Margaret Clarke, volunteer, Delta Public Health Unit, devoted 25 years to assisting public health nurses and staff with her warm, caring support for children and families.
Delta resident Margaret Clarke was married to her husband Alan for 54 years – and for 25 of those years she was a steadfast Fraser Health volunteer at the North Delta Public Health Unit.
“She loved it, she really enjoyed it,” Al said of his late wife’s passion for public health volunteering. “She always came home with a smile on her face. She really liked the camaraderie and often talked about it.”
Margaret devoted herself to raising her three children, but she also had a lot to give to her community. Although she wasn’t formally trained in health care, she had a magic touch with people and a special way with children that made her instrumental to the public health team.
Margaret’s role was helping nurses with child health and immunization visits. Among her duties, she checked on children’s growth, greeted patients, helped those feeling ill after immunizations, organized appointments, and set a tone of warmth and calm reassurance for anxious patients and parents.
Al, who sadly also passed away in August 2017, said one of his wife’s best qualities, and one that enabled her to be such a devoted volunteer, not only at Fraser Health, but for the Delta Lions Club, animal rights’ groups and the local SPCA, was her patience. “As a person, she had a thick skin, and she got along good with everybody,” he said.
The public health nursing team praised Margaret’s dedication and reliability. She would repeatedly jump in at the last minute to fill shifts when others couldn’t, mentored new volunteers, and became an integral part of the team.
“Margaret was one of our most cherished and well-loved team members,” said Jo-Ann Steed, a public health nurse who worked at clinics with Margaret. “She consistently went above and beyond her role as a health unit volunteer and she treated everyone with care and respect.”
“Her gentle and reassuring approach to sometimes anxious parents and upset children made their experience with an uncomfortable procedure a more positive one,” Jo-Ann added. “Margaret built strong connections to clients and families in the community as they continued to see her while their babies and children grew.”
Margaret passed away in April with her husband, her children, Michael, Patricia and Matthew, and her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren by her side. She is also fondly remembered by her work family, who wanted her recognized for her volunteer service delivery excellence over decades.
“Margaret’s volunteer dedication and longevity is extremely rare,” said Donna Martyniuk, Delta Public Health Nursing Supervisor. “She demonstrated Fraser Health’s values of respect, caring and trust with clients and employees alike. She had a gentle way and was able to connect on a personal level. She is missed by all.”