Margaret Rose Crabb (Wilgenbusch), 55, died at home surrounded by her family Saturday Feb. 20, 2021, a little more than a year after being diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. Margaret made an impression on many people thanks to her friendly smile and cheery personality. She showed grace, composure, and courage while living with the awful and unforgiving symptoms of a terrible disease, sharing laughs and smiles even while in her weakest, most vulnerable state. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Beneath her bubbly exterior, lied a rugged, no-nonsense-motorcycle-driving persona Margaret could unleash when the circumstances warranted. She was a tough, hard-working person who loved her Harley Davidson and rides around Manitoba and into the United States with her husband Tim and their crew of biker friends.
Whether on or off the open road, Margaret could make anyone comfortable in any situation, perhaps a product of growing up in a family as one of 12 siblings. She spoke often of caring for her younger brothers and sister after her older siblings moved away from the family farm in Boggy Creek, Man., where they resided in a rustic log cabin near the Duck Mountains about 40 kilometres north of Roblin, Man.
Margaret was born Nov.18, 1965 in Roblin to parents John and Delores Wilgenbusch, the eighth of their 12 children. Her blonde hair, a source of pride for her mom, but also an attractant to balsam resin from the trees on the farm she climbed with her brothers and sisters, resulting in plenty of unplanned trims to get the tangles out.
Margaret attended school in Roblin, upgrading her education throughout her adult years to become a pharmacy technician at Mitchell’s Drug Store, where she has worked for more than 30 years. She loved her job, hated being off work and hoped to return this past fall but sadly cancer treatments kept her away.
In the early 80s, Margaret and Tim met at a house party in Roblin, where Margaret’s smile grabbed Tim’s eyes. They moved to Winnipeg together soon after, living in The Maples while frequenting the Brooklands and Osborne Village neighbourhoods. They moved back to Roblin in 1983. Their first son Josh was born soon after, on Mar.13, 1985. Chris arrived Feb.24, 1991. Margaret and Tim welcomed daughter Shaylyn Aug. 25, 1993. She died much too soon on Jul. 25, 1994 at the young age of 11 months after undergoing surgery for a heart condition.
A loving mom and highly-regarded aunt, Margaret spent many of her free hours caring for Chris and Josh. She gave them the freedom to do as they chose but made sure they had the tools and support they needed to succeed in their endeavours whether in academics, sports, or just living life.
Margaret, Tim and the boys lived in Roblin until 1997, when they moved to an acreage just east of town in the former R.M. of Hillsburg. The yard soon became Margaret and Tim’s little piece of paradise. They immediately got to work, putting in many trees around the perimeter of the property to make a shelterbelt. Vegetable and flower gardens were planted, a fish pond was added and eventually a hot tub and a new garage – there was no project too big for Margaret. Together, her and Tim turned the place into a welcoming home that has hosted many friends, family members, pets, wild critters and birds over the years. In the spring, summer and fall—even throughout her chemotherapy treatments—Margaret spent hours working outside, sprucing up the yard and leaving behind a lasting sanctuary for her family.
Beyond motorbikes, Margaret had many passions and skills. Her cooking and baking made family time not only a special gathering but a time to share delicious food.
Margaret loved her trips with Tim into B.C. to visit Chris in Vancouver and to the southern part of that province for a recent family reunion. She enjoyed travelling in the summers with Tim to South Dakota and Montana. The two boys went with Margaret and Tim to Las Vegas in 2009, driving by car from Manitoba all the way down to Nevada. In the earlier years, they often travelled together as a family to Banff and Jasper to enjoy the Rocky Mountains.
Margaret was predeceased by her grandparents, mom and dad John and Delores Wilgenbusch, daughter Shaylyn Dawn Crabb, brothers Bruce and Bert, nephews Donald McKinnon and Roger Wilgenbusch, sister-in-law Wendy Wilgenbusch (Larocque) and father-in-law Arvid Crabb.
She will be deeply missed by her husband Tim, sons Josh and Chris, pets Petey the cat and Charley the German Shepherd, brothers and sisters Brenda (Don) McKinnon, Ray (Dorothy), George (Beth), Lawrence, Lorne (Debbie), John, Gary (Wendy), Lori (Brad) Jones and Roger (Mikia), brothers-in-law Bill (Vida), Aaron and sister-in-law Kathy (Mike). Many nieces and nephews will also dearly miss aunty Margaret.
A small service for Margaret’s immediate family was held in Roblin Feb.28 with an outdoor celebration of Margaret’s life to be held at a later time, potentially this summer if pandemic restrictions permit group gatherings.
Those who so desire may make memorial donations in memory of Margaret to the Roblin District Community Foundation. To send a note of condolence for the family please visit NairnChyzWolkowski.ca
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