- 91 years old
- Date of birth: Sep 8, 1922
- Place of birth:
Birtle, Manitoba, Canada
- Date of passing: Jan 22, 2014
- Place of passing:
Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada
|Let the memory of Margaret be with us forever|
This memorial website was created in memory of Margaret Fulton.
A full life lived with exceptional accomplishments, Margaret Fulton exuded a rare zest for living and learning that had a profound impact on everyone who knew her.
Dr. Fulton to her peers, Margaret to her friends, and Aunt Peg to her family will be missed, but remembered by all.
A Celebration of Life for Margaret was held at the Salt Spring United Church (111 Hereford Ave, Ganges) on Saturday February 8th.
Friends and family attended a reception following the Service at Harbour House Hotel.
The text of the eulogy has been added to the 'Her Life' section of this site
The Fulton Family thanks everyone that came to the Church and reception following to celebrate Margaret's life
Interment occurred on June 21st in Birtle, Manitoba.
Service was at the Birtle Cemetary
"Certainly you are and will be forever missed, dear Margaret. Like so many others I thought of you yesterday while part of Nanaimo's Women's March. It was a great day, following a bleak day. I wanted to talk with you on both days, but your friendship and wisdom stay with me and continue to support me. I remember you often quoting your friend Dr. Ursula Franklin saying, "We cannot afford the luxury of despair." I say it to myself and to anyone who will listen. Thanks for all you have given to me and to us all."
"Hard to believe you left us three years ago. But then, your inspiration never left and never will. Yesterday was a huge international outpouring of women (and men and children too) who oppose the hatred and exclusion of the new President of the U.S., Donald Trump. You would be shocked, as we all were, that he got elected in the first place with his nasty campaign and ghastly insults to every minority going. But, yesterday was a breath of fresh air as thousands upon thousands came out to protest. I joined the march in my city. You, dear Margaret would have been smiling as you joined in. We miss you!"
"Margaret, yesterday was the largest worldwide demonstration in history. I felt such a surge of renewed hope in the direction we women are moving, and I know you would be proud. I think I am finally "getting" what you were saying to me so many years ago: the power of women is unique, different from that of men, and once unleashed could work transformation in the world. Thinking of you, Margaret. Your teaching was not lost on me after all. ❤"
"In fond memory of our Aunt/Great Aunt Peggy who left us two years ago today
Our Family circle has been broken,
A link gone from our chain;
But though we are parted for a while,
We know we will meet again.
Some day we hope to meet you,
Some day, we know not when,
We shall meet in a better place
And never part again.
We shall meet with many a loved one
That was torn from our embrace;
We shall listen to their voices,
And behold them face to face.
Sunshine passes, shadows fall,
Love's remembrance outlasts all.
Sheldon, Lil and the BSMART crew & families"
"Margaret, I miss you too and think of you as we struggle to (in Bill and May Henderson's words) "take back this land" & "bring back democracy". Love, best wishes, Jan"
"Margaret was an enormous inspiration and I miss her greatly. I find I am speaking of her frequently and just the other day a friend and I spoke of how much we miss her presence. I know she would be on the phone and the campaign trail these days, urging us all to get to work and bring in a different government! Her presence continues as do her contributions. She remains a bright life in my life and I'm grateful to have known her as a friend and mentor."
"In memory of our Dear Aunt/Great Aunt Peg.......
One year has passed and remembering you is easy,
We do it every day.
Missing you is the hardest part,
It never goes away.
To hear your voice, to see your smile,
To sit with you and talk awhile,
To be together in the same old way,
Would be our dearest wish today.
Today, tomorrow, our whole lives through,
We shall always love and remember you.
