Margaret Jean “Jeanie” Mathieson Bate, lovingly remembered by her family as a great Mother and Grandmother, an impeccable dresser, cook and hostess extraordinaire, and a smart and resilient businesswoman, died Tuesday, April 5, 2021 at the age of ninety five.
Jean leaves to mourn her three children in order of birth: Susan Mathieson Mayer of Chicago, David Scott Mathieson and his wife Susan Louise Mathieson of Edmonton, and Darlee Ann Mathieson also of Edmonton. Honouring her legacy are her three grandchildren in order of birth: Lauren Mathieson Purcell and her husband Daniel Purcell of Calgary, Arden Mathieson of Vancouver, and Victoria Mathieson of Edmonton. Jean also leaves to mourn numerous stepchildren, step grandchildren and step great grandchildren.
Born in Oyen, Alberta in 1926, Jean grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan the daughter of Hilda and Dr. “Barney” McPhail. As a young girl, she travelled with her family to Edinburgh, Scotland and Budapest, Hungary where her father was undertaking advanced studies in surgery. In 1939, acting on a tip from local authorities, the family rapidly packed up and fled Budapest in less than 24 hours – as Europe was on the cusp of World War II. Jean described the journey through Germany en route back to England as the most frightening experience of her life. Her father was one of several men pulled off the train and questioned for several hours by German SS officers before being allowed to carry on.
The family returned safely to Saskatoon, where Jean enjoyed an active high school life, excelling in her studies and becoming highly proficient in competitive figure skating and badminton.
Jean went on to study Home Economics at the University of Saskatchewan. While working as a summer student at the Jasper Park Lodge, she met David Alexander Mathieson. After graduating with honours in Household Science in 1947, Jean briefly worked for Hart House at the University of Toronto, while David finished his degree in Optometry at the University of Waterloo. They married on December 28, 1948 and had three children.
While Dr. David Mathieson built thriving optometric practices in Edmonton and throughout Alberta, Jean was an active volunteer for many Edmonton civic organizations, including the Junior League, the Edmonton Art Gallery, the University of Alberta Graduate Admissions Board, the Citadel Theatre, and the United Way. Dr. David A. Mathieson died in 1980.
In 1988, Jean married T. Edward “Eddie” Bate, an Edmonton businessman and electrical engineer, to whom she remained happily married until 2017 when he passed away.
Jean enjoyed many pleasures in life, including a good glass of scotch, the occasional cigarette, travelling, and returning as often as possible to her beloved Emma Lake in Saskatchewan, where her family has owned a summer home since the 1940’s. She was especially proud of her three children, who lovingly referred to her as a “world authority” on almost everything.
The family wishes to express their sincere thanks to the whole team at the Pilgrims Hospice for their care and compassion.
A private memorial service will be held in Saskatoon at a later date. In lieu of flowers, Jean’s family requests that you kindly donate to the Pilgrims Hospice in Edmonton or the charity of your choice.
Serenity Funeral Service – South Edmonton, (780)450-0101