It is with great sadness that the family announce the passing of Margaret Kathleen Sherbarth (nee Lee) on May 1, 2019 at age 98. With family by her side, Margaret passed away peacefully at The Gardens in Qualicum Beach. Predeceased by her husband, George Sherbarth, in 1995, son-in-law Daryl Fietz, 1991, and son-in-law Leonard Jacobsen in 1988. Survived by her daughters, Marion Fietz, Lorna Jacobsen, and Colleen Sherbarth (Doug Buffie), and grandchildren Bradley and Megan Fietz, as well as brother Reginald Anthony Doman, and nieces Kathleen, Carol and Laura.
Margaret was born in Port Alberni, BC to Arthur Edgar Lee and Sarah Watson, the oldest of two children. Her brother, Edgar, died at birth. She attended Eighth Avenue Elementary School, and her Grade 5 teacher was her uncle, Anthony Caldwell Watson. Margaret attended senior secondary education at Alberni District High School, graduating in June 1939 and completed her Senior Matriculation at John Oliver High School in Vancouver, BC.
When Margaret qualified for apprenticeship in June 1941, she could not find a druggist or drug chain that would employ her. Margaret was told over and over again that they only employed men as pharmacists. Extremely disappointed at not finding work as a pharmacist, Margaret trained as an operator with B.C. Telephone. It was not until Pearl Harbour was bombed by the Japanese in December 1941 that she was flooded with job offers.
During World War II, Margaret was a member of the Red Cross Corps. She obtained her St. John’s Ambulance First Aid Certificate with this group. Should an air raid attack occur, they were trained to help transport and care for the injured.
Margaret completed her Pharmaceutical Chemist Apprenticeship between 1942-1946 with Mr. E.B. McVicar, at McVicar’s Pharmacy, in Port Alberni. During this time, Margaret attended the B.C. School of Pharmacy, in Vancouver from September 1945 to June 1946 to prepare for final examinations. She then wrote the exams and obtained her diploma. (There was not a school of pharmacy at the University of BC until September 1946.) Margaret worked as a pharmacist in Port Alberni at a number of pharmacies, finishing her career at Peter Eng Pharmacy, which was located in the medical building on Ninth Avenue.
Margaret lived with her grandmother in the family home in Port Alberni until her grandmothers death in September 1947. She married George Sherbarth on January 2, 1951 at St. Peters Anglican Church in Campbell River, BC. They had three daughters, Marion, Lorna and Colleen. All were born at West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni. Margaret returned to pharmacy when her youngest daughter entered school, working part-time and holiday relief. She continued until 1980. George retired in 1977 and they moved to Qualicum Beach and spent thirteen years there. They sold their Qualicum home in December 1990 as George was ill, struggling with asthma and having suffered a heart attack, he was unable to maintain the property. They resided in a condo in Shoreline Estates from 1990 – 1996. George died September 7, 1995 and Margaret moved to Kelowna in November 1996 to be close to Colleen and Doug. She remained in Kelowna until 2006 then moved back to Qualicum Beach and resided at The Gardens, in assisted living, for eight years. Wanting to be closer to family, she moved to Richmond, BC in 2014 to reside with Colleen and Doug where she stayed until January 2019. Requiring more care and with Colleen and Doug’s pending retirements, she moved back to The Gardens and was residing on the third floor until her passing.
Margaret was active in St. Alban’s Anglican Church, teaching in the Beginner’s Sunday School and Junior Auxiliary. She was also a member of the Soroptimist Club of Port Alberni.
Margaret enjoyed her years as a pharmacist and made many friends. She had wonderful memories of her grandparents and spent many happy hours hiking about the Alberni Valley with her grandfather. Margaret relates that her Uncle Tye and her were more like brother and sister. Tye took her fishing, duck shooting and trap shooting. She vividly remembers polishing fishing tackle, cleaning up decoys and oiling guns. Margaret was an avid walker, loved to swim, garden, read books, and spend time with family and friends.
Margaret touched the lives of many people and will be missed by all that knew her. Please join the family at the service to be held:
Tuesday, May 21, 2019 1:00 pm
St. Marks Church
138 Hoylake Road
Qualicum Beach, BC
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alberni Valley Hospice Society Tye Watson House in Port Alberni.
Excerpt from ADHS Annual 1939
A charming girl with a delightful smile which we often enjoy and a pleasant laugh which we too rarely hear. She is one of those few satisfied with nothing short of perfection and has a yen for work that puts us all in the shade. She is going to study pharmacy. Her favorite saying and current worry seems to be “O, that Algebra test!”
Excerpt from Class Personals (JOHS) The Souvenir 1941
Quiet and brainy is her proper description. As a druggist-to-be she’ll fill your prescription.
Lives Cherished and Celebrated