Always in our hearts - Sheldon, Lil and the BSMART crew"
"I'm very sorry for the loss of your beloved Margaret, she sounds like a truly amazing woman, and I want to express my deepest sympathy to you. I'm sorry to say that I don't know you, and I didn't know Margaret. But very recently, in Sept, my very precious and beloved Mom died, and I find comfort in the Bible's hope for the resurrection, to see loved ones again, and hold them close! No more sickness, or pain, or unexpected loss'. May you find comfort in these loving and truthful promises found in God's Word, the Bible. (Eccl. 9:11b; James 1:13; Isa. 33:24; Job 33:25; Rev. 21:4, 5; Psalm 37:10, 11, 29; Acts 24:15) Take care, Sincerely, Cindy Boyer"
"To me, our dear High Poohbah, vibrant as she was, isn't gone.
She is so alive in my consciousness, commenting in her usual insightful,
ascerbic but positive ways on all that is happening in our crazy world. I hear
her voice and laugh so often when something idiotic is happening in this
old world, which is most of the time.
Yes, I miss her immediacy, but someone as vibrant and bigger than life as she was, never leaves us.
Susan McDaniel, Ph.D., FRSC
Canada Research Chair in Global Population & Life Course
University of Lethbridge"
"I just now learned of Margaret's death and am saddened at our loss. I was referred to her by Dr. Gary Knock while I was a grad student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Margaret was inspiring. I wrote a proposal a few years later to bring her to Oxford for a week of addresses and seminars in the fall of 1979. I shall always be in awe of her mind and her energy and grateful for her generous sharing of herself. Hope to see you again, Margaret."
"I am terribly saddened by the news and even more so that I only found out today and missed the chance to pay my respects. But knowing Margaret she would just tell me, "don't bother, because I will not be there". She gave me a poem saying as much when my father passed away. I will never forget how generous she was with her time and support when I went on a ECO project promoting the book Ishmael and the works of Daniel Quinn. She understood immediately the passion I felt and shared that with me. She always made herself available and when she moved to Salt Spring Island, my other mentors, Gordon and Bienka Barnes, who already lived there, became quick and deep friends with Margaret. It was like they had known each other their whole lives. The last time we all got together, along with Tony Potts, for dinner and drinks is the last picture I took of Margaret and Tony together on my iPhone and I will cherish it forever. Thank you for being in my life and changing it for the better. You truly made me a better human. Your feisty style, sharp tongue and wit with a truly huge laugh brings a smile to me now. I will always have reverence, gratitude for the time I had with Margaret and our wonderful friends. "Now back to business she would say" Love to you, Arwi and Tony"
"When Eric and I married in 1992 in Washington DC understandably cousin Peggy could not come to our wedding. She was thoughtful enough to send us a lovely telegram (a gesture that is more special and quaint as the years go by).
She has been and will be a wonderful inspiration of tenacity, courage and vision especially for women in leadership. Hopefully thanks to her efforts men will no longer outnumber women to the same degree in many institutions. She will be missed but her contributions live on...."
"a formidable woman!
my parents were prairie pioneers
Margaret was a pioneer too in many fields
i appreciated her prairie wit and manner"
"Margaret was always learning, always interested in the world. It is, indeed, a privilege to have known her and to have shared quite a few interests (such as conscientious objection to military taxation and promoting peace and women's collegial style leadership through groups like Conscience Canada and VOW).
I'm very grateful to the many family and friends who helped Margaret through the terrible car accident and other trials, so that she was able to lead such a healthy, active life, well into her senior years. I hope, wherever you are now, Margaret, you know we love you and you are well and happy!"
"When I first met Margaret in the mid-1960s, little did I imagine one day I would make a film about her. I was an undergrad at U of T and she—a doctoral candidate in English—was the Don in our all-girls residence, Whitney Hall. She could be rather formidable, but I later came to realize how much she loved the girls in her charge, that she felt it her duty to awaken in us a belief that we were equal and full-functioning members of society. She wanted us to engage with the world, to march for civil rights and peace, and to tear down the walls of patriarchy—which then abounded at U of T. It was because of Margaret that I headed west to UBC for my Masters, and though it might seem an unremarkable achievement today, back then it was, for a B.A. pretty much capped a woman’s academic career. To boot, there was this prevailing notion that you had to be brilliant to be in grad school but Miss Fulton (or “Peggy” as we undergrads referred to her when by ourselves) made short shrift of that: “Girls. If I can do a PhD—me a farm-girl from Birtle, Manitoba—then you all can surely do a Masters!” And so I did. Jump ahead to the mid-Seventies, and a news article that UBC’s Dean of Women was leaving to become President of Mount Saint Vincent University. By the description it had to be Margaret, and so I summoned up courage to make a goodbye visit. Courage, because I was now a full-time mom and worried she’d think I’d let down the feminist cause. What a relief then when she resoundingly declared I was where I should be, taking care of my two girls…but then in typical Fulton fashion, she added a rejoinder: “There should be pensions for mothers, because you are doing such valuable work!”
