Margaret Ann O'Hara

July 01, 1930 - March 08, 2019
Margaret Ann O'Hara

Margaret Ann Middleton O’Hara (neé Smith) was born in Kingston, Ontario, on July 1, 1930.  As a very young girl, Ann thought that the annual Dominion Day festivities were celebrating her birthday. It remained a special family event for 88 years, always with fresh strawberry shortcake for the birthday girl and her many admirers.

Ann grew up on Stuart Street, a block from the Lake Ontario.  She remembered tobogganing on the hills where Queen’s University buildings now stand.  Her parents, Cyril and Edna, had cottages near Kingston where the spirited girl with long braids ran free, exploring, swimming, and sailing with her three older siblings.

Ann attended Victoria Public School, KCVI and Queen’s – where she was a cheerleader for the Queen’s Golden Gaels. In her first year, she met William “Bill” Seymour O’Hara, a handsome WW II veteran from Toronto.  They were married three months later and had three children within the next three years.

In 1955, Ann’s wonderful life as wife and mother was destroyed when Bill, by then a respected lawyer, died of a heart attack at age 31.  She was a 25-year-old  widow with three young children.  Grief-stricken, Ann moved to Toronto where she held a few jobs, including modelling.  But, loneliness brought her back to Kingston.  

A few years later, she met Earl Victor Aslin, moved back to Toronto, and had two more children.  However, the expanded family soon returned to Kingston, and the marriage failed.  At 36, with five children aged 4 to 16, Ann went back to Queen’s, completed her BA, and earned her teacher’s certificate.

While raising her five children as a single parent, Ann taught at Loyalist Collegiate and later in the federal prison system.  She also sold real estate and wrote lively film reviews.  Somehow, she found time to paint, write poetry, join book clubs, renovate whatever house she owned, and, in later years, practice yoga.  

Ann was a vital, creative soul.  Her homes were full of books with walls covered in her paintings along with photos of her children, grandchildren, and eventually great-grandchildren.  She was an enthusiastic and fun conversationalist who spent hours with younger family members, playing chess and Scrabble, drawing, and telling stories.

Ann loved the great outdoors throughout her life, something she passed on to all of her family. She was especially happy by the water. She didn’t stop swimming long distances at her beloved little cottage north of Kingston until she was 85.  (At 65, she daringly dove off a boathouse roof!) But her full, not-always-easy life finally slowed her down.  

Ann is survived by her three siblings, Brit Smith, Cynthia Hurst, Gwen Berry, her five children, Kathleen O’Hara, Will O’Hara, Deirdre O’Hara, Jill Aslin, Chris Aslin, her grandchildren Wren Montgomery, Bronwen O’Hara, Janson Kenny, Hudson Kenny, Charlotte O’Hara, Jane O’Hara, Meg O’Hara, Zoe Rivard, Phoebe Aslin, Ursule Aslin, and her great-grandchildren, Joseph and Geneva Bordieri.  A Graveside Service for Ann will be held at CATARAQUE CEMETERY at 2:00 pm on March 16, 2019. A celebration of her incredible life by family and friends will be held from 3:30 to 5:30 at The University Club, 168 Stuart Street, Kingston.  Memorial donations can be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

 

Arrangements entrusted to CATARAQUI CEMETERY AND FUNERAL SERVICES.

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