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Marjorie Kathleen Huff


Marjorie Kathleen Huff (formerly Bevan; née Masters)

Born in Edmonton AB June 15, 1926; Passed away in St. Albert AB April 10, 2019


How can we even begin to try to tell the story of Marjorie Kathleen Masters…Bevan…Huff – our marvelous Marj?


A consummate storyteller, an unparalleled tour guide, a top-ranking Realtor, community newspaper columnist, special education advocate, continuous learner and explorer (a road trip anywhere with Marj was always an adventure); family archivist/diarist extraordinaire, undisputed family Scrabble tourney champion, crossword and sudoku whiz, lifelong movie, theatre, “Corrie Street” and PBS fan; a remarkable, resilient lady, and such a very proud Mom, Gran, Great-Gran, Canadian. Marj was curious about everything – words, history, geography, politics, how things worked and, above all, people. She found immense joy in life, had a wonderful sense of fun and would laugh until tears rolled down her cheeks. She had a fantastic sense of rhythm and would do her silky bossa nova steps any time the music (or the mood) moved her – in public spaces or across the kitchen floor.


In her youth, Marj was a championship swimmer, training with Edmonton’s East End Polar Bears; she competed in badminton, tennis and bowling tournaments and hit the slopes with the Eskimo Ski Club. Marj and her dance partner “Shadow” (Irving Yaffe) were perennial jitterbug contest winners and we caught glimpses of her award-winning moves whenever she heard a Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw or Benny Goodman tune. Later, she was an avid curler, as skip and third, and took up golf with a passion, playing her most recent game on her 92nd birthday.


Marj had hoped to study journalism but WWII intervened. On the home front in Edmonton, she was a dedicated Red Cross volunteer and worked a variety of jobs: cosmetician, camera counter salesperson, and much to her surprise, chief statistician for San Juan Tools at the old Hangar #3. During a stint at the Corner Drug Store in the Highlands, a chance meeting brought her the first love of her life, Rhys Dilwyn Bevan, a young CIL chemical engineer. Marj and Rhys married in 1951 and lived at various times in Toronto & Streetsville ON, and in Montreal & Rosemere QC as Rhys moved up the corporate ladder, eventually becoming CIL Vice President. They had four children together – Kathy, Layla, Tamra and Rhys – and their very active household included Welsh setter Mitzi, Buddy the Budgie and a passing parade of turtles and goldfish.


When Rhys passed away suddenly in 1971, Marj moved to Calgary, where she made a new life for the young Bevan family, with the loving support of her Mom Kay until Kay died in 1994 at the age of 89 (Marj’s Dad Harry had died in 1958). Marj became a tour director for Funtours, criss-crossing North America for five adventure-filled years, making sure the voyagers on her bus learned more about roads less traveled, hidden gems and local culture than the tour had promised. Wherever her “Roadrunner” bus could go, that’s where she and her favourite driver Harvey Treichel went. Marj then became a Realtor in Calgary, working as a top salesperson at Cowley & Keith, Coldwell Banker, Canada Trust and Royal LePage, retiring after 20 years when the second love of her life re-entered her life, recently widowed graphic artist William (Bill) Wright Huff.


Marj and Bill had known each other in their late teens/early 20s in Edmonton, when they were part of a group of great friends (“the gang”) who made the Masters family home their own, welcomed by Marj’s parents Kay and Harry (Bill later worked with Harry as a commercial artist). Everyone would roll up the carpet, Harry would play piano, Kay would sing and the gang would dance the night away. Marj and Bill married in 1994, a wonderful union that brought Marj the added joy of an expanded family, through Bill’s daughter Val (Chris) and son Graham and their respective families – who melded together with Marj’s family as magically as Marj and Bill did themselves. When Bill and Marj moved to St. Albert, their home became the hub for family Christmases and gatherings of friends. They also traveled across Canada, as well as throughout the U.S. Southwest and East Coast. Marj and Bill spent almost 10 wonderful years together before he died in 2003.


Marj loved St. Albert and continued living here, always happiest when hosting family and friends in her immaculate home, where she lived independently until she passed away suddenly last week. On our part, we were always happiest when Marj was seated at the head of the table or in her living room, regaling us with stories we might have heard before, but which she always told so well that we never wanted them to end.


As Marj would say, she hasn’t reached an end now – she’s just off on her greatest adventure of all. To her we say: Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for staying with us and loving us unconditionally for as long as you did. Our only quibble: You told us you wanted everyone to know how lucky you had been in life, but you were wrong. We were the lucky ones. Until we meet again…we love you, Marj/Mom/Gran/Great-Gran.


Marj is deeply missed by her family – The Bevans: Rhys, Deb & Rhys Leon; The McGees: Kathy & Pat, Tom & Megan (Miles); The Thomsons: Val & Chris, Mark & Diana & Emma, Scott & Ashley; The Huffs: Graham, Amanda & Graham (Ragsdale); The O’Briens: Kevin & Cindy, Chelsea, Bill (Pyle); The Lucas family: Libby & Ralph, Janet & Adrian & Aviendha & Zarine (Reynolds); her nephews & their families – John & Alida Bevan; Jim & Donna Bevan; and all her cousins & their families – including the McCargars; the McMillans; the Peers; the McLennans; and the MacAlpines. Predeceased not only by her beloved husbands Rhys and Bill, but also by the heart-rending losses of her daughters Tamra (1991) and Layla (1995). With special thanks to Jane & Alan, “Handy” Andy & Helen, Terry & Bill, Pat & Phil, Joan, Doris and so many more who shared such good friendships with Marj (with our apologies to countless others we may have missed) – and our heartfelt gratitude to the doctors and nurses at the Sturgeon Community Hospital and its emergency room and to Dr. Fernando and the Grandin Medical Clinic in St. Albert.


A celebration of Marj’s life will be held on Saturday May 4 from 2:00 to 4:30pm (drop in, refreshments & stories will be served) at the St. Albert Kinsmen Banquet Centre, 47 Riel Drive, St. Albert AB, T8N 3Z2, where we celebrated Mom’s 90th in 2016. In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome in Marj Huff’s name to the Sturgeon Community Hospital Foundation, as Marj was a long-standing volunteer at the hospital right up until last week, just two months shy of her 93rd birthday…and her next round of golf.

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