Fast forward to the Nineties, and a silver-haired woman bounds up to me at an NDP fund-raiser. “Michelle! Remember me? Peggy Fulton!” Well how could I forget? Still the same energy, still the same forthright voice and hearty laugh, still the same convictions. It was not long after that I asked if I could make a documentary about her. Margaret’s first response was why on earth would anybody want to fund a film about her, let alone watch it? When I said it would be about the ideas that propelled her through life, about structural change and societal transformation…well, we were off to the races! And as it turned out, many wanted to see it made: television commissions from Knowledge Network, Saskatchewan Communications Network, CTV affiliate CFCF 12 in Montreal, Vision TV, Secretary of State (Status of Women), Department of Heritage (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Canada), BC Arts Council, and private donors. And what an adventure I had, tracking Margaret to places far and wide—Norway, Switzerland, England, Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Vancouver, and Salt Spring Island. She was a real trooper, even helping me pack heavy gear back to Vancouver when my camera crew had left on earlier flights. Afterwards, when I sent a video copy of “A Round Peg” to SSHRCC, they encouraged me to apply for a second grant to make a User Guide that further explored Margaret’s ideas on structural change. It was quite funny to hear the Ottawa-based SSHRCC bureaucrat say: “Lord knows, we in government sure could use a guide to transforming the hierarchy!” With the help of Margaret and some accomplished women working to effect change in their respective organizations, “Connecting the Dots” Guide was published; together the film and guide are now with libraries and community groups across Canada and abroad. Margaret is no longer with us, but fortunately some of her vitality, wit, and vision remain on film, rallying us to carry on the good fight. Margaret’s family has asked that I provide contact information for anyone wanting to obtain the DVD “A Round Peg”. You can find it through www.movingimages.ca or 1-800-684-3014 (604-684-3014 in Vancouver)."
"Like all of you, I too loved Margaret. We met each other on Salt Spring, and found we had a Thunder Bay connection as well. Thinking of her remarkable life now, what sticks in the mind is how she worked so tirelessly and devotedly for peace in this world. And now she's achieved it, in the next. So Rest in Peace, Margaret, no one deserves this more than you."
"There is little one can add to the tributes already offered to Peggy. I was introduced to her in Ottawa, in the early 70’s, by the woman I loved who, alas, was to die, very soon afterward. I was blessed to inherit Peggy’s friendship. Distance made it difficult for us to meet, but we did so occasionally all the same: in Delta, B.C., when she was Dean of Women at UBC, in Halifax when she headed Mount Saint Vincent University, and in Montreal – where I moved in 1984 – notably when Peggy was awarded an honorary doctorate in the same ceremony as the great Canadian novelist Hugh MacLennan, of whom she was a friend. After she moved to Salt Spring, we kept in touch by mail and by ’phone.
Extraordinarily kind and generous, Peggy had an invincible craving for justice and fought fiercely and cleverly, but always fairly, for the causes in which she believed. Although her memory was as clear as a bell, she was incapable of harbouring a grudge. I’ll miss all that, but what I’ll miss most of all, and terribly, are her passionate joy of life, her hearty laughter, her genuine friendliness and compassion. To her family and friends, may I express my deep sorrow at your loss. I share your grief."
