Sr. Mary Marguerite

Rose Mary Theresa Tucking

Born::  Underwood, North Dakota, 10/10/1905
Postulancy::Regina, Saskatchewan, 08/02/1927
Novitiate:: Regina, Saskatchewan, 02/02/1928
1st Profession:: Regina, Saskatchewan, 02/02/1930
Final Vows::Regina, Saskatchewan, 03/02/1936
Died:: Regina, Saskatchewan, 13/03/2009

Rose was the eldest of ten children, seven girls and 3 boys. Her parents, John and Magdalene, lived in the United States until 1909 when John came to Canada, to be followed shortly after by Magdalene and their daughter and son. John was a sub-contractor for the Soo Line Railroad and was sent to Canada to work on the Canadian Pacific Railway line which was nearing completion between Saskatoon and Edmonton. The little family settled into a farm near Unity, experiencing all the hardship and difficulties typical of pioneer life. Later, as the family grew, they moved to a farm near Major. Rosie, as she was known to her family, suffered from allergies which prevented her working in the fields. However she loved housekeeping, so she acquired many skills, not the least of which was bread-making which she began at the age of ten.

Schooling was important in the Tucking family and after elementary school their eldest daughter was sent to Sacred Heart Academy where she was taught for three years by the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions. Though ill health forced her to return home for some time, she was able to train as a teacher and to teach for three years before joining the Sisters in 1927. In 1930 Sister Mary Marguerite, as she was now known, made her first vows and went to teach at Sacred Heart Academy. Again ill health made teaching impractical for her and after three years she went to St. Gabriel's Convent in Lebret and then to St. Raphael's in Wolseley. Thus began her career as a "Jack of all trades" - cooking, sewing, laundry, housekeeping, sacristy, caring for sick sisters, visiting the sick in their homes. Over the years, she also served in Regina and Saskatoon in Saskatchewan, as well as in Fort Frances and Sioux Lookout in Ontario.

Marguerite lived a total of 13 years in Wolseley and 10 years in Sioux Lookout and these were her favourite places. Her reasons for this preference are keys to her character and devotion: "In Wolseley the Church services were regular and always well carried out; here I could live the Church year fully. In Sioux Lookout the people were exceptionally nice and the scenery was beautiful."

An entry for our Province's birthday book reads, "Marguerite's dedication to all she did was part of her strong respect for duty and those she served. Her dedication was founded on her devotion to the Trinity and the Eucharist. All her life, Marguerite spent hours each day in contemplation in the chapel. If we wished to find her, we would check the chapel first."

On her 100th birthday, (eight months after her 75th anniversary of vows), a tribute read, "Today we wish to honour you for your perseverance in those vows and for the fidelity of your response to the many other gifts with which God has blessed you: your quick and enquiring mind; your rich sense of humour; your homemaking skills; your generosity in sharing those gifts; and your devotion to Our Lady and to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament."

In 1987 Marguerite "retired" to Lebret and in 1996 she moved into nursing care at Santa Maria Home in Regina. The transition to a nursing home is easy for no one. At the beginning she was still very active for being 90 years of age. She attended recreation activities, went to Mass every day, went on shopping expeditions and visits to doctors, knew what she wanted to wear and to eat. Gradually mobility declined and so did her energy, but even in the last few months Marguerite could enter into a good conversation, recall events from her childhood, recognize pictures of her family members and appreciate a little nonsense. Everyone remarked on the beauty of her smile and her love of laughter. At times she grew weary of life and when she heard of Sister Roberta's death she remarked, "How I long to go!" But she would not pray to die saying, "Oh no! That is up to God!" So we rejoice in her going. It is too easy to become so preoccupied with "how people are" when they are elderly and ill that we forget that inside their tired, suffering bodies those mischievous, laughing, loving persons still exist. Among Marguerite's possession were two little cards. One reads, "I am the unique handwork of the Father." The other says, "God said it, I believe it, and that settles it!" Those two cards succinctly reflect the spirit of Marguerite's long and dedicated life.

<--Sr. Marie Hogan | Called to Eternal Life | Sr. Mary Leonilla -->