May (Mary Hill Watson) McQuade passed away peacefully on October 14, 2019. May was born in Glasgow, Scotland on February 25th1929 to Jenny and Alexander Watson. She was married to her long-time love and best friend Walter McQuade on March 4th, 1952. May had two brothers, George and Jackie who have pre-ceded her. Her sister Betty is still alive and kicking.
May loved her children, Caroline and Elaine, her grandchildren Robert, Danielle, Kyle, Brendon and Alex and was blessed with Keaton and Ayla her great grandchildren. She loved the beach and spent many days, walking the pier at White Rock and the ocean in Parksville with anyone who would go with her.
May was raised by her beloved Aunt May Currie and lived with her family until married. May and Walter were both Conductors on the Glasgow buses when they met. She was 21 and Walter 18, and yes, she was an older woman as she always liked to point out. Always mad about fashion she managed to keep up her style even when pregnant, or, painting lines on the back of her legs when nylons weren’t available. Both Caroline and Elaine were born in Scotland, but the family would immigrate to Canada in 1960 for a new life in Vancouver.
The first few years were hard for May having come from a close-knit family, but she had Jim, Rosa, Ronnie and Arline McQuade nearby. She had some great friends from the Scottish community who kept them busy with picnics, parties and oolichan fishing under the Lions Gate bridge. Eventually her sister Betty and family would join her, and Aunt May would come to visit over the years. A great deal of time was spent at Birch Bay lying on the beach, attending dances at Earls Barn and going for crab dinners. During this time Hawaii was all the rage and May would wear beautiful Hawaiian sarongs, no mu-mu’s for her.
She worked at number of jobs when she first arrived in Canada; Woolworths, The Bay and Woodward’s. She was well suited to this with her ever ready smile and desire to help anyone who asked. Elaine and Caroline would often meet her at the Kerrisdale Woolworths after they had spent Saturday ice skating. She would buy them fries and a milkshake and they would sit at the Woolworths lunch counter. A treat to be sure.
After retirement, May spent time watching all 5 of her grandchildren. She never found this an inconvenience but a joy. They loved her and will always remember her for her singing, dancing and hugs. May and Walter eventually settled in Parksville and lived there for a number of years. May became active in the ‘carpet bowling league’ and the local church. She had many friends in the community who helped her when Walter was injured in a bicycle accident.
Three days before May entered hospital, she was out with Walter doing one of her favorite things, ‘eating’ at the local deli. For such a tiny woman she could really pack it away. On one occasion eating close to two of the Empress Hotel’s famous teas at one sitting. She was a great baker with a sweet tooth who specialized in pies, apple, coconut, berry and raisin, she also ate a lot of pies.
A donation to your favourite charity in Mays name can be made in lieu of flowers.
The Celebration of Life will be on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 from 1-3 in the Dover Room at
Nanaimo Seniors Village
6089 Uplands Drive
To send flowers to Mary (May) Hill (WATSON) McQUADE's family, please visit our floral section.