Maisie Grace MacRae
Maisie Grace MacRae passed away peacefully after a life well lived on June 6, 2019, at Orchard View Long Term Care Home in the Village of Gagetown, NB. Maisie was born in North Colbalt, ON, on January 11, 1922, to the late Gordon and Viola (Cuthbertson) Larrett. Maisie loved to tell the story of how she had been born during a big snow storm. Her father had fetched the doctor with his dog sled team and the doctor followed him back with his horse and sleigh arriving just in time to deliver her.
Her father’s work saw the family live in many mining towns in northern Ontario and Quebec including Cobalt, Haileybury, New Liskeard, Falconbridge, Sudbury and Rouyn-Noranda. In each town, she made friends, worked hard and excelled at school. After high school she went on to study at teachers college in North Bay, followed by Queens, Sir George Williams and McGill Universities. She started her teaching career in a one-room schoolhouse in Dobie, ON. The students had been without a teacher for six months as they had scared the last three out of town. Maisie won their hearts and lasted the year, never missing a day. Following her first marriage in 1949 she and Bill MacRae moved to Montreal, QC, for him to attend McGill and her to teach in Ste. Anne de Bellevue. While there she was invited by the MacDonald College Faculty of Education to become a demonstration teacher and later joined the faculty. She finished her career as an associate professor of Education at McGill University in 1982. Maisie valued education in all forms and believed in lifelong learning. In her retirement she studied Fibre Arts at St. Lawrence College and developed a passion for rug hooking. She assured her daughter Mary-Jo and grandchildren Dylan, Jordan and Dryw had many learning opportunities including travel, swimming, boating, skiing, summer camps and higher education. She encouraged everyone she met to keep learning, striving, planning and setting goals.
Maisie also loved the great outdoors. She was a Girl Guide leader and YMCA camp counsellor and director. She shared this passion for nature with Mary-Jo and many visiting family and friends at their cottage in Saint-Donat, QC. Maisie also loved to travel and experience new things. She and her second husband Raymond Simms, her teenage sweetheart, returned to the Haileybury in 1996. Returning to the North was a dream they both shared. Together they took many trips and had lots of fun exploring. This sense of adventure and love of nature is something she passed on to her extended family.
In 2001, Maisie and Raymond moved first to Gagetown and later Fredericton to be closer to her family. In New Brunswick she made many new friends while playing bridge, hooking rugs and going to the YMCA and Stepping Stones. She was glad to be close to her grandchildren and have the chance to watch them grow, learn and accomplish their goals. She was very proud of them. She drove her car until the age of 92, handling the private sale herself to assure she got the best price. The ladies of her bridge club always made sure she had a drive to events and remained her friends until the end. Prior to Mary-Jo’s retirement Maisie loved to go on shopping trips, outings and lunch with her son-in-law Ray Kaine.
In September, 2018, Maisie moved back to the village and enjoyed the wonderful care provided by the fabulous staff at Orchard View Long Term Care. This time was enriched by an extraordinary team of fabulous women including Jean Nickerson, Leith Box, Arlene Johnson, Sue McGibbon and Cathy Coombes whom, along with Mary-Jo and the OVLT staff, helped in assuring that Maisie’s days and evenings were in the company of vibrant loving friends. The power of this very special village community, which clearly shows in the Orchard View philosophy of care, helped to assure this was a special, nurturing time in Maisie’s life.
Throughout her life Maisie always steered her own ship. She made all her own decisions and determined when it was time to transition to the next phase of her life’s journey. She always assured Mary-Jo that each move and decision was to make things easier for her in the end and ultimately she was right.
Maisie is survived by her daughter, Mary-Jo MacRae (Raymond Kaine); her grandchildren, Dylan Marche, Jordan Smith (Drew McCafferty) and Dryw Smith; many nieces (including Gail Malstrom who for decades sent a card for every occasion), nephews, and cousins. In addition to her parents, Gordon and Viola, Maisie was predeceased by her husbands, Francis Willard MacRae and Raymond Edmund Simms; brother, Lorne; sisters, Barbara and Madeline.
Visitation will be held at McAdam's Funeral Home, 160 York St., Fredericton, on Monday, June 17, 2019 from 1:00 - 3:00 pm. A memorial service beginning at 3:00 pm will follow in the funeral home chapel. In lieu of flowers, donations in Maisie's memory can be made to Orchard View Foundation or the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital Foundation.