Honouring the life and contributions of Margaret Ogilvie

Written by Toni Lavigne-Conway | Special to the Valley Gazette

It is with personal sadness yet immense honour that I write the story of a valued community member and friend who passed away on Sept. 25, just shy of her 81st birthday.

A remarkable woman, it seems Margaret Findlay Ogilvie was always destined to be a force of nature. 
Born in Calgary to Findlay and Nancy Barnes, she was only three years old when the family packed up and headed to Ethiopia after her father was compelled to answer a worldwide call by Emperor Haile Selassie who pleaded for help after the devastation of the Second World War. A school inspector and principal, but a missionary at heart, Findlay took a post there as principal at a large boy’s school in Addis Ababa. 
It was there that young Margaret would get to meet the emperor personally when she ran to her father in tears after a fall, only to have the emperor pick her up and kiss her.

The family returned to Alberta after three years before making the move to Ottawa when Margaret was around the age of 12. It was there she would meet the young man destined to be her soulmate and partner for life. In fact, it’s hard to write this story at all without including her husband of 59 years, Bob Ogilvie.

“We met in high school at the age of 15 and after that, we never looked back. We grew up together and learned life’s lessons together. It’s been a remarkable life” says Bob.

On advice from her father that she educate herself to ensure always having a means of support, Margaret pursued post-secondary education, training as a teacher while Bob acquired his master’s in psychology at Carleton University. 

They moved to London where Margaret began teaching on an Indigenous reserve and Bob pursued his PhD, honing his skills in sleep research, eventually becoming a professor at Brock University. 

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