"My dear friend Margaret is gone. What a rich life she lived and we are all the beneficiaries of her wisdom, generosity, humour and supportive friendship. I met Margaret soon after I arrived on Salt Spring in the year 2000. Together we began the iconic book study group that has continued until recently. She was always eager to learn and discuss and added much insight to any topic. I am proud and grateful to have been her friend. I always celebrated her birthday with her every year and brought her the favoured "single malt". We had many an argument mostly over politics, but I knew that she may not have agreed with me she always respected me. She was a great woman and I will miss her."
"I remember Margaret best from 1975--International Women's Year. She was the new Dean of Women at UBC, and had paid her own way to the United Nations IWY Conference in Mexico City, as the University did not hold it as a priority. She was amazed and outraged at women's situations as presented there from around the world, becoming a vigorous and enthusiastic force in the NGO meetings, official and otherwise. Margaret had been appointed Dean of Women at UBC when the position itself was under attack by feminists as being controlling, protective and patronizing. Indeed she was not exactly welcomed by the women students until we saw the vigor and effectiveness with which she used her position to analyze and redefine the status of women in academic life--as students, staff, and professors--a huge and lasting legacy. We very soon came to love and admired her."
"Dr Fulton taught our honours english class at WLU back in the 60's. She was an amazing teacher.
Two things I remember most: her laugh and her love of teaching.
Her laugh was infectious and very calming...she was genuinely fond of us and our attempts to make her laugh were always rewarded!
Secondly, she used to get very excited by having a piece of chalk in her hand and said it reminded her of being in elementary school again!!! I loved her...and built my own teaching career on her modelling. The world has lost a very good soul."
"Margaret was my teacher at Waterloo Lutheran University and became my mentor and friend. Her energy and enthusiasm were infectious, and her dedication inspired all who met her. Despite all her honors and achievements she was humble. We often talked on the phone, recommending books to each other and discussing the political situation, and she always made me so welcome when I visited. How I loved her and how I shall miss her."
"What a life of accomplishment!! She was an inspiration and a source of strength and support during my time as Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Island (1988-93) and the years following. My heart goes out to her close friends and family for your loss."
"Margaret was one of the birth mothers of the Millionth Circle Initiative, attending the first gathering in 2001 in California. We became instant circle evangelist sisters staying in touch and sharing resources and appreciation. Her steadfast vision of interconnecting circles as the alternative to hierarchy lives on through her work and inspiration. She lives in my heart and mind. Namaste!!! Ann"
"I was fortunate enough to reconnect with Miss Fulton a year ago, a gap of more than 50 years since she inspired me at Fort William Collegiate in 1960-1. She was the reason I chose to major in English at varsity and travelled the world lecturing and teaching the subject. Only when I read her biography did I truly realize the incredible life she lead and what she accomplished for herself and others. To her family we extend our deepest sympathy and condolences from Melbourne, Australia"
"I was first introduced to Margaret through a CBC radio broadcast many years ago while she was still working at UBC in Vancouver. Her passion, clarity, and challenge for change in hierarchal thinking and systems, move me deeply. My impulse to call the radio station to see how I could make a personal connection was rewarded with a long and treasured mentoring friendship. Margaret was always available for visionary conversation and focused action. Her leadership authenticity, curiosity, openness, availability and great kindness stay with me and I will miss her deeply. Thank you Margaret!"
"What an unbelievable life. Filled with a list of accomplishments that are unmatched. My favourite Aunt Peg set the bar high for all of us. Her level of professional achievements can only be matched by her love and dedication to her family. She will always be at the top of the list of people I admire. She makes me want to be better. You will be missed."
"Margaret Fulton was a dear friend and a Board member of the Women's World Summit Foundation, based in Geneva, Switzerland. She contributed so much to our learning curve on circles and the transformation of hierarchical structures and systems, which no longer serve humanity's quest for equality, development and peace. She was such fun and knew how to have a good time, but always stayed focused to the values she lived. We pray that she will continue supporting us in creating a world that works for everyone.
Loads of love dear, dear Margaret. We will not forget your great spirit."
