Cover photo for Maureen Olwin Phillips (nee Cavanagh)'s Obituary
Maureen Olwin Phillips (nee Cavanagh) Profile Photo
1932 Maureen 2024

Maureen Olwin Phillips (nee Cavanagh)

November 16, 1932 — May 27, 2024

Born in the Welsh coal mining village of Abertridwr, in 1932, Maureen experienced the deprivations of a working class child growing up during the second world war. She also lost childhood friends as this valley had the highest rate of tuberculosis in the western world. These hardscrabble beginnings marked her in subtle ways throughout her lifetime.

She married her teen sweetheart Bryn, had their first child Carol and like so many others fled the economically depressed, post war British Isles for the gold mining frontier towns of South Africa. Here Maureen and Bryn had their second child, Gareth.

Disillusioned with South Africa they soon returned to the UK and from there emigrated to Canada.

It was here that she thrived as she found work in the retail sector and eventually went on to help organize one of the first unionized department stores – the then Miracle Mart, belonging to the Quebec grocery chain of Steinberg. Being a union representative and speaking up for other working women was a natural outcome from her early days.

After leaving the retail sector Maureen went into a hospital administrative position where she worked for many years.

Along with her beloved Bryn, she loved to travel and after retiring they did so extensively. Unfortunately his mining years caught up with Bryn and he died of lung cancer at the age of 72.

After losing Bryn she moved to Richmond Hill to be closer to family and became an enthusiastic member of the McConachy choir. In a true show of her love for music, she was a featured soprano soloist into her 80’s.

Maureen was always glamorous, immaculately dressed and bejeweled, adored bright colours and sparkle. She loved to read books, sing and listen to music and was always up to date on current events and the significant news.

To be closer to family and grandchildren, Maureen moved to Barrie in 2017 where she spent many a happy day looking out over Kempenfelt Bay.

Maureen is survived by her children Carol (Gerry) and Gareth (Catherine); Grandchildren Dylan (Taryn), Andrew, Evan and Simon; great grandchildren Peyton, Faith, Stellan and Eleanor.

A life enjoyed and well spent.

A memorial service will be held at the Jennett Memorial Centre, 152 Bradford St. Barrie on June 26th.

Donations in her memory would be most fitting to the Barrie and Children’s Women’s Shelter.

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services

Memorial Service

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

1:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Basic Funerals and Cremation Choices - Jennett Memorial Centre

152 Bradford St, Barrie, ON L4N 3B5

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