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Elizabeth “Lib” McGilveary

Rhody Family Funeral Home

Elizabeth “Lib” Catherine was born in Chesley on Sunday, January 8, 1939 to Marguerite Alberta (Mink) and Russell James Harvie. Lib was the youngest of three girls, joining older sisters Shirley (1936) and Joyce (1937).  Shortly after Lib was born, the family moved from town to a farm just on the southeast corner of town. The girls were schooled in Chesley where Lib took typing and shorthand.

Once out of school, Lib worked at Fosters Bakery in town for a couple of years before becoming a teller with C.I.B.C. It was here where she was introduced further to George Malcolm Herbert “Herb” McGilveary, as Herb was a client. In time, their relationship flourished and the two were married on June 2, 1967 at Chesley Baptist Church.

The couple settled on the farm, which they bought in 1969, and Lib continued to work at the bank. In 1970, Herb and Lib welcomed their son, Steve and in 1973, their daughter, Susan. Lib worked hard and diligently all her life. In addition to raising their two children, she spent countless hours working with Herb on the farm. Through their busy schedules, they made time to visit family in the States, and yearly trips to London as a family. While Susan still lived at home, she ran a home daycare out of Lib and Herb’s. Lib helped Susan and provided care and support to many families in the area. To many children, she was referred to as “Grandma Libby”. Once Susan moved to her own place, Lib would stop by to visit everyone and have a coffee.

The church and her faith were always an important part of Lib’s life. The McGilveary family rarely missed a Sunday service, and when the kids were little, she would take Steve and Susan to Sunday School. Lib enjoyed a Saturday breakfast at the church and service on Sunday, even the week before she passed away. She loved the music during the services and chatting with her church family. Lib was a prayer warrior and prayed for her family continuously. She had faith that God would always provide no matter what they were going through. She was a rock. If any of the family had something that we were stressed about, she would say “I’ll pray for you, don’t worry”. Lib prayed, read her daily devotion from “My Daily Bread”, her bible, and memory verse every night before bed. When both Lib and Herb’s health had taken a turn, she relied strongly on God. If she had an appointment, she would ask her family to say a little prayer for her.

Lib enjoyed hosting family and friends. In their earlier years, Lib and Herb used to host McGilveary get togethers in the summer and at Christmas   There would be people everywhere in their home and they couldn’t be happier. When family came up from the States to visit, there would literally be sleeping bags all across the living room floor and Lib and Herb would be in their glory. The first thing you would smell in the morning was the bacon cooking and coffee brewing. The McGilveary door was always open, and the coffee was ALWAYS on. Anytime Lib would talk with her family, she would say “Stop by for a coffee!”

Lib was involved with Ladies Aid, the Agricultural Society, and the Chesley Fall Fair. Lib and Herb enjoyed hosting many group yard sales for weeks at the farm. Lib and Herb were hard to make plans with, as they were never home! They attended dances and jamborees all over Bruce County, and sometimes even further than that, almost every day during the week. On their way home, they would stop at a McDonalds or Tim Hortons for a coffee, often running into people they knew. Lib and Herb took 30 bus trips with Hanover Holiday, mostly to the US; Branson, Nashville, Texas and Myrtle Beach. They also went to the East Coast and travelled primarily with Ivan and Shirley McDougall and Bob and Joyce Ford.

Lib loved cooking and baking, and was she ever good at it! She would make fudge, tarts, cookies, and at Christmas, she would make Christmas cake, squares and shortbread cookies, making large plates for her family and friends. Lib had a tendency of making way too much food when her family would be over for a meal. During the meal, she would take her family’s plate, trying to fill it up more, always asking “Do you have enough?”. After the meal was completed, and she still had plates full of food, she would offer to send it home with family, because she never knew what she was going to do with it all. It is safe to say that no one ever left her house hungry!

Lib was a master canner, canning relish, peaches, beets, pickles, salsa, steak sauce, and her delicious strawberry jam and applesauce. Lib also enjoyed quilting, embroidery, knitting, and swimming, especially at the Hanover pool, where she made many friends. Lib enjoyed watching game shows, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune in particular, as well as the Kitchener News. Although the tv remote, cell phone and computer caused her some grief, she continued to keep up with the times.  It wasn’t uncommon for her family to receive a text or a phone call saying that she couldn’t get her tv to work. It was often one of the grandkids who would go to her rescue.

Lib was so proud of her family and was very family oriented. She enjoyed watching her children raise children of their own and cherished every moment with each of them. Lib loved texting with her grandkids to check in on their day at school or at work. Lib and Herb would drive anywhere to watch their sporting events and take them to McDonald’s and for ice cream. When the grandkids were old enough, they would get together the week before Halloween to make up the treat bags.  It’s possible that they ate more treats than they put in the bags, but Grandma didn’t often say no. Lib and Herb were so proud of Chloe and Madeline when they went to University. It was a big adjustment for everyone, but they made the best of it. They missed them dearly when they would head off to school but loved them enough to support them and let them spread their wings. Lib and Herb enjoyed having Owen and Marissa over for sleepovers. The kids enjoyed this special time helping Grandma make breakfast (often pancakes and bacon) or a road trip to McDonald’s for lunch. While Grandma and Grandpa were chatting with their friends, the kids would play in the PlayPlace. After returning back to the farm, they would play crokinole and Monopoly and just enjoy each other’s company.  Sleepovers were always memorable.

Lib’s health started to decline in the fall of 2022, and she passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, July 13, 2023, in her 85th year.

Beloved wife of Herb of Hanover Care Centre. Loving mother of Steve (Marcia) and Susan (Kent) Stuempfle, all of Chesley. Cherished grandmother of Chloe, Madeline, Owen, and Marissa. Dear sister-in-law of Bob Ford, Reta Steward, Blanche Beckett, Sharon and Art Becker, Murray McGilveary, Lawrence and Arlene McGilveary, Don McAllister, and Lorraine McGilveary. She will be missed by many nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews.

Predeceased by her sisters Joyce Ford and Shirley (Edgar) Fischer, and her parents Russell and Marguerite (Mink) Harvie.

A private family funeral service will be held at Chesley Baptist Church. Inurnment in Chesley Cemetery. A public celebration of Lib’s life will be held at the Klages Mill, on Sunday, July 23, 2023, from 1 – 4 p.m. All are welcome!

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Chesley Hospital Foundation or the Chesley Baptist Church would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

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