"Margaret, a number of other wonderful Salt Spring Island ladies and I, have been a part of the "serious book club" that once a week for going on on 14 years. It has been both a pleasure and a privilege to discuss just about everything under the sun and truly important these days, with Margaret in attendance. Margaret was always a feisty force, with a keen wit, brilliant memory, opinionated about politics and she had a great smile and lovely laugh. She was generous in her life with her time and manner. What a treasure she was. I am so glad she was in my life. She will be missed by all that knew her."
"When I first met Margaret at the Mount in the 80's, I was so enamoured of her strength and enthusiasm. I was so pleased to meet a feminist of her character and with her compassion. When I moved to Salt Spring, I immediately contacted her and felt so privileged to be once again in her company. I spoke to her about two weeks ago about being one of the honoured women in a March exhibition at the library. Her presence will be greatly missed."
"When I worked in Nova Scotia in the 1990's, I continually kept hearing about Margaret Fulton's work at Mount St. Vincent University through some of the great peace activists of the day like Muriel Duckworth and Betty Peterson. Margaret set the tone and supported the women's peace movement in significant ways and ensured that women were in the forefront.
Margaret was a powerful woman but it came naturally to her to use her influence for others. Later, when I heard she had come from a farming community in Birtle, Manitoba, I understood how she had come to be so rich in character and integrity.
So, when I was invited to join the Book Club that Margaret was a part of on Salt Spring Island, I was very excited to be included in this elite group. And then the discussions began. Margaret would come into a meeting prepared with her premise laid out, her ideas prepared, bringing to us all the background that she had accumulated for decades and decades of her life. Her influence stimulated us to look at what we were reading more carefully and with a broader perspective. She always brought in references to other thinkers and writers from Margaret MacMillan to George Eliot. Oh how I will miss her wit and humour.
I got to know Margaret best, however, through her love of my Heritage Spartan apples that I grew on my property on Rainbow Rd. I would drop a bag off to her and she would relate how much she enjoyed them and really used them. Then we would talk about all the things I was doing, always encouraging me, giving me contacts, ideas, readings.
When I was making a short documentary film about the Canadian Women's Peace Movement, it was totally natural that Margaret would be a part of that film. When I interviewed her, there was little need for questions because she just took it on and talked. Anyone who knows Margaret, also knows how she can talk.
I loved the way she gathered young people around her and revelled in their successes. I loved her spiritual presence and her activist approach to life. A staunch Provincial NDP supporter, it did not ever prevent her from criticizing their direction and the letters would fly.
Oh, how we will remember her,miss her and be inspired by her.
Marion Pape, friend"
"I first met Margaret in 1990 at a conference called “Goals for College Women,” and event at which Margaret’s speech on developing alternatives to hierarchy dozens of women educators throughout B.C. to envision radical new ways of working within the post-secondary system. I had never heard any one talk quite like that: she was very smart, articulate, funny, brilliant outrageous and altogether mesmerizing. When I spoke to her afterwards she was enormously supportive, welcoming and warm, and we soon became very good friends.
Margaret often came to Nanaimo for meetings, conferences, and to give guest lectures at Malaspina College, now Vancouver Island University. She was given an honorary doctorate from Malaspina and gave a speech that prompted an immediate standing ovation. She was often at the Cowichan Campus of Malaspina and donated a large collection of her books to the library. She was always interested in hearing about the work we were doing. She was very generous with her time and I don’t remember her ever saying no when she was asked to participate or help out. The students loved her, as did the rest of us.
I was fortunate to be able to travel to Norway with her for the 10th anniversary of Kvinneuniversitteet, the women's university where Margaret had spent some time in the early days of its development, bringing to it her structure of interlocking circles. Clearly she was greatly adored and admired in that country as well.
Despite her many honours, Margaret’s behavior never changed; she was friendly, humble, practical and very down to earth. She was a wonderful friend to a many and she was a great support in times of trouble. I’m glad I was in frequent contact with her and I’m grateful for all she gave me throughout the almost 24 years of our friendship.
When my husband Mike died two years ago, Margaret phoned several times, as well as sending cards and emails. In looking through my emails I found two messages from that time with quotations that I think meant a lot to her and both seem very appropriate at this time::
There is Providence in the fall of a sparrow.
