More Than a Lifetime of Helping
Margaret Henderson has lived a full life and throughout it all, has been one to give back to others, supporting causes close to her heart, and donating her time as a volunteer. This value of philanthropy was something she shared with her late husband, Stuart.
Margaret and Stuart met when she moved into a new apartment building where he was also a resident. While checking her mail, she saw him carrying a laundry basket and asked for his help finding the laundry room. After showing her, the two had a nice visit and after their second encounter – when he found her experiencing car trouble with her ’57 Chev – he asked her to a football game. A year and a half later, the two were married on April 27, 1963 and began their busy life together.
Stuart worked in quality assurance and the two moved often as he changed roles and companies, with Margaret starting her career in secretarial work and eventually shifting to roles in human resources. They started their life together in Toronto, before moving to the States of Ohio, Massachusetts, New York, and eventually back to Toronto for the final 11 years of their careers. When they were ready to retire, the two wanted to get out of the city and decided to settle down in Brighton, choosing it for its small town, rural feel and pretty landscape. Today, Margaret resides at a retirement residence in Cobourg.
Along with leading an active life that involved golfing, curling, line dancing, and travelling, Margaret and Stuart loved to help others. Margaret volunteered at a women’s shelter in Toronto and also became a ‘big sister’ with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Remarkably, she has kept in touch with her ‘little sister,’ who was just 8 years old when the two met, for 42 years now. Together, Margaret and Stuart also helped support a young woman and her children as she struggled to leave an abusive relationship and helped put others through university. Margaret continued her volunteer work after the move to Brighton, reading to children once a week at Goodwill Learning Centre.
Throughout her life, Margaret has suffered from scoliosis, which has caused chronic back pain, but she has not let this hold her back or stop her from helping others. Her drive to help as many as she can, even when she herself was in pain, is a true testament to her character.
Her desire to help has not only been woven throughout the story of her life, but has also held great importance as she plans for the future. After meeting with Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) Foundation to gain an understanding of upcoming priorities, she has committed a significant legacy gift to help reach these future goals, specifically planning to support the diagnostic imaging department.
When asked why she’s choosing to support diagnostic imaging, Margaret explained she wanted her gift to help as many people as possible. With diagnostic imaging used for such a variety of illnesses, injuries, and routine screening, she feels the services are well-needed and hopes her gift will positively impact the lives of many. In recognition of Margaret’s generosity, a naming opportunity at the hospital is pending.
When remembering Stuart, who passed away in 2012, she fondly recounts that though he sometimes gave a gruff appearance, he was soft and caring on the inside, and on top of her desire to help others, she feels this is a gift he would be proud of.