Marjorie Irene was born in Chesley on July 28, 1926 to parents Charles and Eleanor (Bluhm) Knapp. She joined older sister, Gladys, with younger siblings Dorothy and Alvin following in the years to come. The Knapp family resided in Chesley where Marj attended both public and high school before heading off to business college in Kitchener.
After school, she worked for a short while at Wartime Price & Trade Board in Kitchener before returning to Chesley. Back at home, she began working at Harris Insurance. One evening she was helping at Jim Chan’s restaurant whereby she was approached by one Albert Murray Steinhoff. It isn’t known what was said but they met up again the next day and as they say, the rest was history. The couple married January 25, 1947 and took up residence in Chesley. They welcomed their daughter Carol later that year with Lynn joining the family in 1955.
Marj kept busy caring for her young family and helped Bert in the theatre when she could. She supported the three of them in all their endeavours and was the rock within the family. She enjoyed knitting, crocheting, and embroidery and made a lot of the children’s clothing (which they were very proud of) while growing up. After Lynn started school Marj returned to the workforce and began working at Cope’s Hardware in town. She was also a constant support for Bert as he was active in a variety of causes including the Legion, Veterans, War Amps, Post Office and Theatre. Marj loved being involved in the Fall Fair plays every year.
Some of Marj’s more memorable sayings included, “Just because my eyes are closed doesn’t mean I’m sleeping,” “I’m never taking you, two girls, anywhere together again,” "When I get home I’m driving this car over a cliff” and “Did someone touch the thermostat?” She enjoyed yearly fall trips to Beaver Valley to take in the colours. She loved oil painting and always had a paint by numbers on the go. Marj also had a green thumb, and was able to grow everything … even a Marijuana plant (ask her family about this story.) She loved animals, especially Cleo (their dog) and George (the cat) and was a member of the Wildlife Federation. Her dream was to go to Africa to take in the wild animals in their natural habitat, however since she refused to board an airplane or boat, this trip was impossible. They did, however, enjoy many bus trips and she was able to see all of Canada and much of the US, including a side trip to Mexico.
Marj was a fabulous cook, with baking her specialty. She often got calls from her grandson Todd looking for her recipes. She was also very quick to offer a guest something to eat, whether it be a sandwich or snack, she didn't want anyone going hungry. She enjoyed collecting coins, with silver dollars and foreign currency being her preference. She was quick to ask friends and family for their pocket change when returning from a trip.
She enjoyed sing-alongs and dances, loved the colour blue and was quite fond of liver and onions. She also had a soft spot for KFC, chocolate milk and enjoyed sipping on a rye and coke while cooking. Her favourite movie was Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, starring Bette Davis, but to be honest she enjoyed most movies. She also thoroughly enjoyed Columbo, Monty Python, and South Park… yes, you read that right! A story was told that on one occasion Bert and Marj were enjoying an episode of South Park when they were interrupted by a phone call from a grandchild. To the surprise of the grandchild, they were kindly asked to call back later, not to interrupt their episode… imagine. Such devoted fans! :)
Marj was a kind, caring woman who always put the needs of her family ahead of herself. She spoiled everyone around her, especially her grand and great-grandchildren, and always repeated the words, “I love you.” Although a bit of a worrier, her sense of humour was always present. She wasn’t for expensive touches but rather appreciated the thought that went into keepsakes.
In 2001, Marj and Bert’s world forever changed when they lost their daughter, Carol, to a brain aneurysm. Understandably, Marj took this very hard however together they supported one another as they tried to move forward in their lives. In recent years, Marj relied heavily on the love and support of Bert and her family as her mobility worsened and the effects of her arthritis became more severe. Although slowed down physically, she was always quick with a joke, loved to smile and enjoyed the company around her. Sadly, Bert died in 2017 and her true soulmate was gone. A part of her died that day as well, and her zest for life was never the same. She passed away, reuniting with Bert and Carol, at Rockwood Terrace, Durham on Thursday, October 10, 2019 in her 94th year.
Beloved mother of Lynn and her husband Jay Jackson of Halton Hills. Loving grandmother of Jason (Tina) Brooker of Mildmay, Todd Brooker (Angela Hopper) of Thamesville, Candon Jackson-Stickles (Mathew) of Tiny and Matthew Jackson (Jonith Aydona) of Hamilton. Marj’s memory will live on in her great-grandchildren Paige, Peyton, Skyelynn, Chantel, Colton, and Ethan. She was predeceased by her husband Bert (2017), daughter and son-in-law Carol and Paul Brooker, sisters Dorothy Gallinger, Gladys Stevens and brother Alvin Knapp.
Visitation will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 from 1 p.m. until the time of the funeral service at 2:30 p.m. Interment in Chesley Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to The War Amps “Champ Program” or Arthritis Society would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.
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