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Obituary for Mabel Birch

Mabel  Birch
27 May 1936 – 20 February 2021
Mabel was born in New Liskeard to George and Maggie Ager. She was raised on the farm with her seven sisters and one brother. With no other family in Canada, they became a tight knit group.
With humble beginnings, Mom was no stranger to hard work. Funny, that never changed even when there was ample opportunity to do so later in life.
Mom paid for her room and board by babysitting and light housework to be able to attend high school. She then studied to become a primary school teacher. Oh, how she loved children. She saw only hope and potential in all children. She tried to create opportunities for each child to shine. She started in a one room school in Robillard and then spent most of her career at Holy Family School in Englehart.
She met and married Ron Birch (11 October 1957 – 63 years) and four children quickly followed; and in time seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. Dad barely predeceased Mom (28 November 2020). She is survived by her sister Barb McPherson, sister in law Gwyn Birch, brothers in law Ray Cameron and Duncan Macdonald, and many, many nieces and nephews.
Mom was a quiet, understated, solid, non-judgmental woman. She had a playful sense of humour that ran under the surface. She was peaceful and thoughtful and smart. She had a serious reading addiction (could read a book a day in the summer). Mom loved to knit and when the grandchildren started coming along, she taught herself to crochet so that she could make them all baby blankets. Mom was a kind and generous clean freak. She never made us kids feel bad about any mess, she just cleaned up behind us like it would save her life.
Mabel, on top of working full time, raising four kids and keeping a spotless home; took university courses. She completed her BA just after the teenagers had left the nest.
And there are some things that Mom was not. Mechanical springs to mind. She never drove, barely knew how to get the TV turned on and a VCR was mysterious to her. Oh, and she could not read a map. Mom was never much interested in cooking or eating. Don’t worry, she made sure that we were well fed and watered. She was hopeless at cards and not much better at board games but she would give it a go for the grandkids. It was priceless to watch. She got excited, forgot the rules, and cheated to beat the band AND lost with good humour every time. The kids loved her all the more for it.
Mom had a black belt in nice. She quietly supported us all and made sure that we were happy. Classic example, she was indifferent about the skidoo but went sledding with Dad because it made him happy.
Mom had her own battle with cancer, but it did not take her as it took her seven of her siblings before her, most quite young. In classic Mabel style, she soldiered on with her heart a little more broken with each loss. Always stoic.
Mom was stolen from us a little bit at a time by that rotten beast Alzheimer's. Ron tried to keep his love with him but eventually Mom became a resident at Northview Nursing Home were she received top drawer care. Thank you. Alzheimer's was mean but it did have a few gifts. Before, Mom kept her love of music hidden. After, our hearts would soar when she would dance with her entire being any time that there was live music. Dance like no one is watching, always.
Mabel, Mom, Granny was deeply loved and cherished. There is a hole in all our hearts.
A celebration of life will be held in future when safe to do so. Hugs to all. Danny, Paul, Allen and Donna
Kung Fu someone with kindness today and think of Mabel. See you in the blueberry patch, Ma. . Condolences, contributions and memorial candles may be left at www.mcdonaldfuneralhome.ca.

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