Marilyn Treddenick

Obituary of Marilyn Anne Treddenick


Marilyn Anne Treddenick

Marilyn died in Kingston General Hospital ICU on May 14, 2024, peacefully, finally out of pain, and surrounded by a family that adored her. Technically, she was still on the return part of a transatlantic cruise. She made it as far as Kingston, but before reaching home a deteriorating medical situation made a stop at KGH ER necessary. She was admitted to the ICU, where, despite the valiant efforts of a dedicated medical team, she succumbed two days later.


This final chapter of a life well-lived typified her entire life. She was a voracious traveller. While she didn’t consciously count countries, she seriously visited well over 100 of them. She has seen the Demilitarized Zone in Korea from both sides, was held up by an armed militia in Yemen, built a Yurt on a windy Mongolian plain, snorkelled in the South Pacific, the Red Sea, and the Caribbean, explored the shores of the Arctic Ocean and kayaked in the waters of the Antarctic.


Marilyn faced a panoply of difficult medical challenges throughout her life. But with her grit, and to the chagrin of some travel insurance companies, she never let these interfere with her travelling or any other activity. She may indeed hold the record for the number of times a passenger has finished a cruise being evacuated by ambulance. In New Zealand she was once unceremoniously disembarked for medical reasons but found a cooperative hospital doctor who certified her fit to travel, then chased the ship by air to its next port and successfully reboarded.


Marilyn was born in North Bay, Ontario on March 1, 1937, the second daughter of Tom and Helen Foster. She was predeceased by her parents, her sister Jean, brother-in-law John, and brother-in-law George (Char).  She is survived by her husband Jack, her daughter Laura (Michael), her grandchildren Olivia and Matthew (Jillian), three great-grandchildren, Sullivan, Macauley, and Patterson, brothers-in-law Dennis (Debi) and Alan (Chris), as well as several nieces and nephews. Marilyn was particularly proud of her great-grandmother status, but wrestled with what she wanted her great-grandchildren to call her. In the end her playfulness won out: she first trained them to call Jack “Great” and then, slyly, herself “Greatest”. Marilyn is also mourned by her special friend and travelling companion, Elizabeth Hunt.


Growing up Marilyn was an extremely active young girl and young woman, despite some early medical issues. She excelled in high school, which was somewhat burdensome as her father was the principal of her school.   She was a Queen’s Gold Cord Guide, an accomplished pianist, a mediocre clarinetist, a cheerleader, a lifeguard, a competitive swimmer, an excellent skier, a curler and more.


Marilyn graduated from Queen’s University, Kingston, with a degree in General Arts. She had originally enrolled in an Honours Arts Programme but ultimately opted for the three-year program allowing her to work for a year, making it possible for she and Jack to marry directly after his graduation from RMC. They married in North Bay on May 23, 1960.


As a newly minted Navy junior officer Jack was posted to Halifax. There they found a barely affordable one-room apartment, but they loved it, and they loved Halifax. The day after arrival Marilyn walked to the Halifax Children’s Aid Society and applied for a job. Despite having absolutely no experience or academic preparation she so impressed the Director that he immediately hired her. She began working the next day.

Six months later Jack was posted to his first ship.  They moved to Victoria where they were able to upscale into a delightful two-room apartment. Upon arrival in Victoria Marilyn repeated her Halifax experience and walked into the Victoria Family and Children’s Service, but this time as an experienced social worker, she was immediately hired.

Jack ultimately left the Navy to return to Kingston to do graduate work at Queen’s. And, yes, unsurprisingly, Marilyn quickly obtained a position with the Kingston Children’s Aid Society where she worked for the next 30 years, ultimately retiring as Supervisor of Children’s Services.


They were to remain anchored to Kingston for the next 60 years. But Jack’s career took some unexpected turns and Marilyn found herself commuting to Ottawa for a year, Aberdeen, Scotland for a year, Rome for five years and finally, after she had retired, to living in Bavaria for 15 years. Shortly after arriving in Bavaria, she took curling broom in hand, walked into the local ice stadium and despite knowing not a word of German talked them into letting her join the local curling club. That encounter marked the beginning of 15 years of curling all over Europe.

In Kingston, they eventually built a home on the shores of the St. Lawrence, a home they loved, with its wonderful dock that provided them with endless hours of fun and priceless family time with their growing daughter and then with her growing family. 


On moving to Germany in 2000 they sold their home but purchased a condominium in the Royal George before returning permanently in 2015. By some very good luck, the community they moved into in the Royal George proved to be a delightful and very satisfying place to live, a place where Marilyn established many new friendships.

Marilyn was perhaps the most nonthreatening person one could hope to meet. She had an almost childlike sense of awe and curiosity of the world around her and took an immense delight in just being alive. She was adventurous, determined, a fighter, who rarely let any personal adversity slow her down. When her mother was dying of cancer in North Bay and the commute to visit her became just too onerous, she decided to take flying lessons and soon was making that commute in a couple of hours. She was a remarkable woman, a wonderful mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, sister-in-law, and, especially, a loving wife. We will all miss her terribly.


A funeral service for Marilyn will be held at St. George’s Cathedral, Kingston at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 23, 2024, presided over by the Reverend Canon Peter Case.  A private interment will be held at Cataraqui Cemetery.  An informal celebration of Marilyn’s life will be held later in the summer, subject to the successful repair of the Lasalle Causeway.  

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