Margaret Hazel (Coughlan) O’Neill of Fredericton N.B. passed away peacefully on April 6, 2018, with her beloved family by her side, at Hospice House Fredericton. Born in 1931, Margaret was the youngest daughter, and last surviving of the thirteen children, of Thomas Alexander and Sarah Lillian (Sturgeon) Coughlan of Blackville, N.B.
Margaret excelled at her studies and was gifted in mathematics, which led her to begin her professional career with the Bank of Nova Scotia in Fredericton. After several years and promotions within the bank, she met and married Vernon Clifford O’Neill of Belleisle Creek, N.B., who owned a general store. When Clifford closed his store in the early 1970’s and became employed with the Province of New Brunswick, the family moved to Sussex N.B., where Margaret began what would be a long and rewarding career in the real estate profession. After ten years with Royal Trust, she opened a real estate brokerage in her name and became known throughout Kings and Queens counties as "The Real Estate Lady." Margaret was well known and respected by her peers and her clients throughout southern New Brunswick, and over the course of her 35-year real estate career, she often sold the same property multiple times, as families came and went throughout the local area.
Concurrent with owning and operating her real estate business, Margaret also nurtured and supported her husband and children in their studies, pursuits and hobbies. She and Clifford were partners in instilling in their family a hard work ethic, and living by the belief that "if you do something, do it to the very best of your ability." Margaret cared deeply about her profession and in providing excellence customer service. She travelled from Sussex to Fredericton over a number of years for evening classes at the University of New Brunswick, achieving the highly respected designation of Fellow of the Real Estate Institute of Canada (FRI.
Margaret contributed greatly to her community over the years through such activities as sponsoring the annual radio broadcast of local church Christmas Eve Services, Sunday School teacher and choir director, member of the Sussex Chorus, member of the Sussex and District Music Festival Committee and an organist and member of the Order of the Eastern Star.
Upon retirement, Margaret and Sheba, her cherished German Shepherd, returned to Fredericton and enjoyed renovating her historic home, gardening and spending time with her children and grandchildren. Margaret was a wonderful storyteller and could entertain all with tales, folklore and stories about life along the mighty Miramichi and her adventures growing up there.
Margaret is survived by four children Janice (Gordon Gilman, Fredericton), James (Melody Logan, Tay Creek), George (Shaolin Lu, Toronto, ON) and Blake (Palm Springs, CA, USA) and her four adored grandchildren namely Duncan Gillies, Private Nicholas Gillies, Shannon O’Neill and Kerri O’Neill.
In addition to her parents and siblings, Margaret was predeceased by her husband Clifford.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Sherwood’s Funeral Home and Life Tribute Centre (506-839-2156), 18 Scovil Road, Norton, NB, where visitation will be held on Sunday April 8, between 2 and 5 pm. A funeral service will be held at St. Mary’s Anglican Church, 770 McEvoy St, Fredericton, NB on Monday April 9 at 11 am. A private family interment will take place at a later date.
The family wishes to thank her physicians Drs. Plummer, Stevens, Raza and Swan, the clinical staff at the Oncology Department of the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital, and the staff and volunteers at Hospice House Fredericton, all of whom provided Margaret with exceptional care, encouragement and compassion. A special thank-you is reserved for Jane Ahmed, who provided wonderful care and companionship to Margaret near the end of her life.
A donation, in lieu of flowers, in Margaret’s memory to Hospice House Fredericton would be very meaningful to the family and would have lasting benefit for other families in the future. Condolences and donations may be made through SherwoodsFuneralHome.com.