Cover photo for Margaret Jean Bracey's Obituary
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Margaret Jean Bracey

February 17, 1928 — May 31, 2024

Mississauga

Margaret Jean Bracey

Jean died peacefully in her sleep on May 31, 2024. Her story is about love persistence and strength and is worth remembering.

She was born on February 17, 1928 in the second floor bedroom of a rooming house in Waterloo. She was the first of 5 children (Dianne, Jim, Bob and John) for Aileen (Hall) and Ken Lockie. She was the oldest child by seven years and was the surrogate mom when things got tough.

Her family moved to the Delnite Mines near Timmins during the depression. It wasn’t pretty. They jammed into a small two-bedroom house that they sometimes piled snow against to keep warm. We kept a picture of that tiny house in our family room as a reminder of the tough road she’d travelled. She’d remind us of that if we ignored her calls for dinner.

Jean was shipped back to Waterloo in the summers as a teenager to live with her extended family (Hemphills), but she left Timmins for good when she entered the nursing program at Toronto General Hospital.

She graduated as a registered nurse in 1950 and practiced for many years at TGH and Scarborough General. The friends she made as a nurse were very dear to her,

Jean met her husband Gerry Bracey on a blind date. He was a pencil-necked jock who made her laugh. They had a great marriage. They lived in the beaches, and in Don Mills before they bought their first house in Scarborough. Their neighbors (Skube & Walker families) became life-long friends and travelling companions.

Jean had three kids of her own (Anne, Rob, and Nancy), was grandmother to seven (Jennifer, Lauren, Kim, Leah, Scott, Charlie, and Jack) and great-grandmother to three (Delaney, Claire, and Lucy)

Jean was a great mom, and a terrific grandmother. She was fun, flexible, and patient, and while she didn’t let the kids get away with much, she did conspire with Gerry on a wildly successful ‘spoil the grand kids’ program. Her grandchildren loved her.

She moved to Whiteoaks Avenue in Mississauga in the late ‘60’s and joined the Mississaugua Golf and Country Club. It became the backbone of her social life. She enjoyed curling, golf, bridge, and the dining room. As she got older, she loved golf cart tours of the course.

Jean was a member of Christ Church in Clarkson and First United Church in Port Credit. She attended regularly, took her grandkids to Sunday School, and participated in most events. The hymns were her favorite thing though, and she could really sing. We knew she could sing because that’s how we did the dishes with her as kids, but she sure raised eyebrows at church when they found out.

Gerry died in 2001 and it broke her heart, but she didn’t fold. She volunteered at the Royal Botanical Gardens, doubled down with her grandchildren, made friends with her neighbors, and leaned into the challenge of being a widow. It was great to be part of her ‘renaissance’.

Her renaissance faltered after she was diagnosed with dementia. It was scary and confusing for her, but she still didn’t fold. She sold her house, moved to a senior’s home, and kept social as the disease progressed.

Jean probably had dementia the last 10 years of her life. It stripped away her memory, challenged her coordination and humbled a proud woman. What was left by the end was our mother’s core. She was very funny in her endearingly blunt way. She could still sing and loved hymns. She was tough and as determined as they come. She loved life and loved her family, and we loved her.

We’d like to thank everyone who blessed our mother with their fellowship and support over the years, but most of all, we’d like to thank Emely Munoz and Rosalie Tanada. Emely and Rosalie did a remarkable job keeping our mom healthy and happy in the final years of her life. We’re humbled by their gentle strength, stamina, and love.

We've dedicated a tree at The Royal Botanical Gardens to our mother and father. It is a Maple tree that stands tall and proud. It will remind us of how strong and beautiful our mother was, how much our parents loved each other and how much we loved them.

We appreciate your best wishes and thoughts. Donations can be made to The Royal Botanical Gardens in memory of Jean Bracey.

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