Honoured by Jack Retza.
Margaret Retza “Mugsie” was born on October 9th, 1938, in Timmins Ontario. As a
youngster she moved to Chapleau where she attended both Elementary and High
School. This is also where she learned to figure skate. In 1957, she met Jack Retza, the love her life and husband for 46 years. Jack and Mugsie spent many years in Ontario where Jack worked in the mines and Mugsie raised their two boys Riel and DJ.
Later in life, they all moved to Stewart, B.C.. Mugsie taught figure skating, shot moose, fished on the ocean, and according to her brother, Joe Longpre, she shot two ducks (in flight) in a row, while in a moving boat, with a .22!
Mugsie had an adventurous spirit; and spent a great deal of time on the ocean. She was incredibly organized; and had the knowledge and skill to operate a huge boat, bait hooks, run downriggers, cook fantastic fresh fish, prepare kids for bed, and put up with the stench of the kids who rubbed herring behind their ears all day because her husband said it was lucky.
Later, Jack and Mugsie lived and operated a large orchard in Oliver, B.C.. Relatives who visited quickly learned that the Retza philosophy of life didn’t only include play; you had to work hard too! Folks who showed up and started heading to the beautiful outdoor swimming pool would be intercepted with a sharp order to plant some trees…. “The tractors over there”. Anyone trying the passive aggressive route “I can’t do that”, would only be met with a level gaze (and Mugsie’s finger still pointing at the tractor) that said “Oh, you’ll figure it out”. Mugsie taught us all the meaning of “work-hard, then play hard”.
Jack and Mugsie moved to Campbell River, B.C. for a few years, enjoying the ocean life once again. Afterwards, they purchased a home on Cluculz Lake, B.C..
They embarked on a terrific amount of work to transform their beautiful home into the breathtaking place it is today. There are many people who still have recurring dreams that involve pouring bags of cement for concrete!
Margaret Retza was a vibrant person, full of life, energy, and most of all spice. She was an extremely hard worker. She was fearless and would take on any task knowing that hard work leads to success. If Mugsie said something was going to get done, then you could guarantee it would be. Mugsie was no-nonsense, and if you crossed her, you knew it. At the same time, she had a big heart, and a lot of compassion.
Mugsie taught many lessons in her life. She showed people the benefits of balancing hard work and good fun. She showed how a husband and wife can work as a team to accomplish great things. She raised a wonderful family, extended her love to foster children, and she shared her experience by raising and educating many others.