MEIKLE, Margaret Adelaide
February 15, 1956 - December 21, 2013
Born in Victoria to Maureen and Jim Meikle, Marg came to Vancouver as a young child. She still counted pals from elementary school, and Magee High School, as some of her closest friends. Marg's curiosity, and joy of company, started at an early age as she progressed to become a Gold Cord Girl Guide, and excelled as a camper and counsellor at Camp Nor'Wester.
Her mentors at Nor'Wester, Bill and Marty Holme, triggered her life-long passions for First Nations art and for knitting. Marg focussed on museum studies with a bachelor's degree from the University of Alberta and Masters from the University of Washington. While working on her PhD at UBC, Marg got involved with a new crowd: CBC broadcasters. The die was set for a career change, Marg became a regular on CBC local and national radio, using her curiosity to create The Answer Lady. Marg was a regular on the Vicki Gabereau Show, wrote for Canadian Living and hosted a variety of CBC programs. That led to the publication of many Dear Answer Lady children's books, with versions covering the world. A highlight for Marg was winning the Silver Birch Award, chosen by children from across Ontario.
Her marriage to Noel MacDonald in 1995 was followed by the birth of their son Mac, in 1997. In 1998 Marg was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson's Disease. For the next 15 years Marg battled the disease, and worked tirelessly to put a public face to Parkinson's, specifically to try and help find the cause and cure for this terrible disease. Marg's greatest accomplishment was starting her "bowl movement", Porridge for Parkinson's. This small event, held in our home, became an annual event and has raised more than $1.6 million for the Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre at UBC. Her only regret was that, in the last year of her life, her legacy was snatched from her by the Parkinson's Society of Canada.
Two years ago Marg chose to move to the multi-level care facility at the Weinberg Residence. At about the same time Marg took on yet another cause, Advanced Care Planning. Marg was a keynote speaker, and poster girl, for the roll-out of the new provincial government initiative to allow people more say in how their end of life experience played out. On Saturday, December 21, after just a few days at the palliative ward at Vancouver General Hospital, Marg died from complications from her Parkinson's Disease. Marg was the recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal and, in 2012, was deeply honoured to be given the Civic Merit Award by the City of Vancouver. Marg was predeceased by her father, Jim Meikle, and her brother, Jamie Meikle.
She is survived by her husband Noel MacDonald and their son, Malcolm (Mac) James Meikle MacDonald. She also leaves behind her mother Maureen Meikle, and her two brothers, Alan Meikle and Bill Meikle, and their families. Great gratitude goes to the team at VGH Palliative Care and the amazing, caring staff at the Weinberg Residence, that embraced Marg with compassion and exceptional care.
Marg's life would not have been what it was without Shillah Mandava. Marg's care giver for almost 7 years, Shillah lived every intimate moment with Marg and gave her unconditional love, support and care when times were brightest and darkest. Memorial Service: January 18 - 2 p.m. at St. Stephen's United Church, 7025 Granville St. Donations in lieu of flowers to the Pacific Parkinson's Research Institute.
Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province from Jan. 3 to Jan. 5, 2014.