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Ham Margretta web photo copyMargretta Isabelle Ham

It is with heavy hearts, but fond memories, we announce the passing of our beloved mother, grandmother, aunt and friend Margretta Ham on March 7, 2018 at Heritage Lodge Personal Care Home in Winnipeg.

Gretta, born March 20, 1937, was the first daughter of Irish immigrants William James and Isabelle Leetch. She is predeceased by her husband John Thomas Ham, older brother Robert Samuel, younger siblings Betty and Bill and her son Camden Stewart Ham. Left to honour her memory are daughter Pat (Rob), son James, daughter-in-law Tammy, grandchildren Jennifer, Nicole, Sharyne, Ethan and Patrick.

Also left to remember her is her special cousin Elizabeth (Betty) Doyle in Thunder Bay, ON who was a tremendous source of support for mom in her later years.

In addition to being a homemaker and mom, Gretta also worked as a clerk for the Associated Anaesthetists of Winnipeg, secretary/bookkeeper for the Carpentry Trade Improvement Trust Fund and then as a Church Secretary at Maryland United Church.

Above all, Mom was a woman of faith. Throughout her life she was very active with the United Church of Canada, first as a member of the former Grace and St. Stephens Broadway United congregations. Later in life she was a member of Westminster United and also found comfort and fellowship at Charleswood United as her world became smaller as a result of the dreaded disease that slowly stole her from us – dementia.

She was also a huge proponent of Winnipeg and its growth – particularly our downtown and the West End.

She was an avid volunteer starting as a young woman with CGIT, Girl Guides of Canada, Explorers and Neighbourhood Watch. In retirement, she was a dedicated volunteer at Cancer Care Manitoba.

As her favourite Uncle Bob would often recite “I shall pass through this world but once. Any goodness I can do or kindness show, let me do it now for I shall not pass this way again.”

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, March 13th at 2 p.m. at Charleswood United Church, 4820 Roblin Blvd.

Some shy away from those with dementia. Please know while memories may fade, that just means there is opportunity to create new ones.

Special thanks to the staff at Heritage Lodge Personal Care Home for their ongoing care and commitment to our mother.

If you wish to honour Gretta, we ask that you simply take some time today (and every day) to share some kindness where you can. As caregivers, we add to that a request that you share some time with a senior not necessarily only after memories and health begins to fade – but when you can listen to those stories, share an afternoon out, share a meal or a coffee. Let them know they have not been forgotten.


#1 Donna Harvey 2018-03-11 12:39
James and Patrick so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you both.
#2 Ashley 2018-03-11 12:57
James and Patrick,
So sorry for the loss of your beloved mother and grandmother. Sending our love to you during this difficult time.
Ashley, Phil and Alexis
#3 Colleen and Barbara GrahamNorth 2018-03-11 16:56
Tammy, Jen and Nicole: so sorry to learn of Grandma Ham’s passing. We know you have strength enough for now and that you will call on the good memories to hold you up when you need it. So nice to see and talk to you today Jen, Michael, Blake and Emily!
#4 Bonnie 2018-03-12 17:21
James I am so very sorry for yours and Patrick's loss. Love and hugs at this difficult time.
#5 Gord and Sue Defoort 2018-03-12 22:46
Tammy,Jen and Nicole and families. So sorry to hear of the loss of Margretta .She sounded like a amazing lady !Just to let you know we are thinking of all of you.Sending lots of hugs,
#6 Kathleen 2018-03-14 13:09
James, I am so very sorry for your loss. I know she meant the world to you. My most sincere condolences to you and your family. May God hold you in the palm of his hand today and always.
#7 Greg aka Belfast Child 2018-03-20 13:42
James, I wrote this while standing at my granny and granda's grave in 1998 back home in Northern Ireland. I will post it in two sections.

I am sure that your beloved mum would appreciate it. May she rest peacefully anf may you find comfort in these words during your time of sorrow.

Whispers in the Breeze

Realizing my innermost fears,
Choking back the steady stream of tears.
Not knowing your time had come,
Without you I feel so numb.

Just a whisper in the breeze,
Brought my world down to its knees.
The day that you were called away,
Paradise is where you now stay.

When the days do come to pass,
I call upon your bed of grass.
Comfort inside knowing you’re there,
Looking up at my vacant stare.

The silence I exchange with thee,
Speaks volumes, I’m sure this you’ll see.
My shadow casts across your grave,
While I stand so lonely, I stand so brave.
#8 Greg aka Belfast Child 2018-03-20 13:44
Whispers in the Breeze (continued)...

Now the days they seem so long,
In your arms is where I belong.
I close my eyes and hear you speak,
You call my name; my legs feel weak.

Together we promised that we would grow old,
We thought our happiness would never unfold.
I kneel at your feet with my head hung low,
Thoughts in my mind you already know.

This quality time with you I spend,
Will hopefully help my broken heart mend.
Feeling guilty when I turn to leave,
Returning home I continue to grieve.

When my term approaches death,
Time to exhale one final breath.
I wonder if others will fall to their knees,
When my name whispers in the breeze.

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