Ballantyne, Margaret Jean

24 Apr 2017

It is with heavy hearts, and countless happy memories, that we announce the death of Margaret Ballantyne on April 24, 2017.  Born on July 19, 1936 in Antigonish, Margaret was the eldest daughter of Harold and Irene (Taylor) Baxter and grew up on the family farm in Addington Forks.  At the age of 15 she began the teaching career which would bring such happiness to her life, and to those of the innumerable students she helped to guide. Beginning at the Beaver Meadow schoolhouse her career took her to schools in James River, St. Ninian Street, Braemore Elementary, and finally to St. Joseph’s Consolidated from which she retired in 2000. In 1961 Margaret married Harold ‘Himmie’ Ballantyne and began a very happy life of 56 years at the original Ballantyne homestead in Cape George, and included her beloved cats. This setting helped to foster Margaret’s love of history and she tirelessly researched the Baxter, Ballantyne, and related family lineages. This impeccable knowledge made Margaret the go-to source for family and community dates and events, often involving a look back through her 70-plus years of faithful diary keeping. Margaret lived her faith without fail, serving many years as an elder of St. James’ and St. David’s United Churches in addition to a great number of committees and events. Countless cups of tea were served by Margaret at church gatherings, and she loved the chats which accompanied each one. This generosity extended to the broader community where she served for decades as a canvasser for the Canadian Cancer Society and gave her time and resources to many volunteer groups.  Margaret had very large and very faithful group of friends, particularly through the Retired Teachers, Bridge Club, and United Church of Canada Women groups. In addition to her parents Margaret was predeceased by her husband Harold ‘Himmie’.  She is survived by: brothers Raymond (Joan) Caledonia, Ontario and George (Anne) Addington Forks; sisters Anna (Allan) Adams, Cape George; Ruth (Gerald) Bent, Dartmouth; Alice, Addington Forks; and Clare (Johnny) Savoie, Dalhousie New Brunswick; and sisters-in-law Mabel Murray, Stellarton, Betty Webber, Cape George, and Jean Langley, Halifax.   ‘Aunt Maggie’ was beloved by the large group of nieces, nephews, grand-and-great-grand nieces and nephews who were so fortunate to have been her family. Margaret’s wish was that anyone choosing to make memorial gifts in her honor might do so to St. David’s United Church for the upkeep of the church building and grounds. Visitation will be held Tuesday April 25, 7-9 and Wednesday April 26, 2-4 and 7-9 at MacIsaac Funeral Home, 61 Pleasant St., Antigonish. The funeral service will take place from St. James United Church at 2 pm Thursday April 27, with reception to follow in the church hall. Burial will then take place at St. David’s United Church Cemetery, Cape George.