Marian Steep

Marian Steep

Sunday, August 16th, 1925 Sunday, April 12th, 2020

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Obituary for Marian Elizabeth Steep (Ballantine)

MARIAN ELIZABETH STEEP (nee Ballantine) Marian passed away peacefully on Easter Sunday at Sunnybrook Health Centre just moments after each of her children had visited her bedside. Devoted wife to Robert (Bob) Steep, who predeceased her in 2008, and loving Mother to Paul (Anne McNeilly), Barbara (Chuck Lawand) and David (Lyn Ogilvy), she enjoyed a long, happy life passing in her 95th year. She will also be greatly missed by her grandchildren, Claire, Andrew James, Robert, Will and Shawn to whom she was exceptionally close. Marian was born on a beautiful farm in southwestern Ontario near the town of Strathroy. She cherished her rural heritage and often referred to her life on the farm, including during her last hospitalization. These were happy memories. She was close to her brother Donald who spent his life on the farm and her sister Dorothy. She would also want to remember her many farm nieces and nephew, Beth, Linda, Janice, Jim, Mary and Katherine. Also close to her heart were Stephen and Anne Steep of Rochester Hills, Michigan, and their children Stacey and Alec. After high school in Strathroy, she attended the University of Western Ontario and received her B.A. in 1946. She then attended the University of Toronto where she obtained a Bachelor of Social Work in 1950. She worked as a social worker in Peterborough and London before marrying Bob in 1952 and settling in Guelph where Bob worked as a chartered accountant. Unusual for a wife and mother at that time, she continued to work outside the home as a social worker for the Children's Aid Society and later for the Guelph office of the Official Guardian. Marian had many friends and social pursuits in Guelph. She was an active bridge player, a volunteer at the Guelph General Hospital and active in her church, Knox Presbyterian. In the 1970s through their church connection, Marian and Bob helped to settle a newly arrived family from Vietnam. They also provided a home for James Ayigis, a student from Ghana who was sponsored by Knox Church to complete a Master's degree at the University of Guelph. She was a keen reader and, like many of her generation, was inspired by Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, a favorite subject among the many books that were always at her bedside. Other favorite topics included the Queen and anything concerning the abdication of Edward VIII. Perhaps her happiest times were spent at her summer cottage, In- We-Go, on the shores of Lake Huron, near the town of Port Elgin. In later years, her children all had cottages nearby so she was able to see her grandchildren grow up on the same beach where her own children had played many years earlier. She spent most of every summer there until the frailties of age made it impossible for her to travel safely. A painting of her cottage, by a cottage friend, hung on the wall of her last home at Briton House in Toronto In 2009, after the passing of her husband, she embarked on a new life in Toronto close to all three of her children. For many years she had an apartment on her own at Briton House and regularly played bridge with her friends and summered at her cottage. Later, as she required more care, she had devoted caregivers in another part of Briton House. The Family would like to thank the staff at Briton House and the Easy Access Health Care workers for the care and respect that was always extended to her. We also want to recognize the extraordinary care and compassion of the dedicated nurses and doctors at Sunnybrook who looked after her during her final days. For those who want to remember Marian through a charitable gift, please consider Rosedale Presbyterian Church whose members extended many kindnesses to her during the 12 years she lived in Toronto. As a dedicated social worker, Marian would have been the first to advocate for public health as our primary concern during this time of crisis. Though we cannot celebrate her life now, a happier time will come when we can remember her safely, and together. Marian was a faithful Christian, blessed with goodness and mercy all the days of her life. She now dwells in the house of her Lord.

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