amherst memorial service

Marie Marguerite Dier (Patenaude)

Marie Marguerite ‘Marg’ Dier (nee Patenaude)

Celebration of Life

Saturday, May 2, 2020
Time: To be announced
Location: Kelowna, BC (Details To Be Announced)


Obituary for Marie Marguerite ‘Marg’ Dier (nee Patenaude)

December 31, 1924 – January 9, 2020

Marg, also known fondly as Nana, and known more precisely by her Great-grandchildren James and Jake as “Nana with the cookies”, passed away peacefully in the loving care of the amazing staff at Vancouver Hospice Society on Thursday, January 9, 2020. She was 95 (and that's not 59) she would tell you proudly.

Nana is survived by daughters Michelle Davies and Corinne McCabe (Ron Anton), her son Dan(ny) Dier (Rita Fanelli), her sister Laurette Patenaude (Madonna House), her two sisters in law; Maureen Chauvet, and Ida Patenaude, her grandchildren Matthew Dier, Sam Davies, Jennifer Kimmitt Jefferies (Terry Jefferies), Coco Kimmitt, Shannon Kimmitt Christensen (Dylan Christensen) Jaime Kimmitt (DJ Holness) and great-grandchildren Ethan Jefferies, James, and Jake Christensen and Presley and Titan Kimmitt Holness. Her husband, James Spencer Dier and her siblings Phillip, Alphonse, Rose, and Lena beat her to the Pearly Gates and are now welcoming her back into the fold. Her mother Adelaide and father Jeremie passed away by the time she was 7 years old leaving her and her siblings orphaned, to be raised by the Grey nuns in an orphanage in Prudham, Saskatchewan. She attributes her incredible love of all things family to this interrupted childhood. She was a tireless advocate and supporter of her children and grandchildren and was so proud of them all. She was their biggest cheerleader and mentor; never too busy to listen and support or attend a tournament, concert or game. Her joie de vivre was infectious.

Although these folks make up her official family of origin, Nana had countless others who she raised unofficially and cared for as her own either by literally housing them and feeding them or by listening to their problems without judgment while allowing them to discover their own solutions. While her compassionate skills were innate, she honed them volunteering at the Crisis Line in Kelowna with long term friend Erika White.

Marg's passion for kindness and love followed her around the globe as she set an unprecedented (and clearly unattainable) example for the rest of us in terms of what one person can achieve in a lifetime of giving selflessly and caring deeply about all those around her. In her early days with YCW (Young Catholic Workers), she worked as an advocate for sex trade workers in Harlem and gave them shelter from their oppression... and the law. While living in Lagos, Nigeria, she was instrumental in starting and ensuring continuing funding for the Motherless Babies Home where she spent countless hours rescuing and caring for orphaned or unwanted children with incredible compassion and tenderness. Inspired by this piece of Nana's past, her granddaughter Shannon started a unique charity with kindness as currency, Mamas for Mamas, of which Nana was incredibly proud.

A native French speaker who learned English in her late teens, Marg chose to learn Pidgin English in Lagos, Bahasa Indonesia in Medan and Jakarta and Norwegian in Stavanger in order to communicate with the local people. She truly embraced multiculturalism and diversity before it was vogue.

Marg was a very practical and wise woman who had many life lessons that led to an accumulation of often shared truisms:

Then ten top pieces of advice given by Nana in no particular order:

  1. “You and only you can make yourself happy.”
  2. “You cannot fix another matter how much you love them.”
  3. “Those pants are too tight. They make you look big.”
  4. “These are not your golden years! You are IN your golden years.”
  5. “When you laugh with others when they are laughing at you, they feel like idiots.”
  6. “Only add about 10 drops of water to my scotch.”
  7. “Eat slowly; you'll enjoy it more.”
  8. “If you can't be there for yourself, you cannot be there for others.”
  9. “Be kind to your mother.”
  10. (Unspoken but nonetheless poignant and practiced.) A little guilt goes a very looooong way!

And somehow, if you spelled out swear words it was better than actually saying them. Nana's rebel spirit lives on in all those who were lucky enough to know her. We were truly blessed to have had her with us for as long as we did!

We will never play a game of scrabble again without hearing the incessant knocking on the table “ times up” and remembering her enviable way of making up words with a straight face, and even when faced with Webster's opinion, defending to the nth degree her word choice. She loved winning more than accuracy.

In lieu of flowers, we would encourage you to donate to the Vancouver Hospice Society who cared for her with such incredible dignity and grace in her final days. We are forever in debt for their unyielding compassion, humor and positive energy for the dying.

Vancouver Hospice Society

Nana is gone but will not be forgotten and we welcome any of you to write a note on her memorial page if she touched your life in any way.

A Celebration of her Life will be held in Kelowna in the spring when, with the sun's love, the seed becomes the rose.... Details will be posted here.

The Happy Cheater

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Dignity. Respect. Simplicity.