If it be now, 'tis not to come;
If it be not to come, it will be now,
If it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all.
As you said last evening, Mike has left us too soon, You especially will have to learn to deal with that, but time will help. When I woke up this morning , I was thinking about Mike, and strangely some lines if Milton ran in my head. I'll share them with you:
Nothing is here for tears, nothing to wail
Or knock the breast, no weakness, no contempt,
Dispraise, or blame, nothing but well and fair,
And what may quiet us in a death so noble.
Margaret’s life was a noble one indeed. We will miss her sorely but can feel that she was ready and that there is nothing here for tears. She gives us cause for great celebration."
"On January 16th I invited myself over to share some quiche and she welcomed me in, put on the kettle and told me stories of her life. She had such a way with the wry understatement: "When I was brought in as Dean of Women there was an attitude that you had responsibilities, but they weren't profound. I came in with some ideas, but it didn't make me a winner... A lot of women did not have a good time at UBC." My favourite of her oneliners will always be what she said at my nomination meeting as a federal Liberal candidate: "What is a staunch prairie socialist like me doing at a Liberal meeting like this?" When I rode the horse down Howe Street as Lady Godiva she would hardly talk to me for letting down the feminist movement; we had both been subjected to those countless tasteless Lady Godiva pranks run by male engineers at UBC in the 70s. Then one day she admitted that irony was a factor. I loved her for that. The last thing she said to me was about how hard she had to fight to get a woman's health centre started up on UBC campus... Seems appropriate that she was thinking about other women's health at a time when hers was deteriorating. Margaret moved mountains for those of us coming behind her... Briony"
"Margaret was a very close friend of mine since the days when I had a second home on Salt Spring. We visited together at least once a year over the past two decades, often more. And we stayed in regular e-mail touch. Although Margaret had a huge and loving family, she always had a place in her heart for good friends. I loved her dearly and valued her friendship more than I can say. She truly was one of a kind and will be greatly, greatly missed by many friends, admirers and of course the vast Fulton clan,of which she was so proud. Farewell, dear Margaret."
"There was never a time when I was with Margaret that we did not have a remarkable connection. I enjoyed her presence, our interaction, her insight, thoughtfulness, and perspective on the world. She changed the way I think about the world more than any other single individual I have known. I have passed on those insights to my students for the past 24 years. Dr.Fulton was delighted that her legacy continued well beyond her retirement, and it will now be passed on through the many people she inspired. My deepest gratitude to this courageous, visionary leader who made the world a better place. Peace be with you, Margaret."
"Margaret was my very dear friend. I was always dazzled by her
intellect and vision, especially her lifelong support of women's issues.
She not only had a zest for life, but was truly one of the most honest
person I have ever met. She was in so many ways my mentor. I am
so very lucky to have had her as my friend as I told her so many times."
"Margaret Fulton served and contributed to so many of us over her lifetime - as a leader, a role model and a person of incredible compassion, verve and character. We stand on her shoulders, and others she inspired...a wonderful legacy."
"I was always very proud of my Aunt Peg. I remember telling friends about my Aunt and her accomplishments, how she was a President and Dean of Universities, how buildings were named after her, that she had received numerous awards and honors and how she was even named to the Order of Canada. The earliest memories I have of Aunt Peg were at my Grandma’s (Mary) house in Saskatoon for Christmas and the times at the campground and cabin at Blackstrap. When I think of Aunt Peg I hear her voice first. I don’t know if it was the strength, confidence or knowledge, but when she spoke we all wanted to listen. I hope my children inherit Aunt Peg’s work ethic, determination and never ending quest to be the best person they can be. Aunt Peg, we love you and you will be missed"
"So much to fondly remember. Two things stick out to me. Aunt Peg loved a contest,loved to compete. With trash talk she gave as good as she got. She also loved to challenge us all to do better. Sometimes this could sting when we knew we were under achieving ,but she knew how to make up for that. No one offered up a more meaningful compliment than Aunt Peg. With love."
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