“Success has nothing to do with what you gain in life
or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.”
Marion absolutely loved helping people! She truly cared for everyone in her life and would offer her help to anyone, no matter the task. She was a blessing to family, friends and community alike. Marion’s kindness will be remembered by all of us who were blessed to have known her.
Marion Ellen was born in Hanover on Friday, January 3, 1947 to parents Arthur and Alvena (Russwurm) Fidler. She joined older sisters Betty and Helen and was later followed by younger siblings Doug, Linda and Dennis. The Fidler family lived in Elmwood where Arthur operated a steel and scrap business. Marion attended public school in Elmwood before completing her high school education at John Diefenbaker Secondary School in Hanover. Following school, Marion began working at a Doctor’s office in Walkerton.
It was during this time that Marion caught the eye of a young man by the name of William “Dean” McGilveary. Looking back, Dean always said, “the first time I laid eyes on her I was in love!” The young couple soon began dating and were wed on Saturday, December 10, 1966 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Elmwood. Dean took a job in Brampton in 1965, so the newlyweds soon called Brampton and Heart Lake Rd. home. Marion and Dean welcomed sons Mike in 1967 and Brian in 1971. Marion kept busy caring for her young family and in time returned to the workforce, working for Dr. Freed. In 1978, the McGilveary family headed north, moving back closer to family, settling on a hobby farm on the outskirts of Hanover. Here, Marion enjoyed a large garden, growing a variety of produce and berries.
Once settled, Marion soon found work at A & N Family Clothing before later moving on to work at BiWay. In May of 1990 Marion and her family’s world was turned upside down when Dean was diagnosed with an advanced form of cancer. Sadly, he died a few weeks later on Saturday, June 2, 1990. Although a difficult time in her life, as always, Marion put the needs of her children and family first and worked hard to help everyone through this period.
In 1991, Marion was introduced to a gentleman by the name of Donald Neil McAllister. Their matchmaker was Marion’s brother-in-law Herb McGilveary, although their paths had briefly crossed previously. Marion and Don were married on a cold Friday evening, February 6, 1993 at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Chesley. Once married, she joined Don on the farm, on Bruce Rd. 11.
Marion quickly became involved with the community. She soon became a member of the Chesley Agricultural Society, holding a variety of titles throughout the years, but never the president… smart girl! Each year she also volunteered her time with the Heart & Stroke Foundation and also lawn bowled. Marion also was heavily involved with her church. Her faith played an important role throughout her life. She was involved with the Women’s Group, the Board, and later was a member of the Session, an Elder in the church and a member of the Chesley & District Ministerial. When volunteering, any position or role she held gained her entire attention and commitment. She enjoyed the spring months and any free time was usually spent out in the garden, or working in her flowerbeds. In the summer months, she was fond of time spent at the beach. In recent years, she enjoyed a few trips south to the Caribbean to enjoy more sand and surf, while avoiding more winter weather at home.
Marion was also well-known for her preserving and baking talents. Thankfully, she shared her knowledge with others and kept a full recipe drawer… so if you are looking for some help with some of Marion’s specialties don’t be afraid to ask her family for some help! Just like Marion, they will happily oblige! As for family favourites, they would often include anything with peanut butter… like her peanut butter cookies, peanut butter cornflake squares and peanut butter squares (the one’s with marshmallows and butterscotch), just to name a few! Marion’s newest family addition, great-grandson Cohen, also loved her cooking as he needs Marion’s famous chili sauce on everything he eats! The ability to cook for yourself was another life lesson Marion instilled in her sons, because if you can cook… you will never go hungry! Through the years Marion also collected salt & pepper shakers, amassing a collection that is too big to fully display. No weekday was complete without tuning in to the latest episode of “Days of our Lives” however she also liked “Heartland” and back in the day the likes of the “Tommy Hunter Show”, “Dallas” and “Dynasty”. She loved her country music as well, with a preference for the older classics. Things Marion did not enjoy… thunderstorms (she would often wake others in the house, and could never sleep through them), bats and mice! Let’s get back to something more enjoyable, food. When it came to cuisine, Marion enjoyed her pasta (which Don didn’t), so it meant more for her! 🙂 Smart woman! She was also known to enjoy a nice glass of white wine or in earlier years a rye or rum with some mix. Finally, Marion was extremely fond of her pets. The boys remember always having cats and dogs as companions while growing up, and to Marion, they were just an extension of her family.
In recent years Marion worked at Walmart in Hanover before retiring. However, it just wasn’t meant to be, as she returned home one day to inform Don that she had just taken a position at the Chesley Grocery Store. Obviously, he was shocked but Marion explained that they were looking for some help, and Marion wanted to help them, so back to work she went. She truly loved being surrounded by and helping others. She was a happy, caring woman, who never complained no matter the circumstances. She enjoyed conversation, being around others and apparently knew everyone (her family’s words, not mine). She loved organizing family gatherings or any opportunity that brought her family together. In more recent years, time spent with her grandchildren and more recently great-grandson were always highlights for Marion. Her kindness and generosity will live on in all of us who had the privilege of knowing her.
Sadly, Marion was diagnosed with terminal cancer in recent months. There was little warning and even less time. She lived out her remaining days surrounded by the love and support of family and friends. Marion died in hospice care at Chapman House in Owen Sound on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 in her 75th year.
Beloved wife of Don. Loving mother of Mike (Bev) McGilveary of Walkerton and Brian (Christine) McGilveary of Hanover. Cherished grandmother of Savannah (Jake), Gaven, Cooper and great-grandmother of Cohen. Marion will be dearly missed by her brother Doug (Jayne) Fidler of Walkerton, as well as the entire McGilveary, McAllister and Fidler families. She was predeceased by her first husband Dean McGilveary (1990), brother Dennis Fidler, sisters Betty Pye, Helen Kingston, Linda Kupferschmidt and her parents Arthur and Alvena (Russwurm) Fidler.
A public visitation will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Sunday, March 28, 2021 from 2 – 5 p.m. All are welcome. Visitors attending must wear a mask, and respect physical distancing protocols. A maximum of 25 people will be allowed in the funeral home at any given time. A private funeral service honouring Marion’s life will be held at Geneva Presbyterian Church on Monday, March 29, 2021. A recording of the service will be available on the funeral home website Tuesday. Interment in St. Andrew’s Cemetery, Elderslie Township.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to Geneva Presbyterian Church, Residential Hospice of Grey-Bruce or Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.