Margaretta (Retta) and Ernest Reid

Margaretta  Sarah  Reid (Blight)         1906 - 1994



Margaretta, “Retta”, is the child standing beside her seated mother. 

Retta was born of pioneering parents, George and Isabella Blight.   She grew up in the farming community of Oakville, Manitoba.  Her strong family values were derived from a happy childhood shared with nine brothers and sisters.  She was the third youngest of the ten siblings.

She chose to become a teacher.  After completing Grade XI, Retta attended the Portage la Prairie Normal School.  Her first teaching assignment was in the Interlake, a rural, one room school.

Mom and Dad, Ernest Harvey Reid, had met at Normal School.  Dad first taught in rural and then town schools.  They were married August 1, 1931.  Their first home was in Angusville, Dad being at that time the principal of the high school. Retta became a full-time homemaker, but education/schools remained part of the family milieu.

Sorrow.  Their first child, Patricia Anne, survived only two days from birth.

Through successive years, Retta was busy and happy with her three young children:  Jim, Kathleen and Donna.  Ernest’s work advanced from teaching to school inspection and the family moved - Miniota, McCreary and Shoal Lake.  Retta had a flair for drama and took part in local plays amongst her community involvements. 

Then, a move to Winnipeg in 1946.  Ernest accepted the appointment of Inspector of Winnipeg Secondary Schools.  New neighbors enlarged the circle of friends. Crescent Fort Rouge United Church was central to the family and through Ernest’s work, new colleagues working toward the advancement of education in Manitoba shaped the family.                                                                                      

Retta’s world again changed, abruptly, when Ernest collapsed and death followed on November 27, 1956, of a heart attack.

With initiative, hard work and strength of character, Retta, in 1957, took courses at MIT in Business Education.   Typing, shorthand, a year of secretarial experience and then she returned to teaching, in the Commercial Department at St. James Collegiate.  During this time Mom maintained the family home on Laidlaw Boulevard. 

After retirement in 1970, Retta participated in art classes.  She accompanied her son, Jim, on several cross-country motor trips and once visited England.  The two shared a mutual interest in art.  Retta sketched and painted with oils and watercolors.

Throughout the years, Retta maintained close ties with the Blights, with friends made over the years, with Ernest’s former colleagues in education and had regular contact with each of her three children, Jim, Kathy and Donna, her sons-in-law and grandchildren.  Mom once said to me that although she lived alone for many years, she had not felt lonely.

Respected, giving and receiving love and support from family and friends, Retta was an example of courage and dignity.


With love to our Mother, Donna.