Margaret Ponder

Obituary of Margaret Elizabeth Ponder

Margaret Elizabeth “Margie” Ponder died peacefully in her 92nd year at the Chalmers Hospital early on New Year’s Eve, leaving behind three children, two grandchildren, a Siamese cat, and, in the fridge, an unopened bottle of champagne.


Margie was a devoted mother and grandmother, a quiet neighbour, and a gentle soul, unless she was sitting at the bridge table, where she displayed the cold and lethal finesse of a contract killer. She and her bridge partner, Barb, were a powerhouse pair in Fredericton’s golden age of duplicate bridge. Throughout the 1970s, they played in tournaments across Canada, becoming Life Masters in the process. In mid-career, Margie and Barb sent a jolt through the Tuesday night bridge club, being among the first in Atlantic Canada to master a new bidding system called Precision.


Margie was magic with cards, but bridge was just one of her special interests. She was an avid gardener as well. Starting in the early days of January, she would spend long evenings pouring over seed catalogues and planning a backyard garden that became one of the secret attractions of Grey Street.


In her final years, Margie stayed close to home with a series of cats, all of them Siamese. The last was Poppy, who still searches the house looking for her long-time human companion.


For her visiting grandchildren, Margie kept a wide selection of games, comics, and books. When those children grew up, she converted them into 24-hour emergency computer and cable-TV specialists.


Rising well before dawn became a lifelong habit for Margie, although she was known to set her alarm for 2 a.m. in order to catch a soccer tournament taking place on the other side of the world. Curling was another of her favourite spectator sports.


Margie is survived by her children, Charles, Daphne (Michael), and Ann, and her grandchildren, Edward and Thomas.


 In keeping with Margie’s wishes, there will be no funeral or visitation. 

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