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Margaret Sabourin Freedman



Our mother, Margaret Mary Agnes Bochek, was born to Frank and Ida Bochek on February 7, 1919, in Mile 40, Oliphant Mines on the coal branch in Alberta. They later moved to Sterco (Sterling Collieries) where she grew up with her 3 siblings, Lucille, Frank and Joe. Mom’s parents encouraged their love of music, dance and poetry which was inspired by their main form of news and entertainment of the day chiefly the radio and the movies of the 20’s and 30’s. Mom played piano and sang in bands for many dances held in the community halls along the coal branch. At the age of 18 while practicing for her Grade 8 Toronto Conservatory exam she began experiencing pain in her hands. She passed her exam but had to learn to live with and adapt to the pain of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis which would last the rest of her life.

While working in Bonnyville AB Mom met the musical family of Dr. Severin Sabourin. She became friends with his son Raymond sharing a passion for music which eventually developed into an enduring love. They were married in St Jean D’Iberville, Quebec, on Valentines Day, February 14, 1948. Dad became the resident musician/entertainer for the Chantecler Hotel in St. Adele, Quebec. Sadly her beloved husband of only 10 years passed away leaving her a young widow with 4 children between the ages of 2 ½ and 9 years of age. She moved back to Edson, Alberta in 1958 to be close to her mother and family.

In Edson Mom taught playschool, gave piano lessons and played the organ at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. She loved the stage and performing! She was given a role in the chorus for Edson’s 50th Anniversary operetta, “Look Behind You Neighbour”, which was performed for the Commonwealth Delegates in Edmonton. Prince Phillip was supposed to be there but flew on to Victoria. Prince Phillip, you missed out big time!

Growing up, our house was constantly a-buzz with musical energy. Musical tastes varied in our teen age household and mom welcomed the basement jam sessions regardless of the noise knowing it was safer to have the kids at home. She loved all the kids and they loved her back. She respected their love of music, their dreams and their hopes.

In 1969 Mom had moved the family in to Edmonton and worked for Weber Bros Realty. It was there that a mutual friend introduced her to Joseph Freedman who not only became a good dance partner but her second husband and globe trotting companion for almost 20 years. Joe passed away in 1995. Mom loved his family and remained closely connected with many of them through the years.

Mom was a dedicated Edmontonian participating in many of the summer Festivals. Even in her 80s she would hop a bus on her own just to get to her favourite festival, Heritage Days, where she would walk the grounds enjoying the shows and foods from all over the world. She was a great walker and lover of people from all walks of life.

Shortly after her 80th birthday Mom decided to go with a group to Israel to see the Holy Sites she had only read about. She returned with a deepened faith in the Lord. It was also on this trip that she made some dear friends to whom she remained close for the remainder of her life.

Mom was very proud of her grandchildren & enjoyed their musical and theatrical pursuits. She was an avid supporter of all their productions with St. Albert Children’s Theater for many years.

In 2007 she was diagnosed with bladder cancer and radiation treatment was recommended. Given a time frame of not more than 2 years to live, Mom submitted to ten radiation treatments. For two years much prayer was requested and in the fall of 2009 mom’s doctor, marveling, said, “Margaret, do you realize you are a survivor?” We thanked God!

Up until this time Mom had been living in her own house. At the age of 84 years she had discovered a love and an ability to write and was now working on a book. She was writing little stories and poems and in 2010/2011 recorded a CD of two of her own songs and two of her poems. We treasure them now.

In the summer of 2011 she decided to sell her house having already moved in with her daughter Madeleine. Then on January 23 2012 Mom suffered a major stroke and spent the last few months of her life at the Citadel Long Term Care Center in St Albert AB where she was cared for with great love and dignity by the compassionate staff there.

Our mother loved people of all cultures and faiths and had a heart for the broken, abandoned, weak and hungry. She had a curiosity of a much younger person, always ready for an adventure. Her health care staff were so touched by her courage and humour in the face of her trials and called her their "mom" too. She was a very special lady who shared her gifts of music and writing with many. We have been blessed to have had her so long.

On Tuesday January 15, 2013. Mom passed away peacefully in her sleep. She leaves to mourn her children Madeleine Sabourin, Lorrie (Arthur) Woida, Ray Sabourin (Cindy Hayton) and Michael (Janice) Sabourin; grandchildren Greg Delaine, Vanessa Sabourin (David Van Belle), Carmen (Jared) Leibel, Michelle Sabourin, Aaron (Karen) Sabourin, Paul Woida, Brett Woida; and great grand children Olivia and Julia Leibel. She is also survived by stepsons Phelan Joseph Freedman, Maurice (Donna) Freedman, Tim (Angela) Freedman; step grand children Angela (Johnny) Oshika and Jessica Freedman (Chris Badali); and step great grandchildren Aili and Tomio Oshika. She leaves to mourn brothers Joe (Irene) Bochek and Frank Bochek; brothers-in-law Chuck Giesbrecht and Nathan Freedman, sisters-in-law Claire Knowler, Lili (Manuel) Fernandez, Lucienne Watson and Helene (Michel) Saraga as well as many much loved nieces, nephews and close friends. Mom’s extended family includes Rosemary Garvey, Jacqueline Paul and David, Carol and Aleysha Sarinn.

Mom was predeceased by her sister Lucille Giesbrecht in 2010 and husbands Raymond Sabourin in 1958 and Joseph Freedman in 1995.

The family would like to thank the staff at the Citadel Care Centre in St Albert for the loving and compassionate care shown our mother during her stay with them.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta would be gratefully accepted

Proverbs 3: 5,6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

In Loving Memory of
Margaret Sabourin Freedman
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Funeral Service:
Celebration of Life
Saturday, February 2, 2013
10:00 AM
Downtown Chapel
10011 - 114 Street
Edmonton, AB
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