell River, BC, on Saturday, October 7, at 11 a.m. A reception will follow at Painter's Lodge at 1 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, friends and family who wish to remember Margaret can donate in her memory to the BC Cancer Foundation: In Memory of Margaret Mullen.