In Memory Of


Margaret Gentles Burns

Feb 16, 1930 - Feb 16, 2021


  A private family funeral will be held on March 6 at the Centre for Spiritual Living in Red Deer and a graveside memorial service will be held on May 22 at 11 a.m. at the West Meadows Cemetery in Sylvan Lake. Both services will be Zoomed.


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Margaret Gentles Burns (nee Nixon) of Rocky Mountain House on February 16, 2021 at the age of 91 years. Margaret is survived by two daughters, Jane Burns (Susan Murray) and Lorna (Tim) Merkley of Sylvan Lake. She will be missed by her four grandchildren, Robert (Brianna) Merkley, John (Jordan) Merkley, Matthew (Kelsey) Merkley and Julie Burns. She leaves behind fourteen great-grandchildren, Ailli, Jovi, Payton, Quinn, Rylie, Van, Liv, Violet, Camelon, Ainsley, Oliver, Edwin, Gavin, and Alec. She also leaves to mourn her much beloved brother Robert Nixon, niece Ann Axon and great-nephew Stuart Axon in the UK.

Born in Falkirk, Scotland on February 16, 1930, Margaret endured the hardships of the Great Depression and WWII, spending nights in air raid shelters and wearing a gas mask to write school exams. She excelled in academics and athletics. As a young lady, she cycled all over Scotland and travelled throughout Europe. She held various administrative roles, including assisting members of the Polish Jewish community to settle and obtain home mortgages after the war, as well as teaching shorthand to BBC reporters.

After immigrating to Canada in the seventies, she held positions at Canadian Mental Health Services and the Michener Centre, retiring in 1993. She maintained an enduring relationship with close colleagues Roberta Hoffman and Helga Ross of Red Deer. Margaret was on the executive of the Association of Records Managers and Administrators. After retiring, she founded Edgewater Consulting, devoting her time to developing and writing policy and accreditation manuals.

Margaret was proud of her post-secondary studies in computer science as the only “granny” in the class, mastering Pascal, C, and Fortran computer languages. She was a trailblazer who charted her own course. She was passionate about her family, music and dance of all varieties, and indigenous art. Canadian geography and geology fired her imagination. She loved the true north strong and free.

Margaret battled Parkinson’s disease for the last nine years of her life but maintained a razor-sharp mind and spritely disposition. The family would like to thank the staff of The Ravines at Park Avenue for their excellent care and loving attention.

Condolence for the family, may be sent to:

Cremation entrusted to Rocky Mountain Crematorium, Rocky Mountain House, AB

Sylvan Lake and Rocky Funeral Homes and Crematorium, your Golden Rule Funeral Homes, entrusted with the arrangements, 403 887-2151


Sandy Turner:

Margaret was an amazing woman, loving, caring, and so intelligent. She spent many years at Michener Center, and that is where she and I first met. We would often chat about family and life. She always lightened a situation with her humor. Margaret will always have a special place in my heart.
To Jane and Sue; Lorna and Tim; Robert, John, Matthew, Julie, and all the great grandchildren, my sincere condolences, love and hugs.

Franka and Ines Talijancic (with family):

Our deepest condolences on your loss.We are so saddened to hear about her passing. She was an extraordinary and inspiring lady,with so much love kindness and understanding.
Both me and my sister were very lucky and blessed to have had the chance to meet and enjoy in her company.She touched our lives in an incredible way.
We will always remember her with a lots of love.
Rest in peace Margaret
Our thoughts and prayers are with you!
Sending you love and hugs

Mary Joan Barrett and Diane Côté:

Jane and family:
Our condolences to you all following the passing of Margaret. Mothers are such an integral part of our lives and our hearts. She will be missed and your memories of the loving woman she was will ease the sorrow.

Linda Taylor:

Please accept my condolences on the passing of your mother.It was an honour to have known such a great lady ,thinking of you all at this sad time .Linda

Graham Vanderwater:

Margaret was a wonderful and caring person - always had a smile for everyone in the room. A remarkable lifetime that touched many. Keeping everyone in the family in our thoughts.

Brianna Murray:

Beautifully written. What a smart lady. She will be missed by many, my sincere condolences.

Wanda Oster:

My sincere condolences to your
entire family. Margaret was an amazing lady- a real inspiration. I
admired her greatly for her strength, determination, sense of humor,
great wit, loving-kindness to all, and her passionate love of her
family. She cherished you all so very much.

Greg and Tracy Schneider:

We were so sorry to hear of Margaret's passing. We have such great memories with her at Matt's football games and it was clear how very proud she was of her grandchildren and boy did she love watching Matt play. I feel privileged to have known her, even if it was for a short time. We hope your memories sustain you during such a difficult time. Hugs to all of you.

Wes Bott:

Lorna and family
I’m sorry to read that your mother and grandmother passed away. She was a wonderful lady who was passionate about her work and life in general. Margaret was highly respected by all who knew her. She will be missed.

Betty Lepps:

My sincere condolences to your entire family! Margaret was an amazing Woman I have know her for over 20 years, she brought me laughter, kindness, acceptance, great food, and a wonderful daughter who has been a friend for close to 30 years! Jane and Lorna, your mom raised two beautiful outstanding Woman with full hearts! Take this time to relish in the amazing memories and stories! Rest in Peace Beautiful Margaret!

Nancy Vanderwater:

What a beautiful tribute. So elegantly written and I learned so much. So sorry to hear of Margaret's passing.

donna smith:

Sending my condolences to Lorna and Jane. As well the immediate family grandchildren and great grandchildren. Mrs. Burns was a lovely lady . REST IN PEACE you will not be forgotten Donna Smith ds

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