At Saint John, New Brunswick on April 21st, Phoebe Anne (nee Freeman) Magee, in her 97th year, with her loving daughters Willa (Ed Cayer) and Margot (Lee Sackett) by her side.
Predeceased by her beloved husband Allan and son Brian, she is survived by her half-brother Claude Freeman, her grandchildren Luke (Marie Eriksson) and Christiane, step-grandchildren Andrew and Tara, and great-grandchildren Sebastian, Max, Henry, Tilja, Ina, and her extended family.
Born in Vancouver on October 27, 1920, Phoebe grew up in Montreal and was educated at Trafalgar School for Girls and King’s Hall, Compton. She studied art at Sir George Williams College early in the Second World War before joining the RCAF Women’s Division and was posted overseas as an Intelligence officer with #6 RCAF Bomber Group in Yorkshire. Allan was in the Royal Canadian Regiment and they were married in a little church near the bomber station in 1944.
Only after the war – and three children – did she start to paint again which she continued to do into her 90s. A committed volunteer all her life, her proudest accomplishment, along with Allan and a small group of friends, was the founding of the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery which recently celebrated its 60th anniversary. When they moved from Montreal to Saint Andrews in the late 1960s her own painting revolved around the town’s early architecture.
She and her first friend in Saint Andrews, Sandy Smith, both founding members of the Saint Andrews Civic Trust, wrote and illustrated The Saint Andrews Heritage Handbook, which is still in use. Many years later she had great fun with Shirley Downey illustrating her children’s book of poetry for the Born to Read programme.
Always a wide-ranging reader she was chairman of the Ross Memorial Library. She was a co-founder of the Fundy Community Foundation and Hospice of Charlotte and chair or board member of many other organizations including the New Brunswick Museum as their first female president. In 2017, she was the recipient of the Governor-General’s Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.
Above all, Phoebe was a wonderful and inspirational wife, mother and grandmother; bright, engaged, warm, generous and strong through good times as well as sad ones. Greatly loved by her family, she also kept the friends of her childhood and continued to make new ones of all ages throughout her long life. Always living in the present, she relished a lively discussion about what was happening in the world. She loved to travel, learn new things, serve her community and enjoy each day as it came, especially if it included a walk around “the Point”, no matter what the weather, with her wonderful friends in the walking group.
The family would like to thank Dr. Lesley Pinder, Dr. Sayeda Mohiuddin and Dr. Julia Wildish for their care and concern for Mum over the years. Many thanks to all the staff and residents at Parkland Saint John for their many kindnesses.
A memorial service will be held at All Saints Anglican Church, King Street, Saint Andrews on Wednesday, April 26th at 2:00 pm. Reception at the Anglican Church Hall following the memorial service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Fundy Community Foundatioon (Brian Eric Magee Fund), 45 Elizabeth Street, Saint Andrews, New Brunswick, E5B 3S7 or to the charity of your choice. Online condolences or donations can be made at www.humphreysfh.com.
Humphreys Funeral Home in care of arrangements.