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Margaret Louise Cousineau, 70, of 1220 Strachan Place, Fort Frances, Ont., passed away with her family at her side on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010 at La Verendrye General Hospital in Fort Frances.

She was born Dec. 23, 1939 in Fort Frances to the late Thomas S. and Beatrice M. (Miller) Mathieu.

Margaret spent her early childhood in Fort Frances and attended St. Mary’s School. In 1954, she began her secondary schooling at the Academy of the Holy Angels in Minneapolis, Mn. and graduated from this prestigious institution on June 3, 1958.

That summer, Margaret toured Europe. She sailed from New York aboard the Queen Mary on July 16 and then travelled through nine countries. Highlights of the trip included a visit to the World’s Fair in Brussels, Belgium, a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Mary in Lourdes, France, and an audience with the Pope in Rome.

Margaret returned to the States aboard the Coronia in late August. In September of that same year, Margaret entered Minneapolis Business College.

On March 7, 1959, Margaret married Bernard C.P. Cousineau in Fort Frances. The couple later moved to Duluth, Mn. and Margaret started working at the Duluth Clinic as a doctor’s aide for ear, nose and throat specialist, Dr. J.H. Leek.

Pregnancy caused her to leave that job late in December, 1959.

Margaret did return to work briefly from November, 1961 until January, 1962 at Penney’s at the Plaza in the infant and dry goods department but left this position, too, to look after her growing family.

The couple returned to Fort Frances in 1967 and raised six children. Besides homemaking, Margaret also enjoyed painting ceramics, crocheting, bird-watching, gardening, and spending time at the lake.

Margaret was an enthusiastic member of the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, as well as the Catholic Women’s League. She was a loving and caring advisor to Nu Phi Mu degree sisters.

She also inspired and launched the sorority’s “Daffodil Drive” for the Canadian Cancer Society in 1975. Beta Sigma Phi honoured her considerable contributions to the sorority with their Order of the Rose on April 27, 1983.

Margaret returned to school in 1982 and earned a diploma in social work from Confederation College on June 9, 1984.

Margaret was an active member of several boards. She represented the Town of Fort Frances on the Northwestern Health Unit Board from 1983-90, serving as chairperson of both their dental and finance committees.

Margaret also was board president of Family & Children’s Services for the District of Rainy River from 1984-89. She also served on the Lakehead Regional Family Centre from 1984-92.

She was predeceased by one twin son, Bernard Francis, who passed away in infancy on Oct. 28, 1968; one sister, Judy A. McKenzie on Sept. 14, 1992; and Judy’s husband, Doug McKenzie.

Margaret is survived by her six children, Thomas Cousineau and wife, Susan, and Paul Cousineau and wife, Lisa, all of Fort Frances, Ont., Mary and husband, Scott Knutson, of Eagan, Mn., John Cousineau of Fort Frances, Ont., Anne Cousineau of Calgary, Alta., and Betsy and husband, Tom Neutgens, of Otsego, Mn.; and nine grandchildren, Jessica, Donovan, and Chandler Cousineau, Andrew, Daniel, and Katelyn Knutson, and Nicole, Dominic, and Nicholas Neutgens.

Also surviving are one sister, Noreen M. Stinson of Fort Frances, Ont.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Cremation will take place at Rainy River Cremation Services in International Falls, Mn.

A memorial mass to celebrate Margaret’s life will be held Friday, Feb. 5, 2010 at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Fort Frances, with Fr. Joseph Marattil officiating.

Interment will take place at a later date.

Friends may visit with family on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Green Funeral Home in Fort Frances, with parish prayers being offered at 7 p.m.

The honourary pallbearers will be her grandchildren and special friends, Mary Williams and Debora Nussbaumer.

Should family and friends so desire, in memoriam donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society, P.O. Box 444, Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3M8 or c/o Green Funeral Home, P.O. Box 427, Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3M8.

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