Dedicated Maple Ridge Legion member passes away

Margaret Kury was a former citizen of the year and tireless volunteer.

Margaret Kury received a Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation in 2010.

Margaret Kury received a Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation in 2010.

Former Maple Ridge citizen of the year, Royal Canadian Legion president and Remembrance Day master of ceremonies Margaret Kury passed away just after midnight Sunday, Aug. 6.

She passed peacefully surrounded by her family.

“Our deepest condolences to her family. Margaret will be greatly missed,” read a Facebook post by the Maple Ridge branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

“Margaret was an inspiration to many, including me. Volunteering, loving our city, filling our hearts with care and compassion through charitable work. Maple Ridge will miss her. So will I,” wrote Laura Butler, with the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundaiton.

“It’s a sad day when this community losses someone like Margaret,” said Peter Tam, a Rotary club member of former B.C. Green party candidate. “She has given so much and inspired so many, a remarkable and very special person She will be missed. My condolences to her family and love ones.”

“Margaret was a truly inspirational lady with so much drive and passion for our community. We will all miss her greatly,” said Mark Vosper, with the Ridge Meadows Hospice Society.

“It was an honour to get to know Margaret over the last couple of years, said MP Dan Ruimy (Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge). “Margaret had endless passions. Most involved helping her community through the many organizations that she volunteered for. Our heartfelt sympathies to her family and friends.”

Roni Kury said her mother-in-law was a shining example of humanity.

“She gave, and served, generously, tirelessly and without expectation. Though she was a very practical woman, there was a warmth and depth to her that many were privileged to experience. She will be greatly missed, though I know she is always near, in our hearts and memories. Be at peace, mom.”

Ms. Kury was a retired Canadian Forces veteran. She had been an active member of the legion since 1976.

She served on every legion committee and held executive positions, including three terms as Branch 88 president.

For more than 20 years, Ms. Kury volunteered to speak to school children on the importance of Remembrance Day.

She acted as master of ceremonies at Maple Ridge Remembrance Day ceremonies, dedication and memorial plaque ceremonies and for the Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association for more than 10 years.

During the ’90s, Ms. Kury served as treasurer of the local Air Cadet Squadron.

She was a charter member of the Ridge-Meadows Ex service Women’s Club and a member of the local St. John Ambulance Branch.

Ms. Kury served on a committee to revitalize the town centre and Memorial Peace Park, where the cenotaph is located.

She also served on the Capital Campaign Committee for the expansion of Ridge Meadows Hospital.

She was involved as a volunteer with Canadian Blood Services for more than 30 years and was also involved with fundraising for community services, including the Canadian Blood Services, heart and stroke foundation, the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation and hospice society, and the breast and prostate cancer foundations.

Ms. Kury was awarded the Legion’s Life Membership and the Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding service to the Royal Canadian Legion.

In 2012, Ms. Kury was one of 17 Maple Ridge residents bestowed with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, presented by then MP Randy Kamp to people who’ve helped build the area.

In 2010, she received a Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation, awarded annually to individuals who have contributed in an exemplary manner to the care and well-being of veterans or to the remembrance of the contributions, sacrifices and achievements of those.

In 2008, the Maple Ridge Community Foundation selected Ms. Kury as its citizen of the year.

“I am so proud to call this wonderful lady my friend,” wrote Lynda McEwan.

“I have worked with Margaret for more than 13 years on various legion committees, and believe me she has left some huge shoes to fill. She was the consummate volunteer. Everything she did for the many charities she worked for realized a huge benefit from her dedication.”

McEwan added that Ms. Kury, for more than 20 years organized 20 or so legion members to participate in the Variety Club Telethon, answering phones.

McEwan said when Ms. Kury was nominated for citizen of year, being so modest, she did not want to go to the presentation dinner and had to be coerced into attending.

“She was the most surprised person in the room when she was announced as winner. Remembrance Day and Canada Day ceremonies won’t be the same without her. It has been an honour working with her and I truly appreciate all her mentoring to help me through my various positions within the legion.”

• A memorial service will be announced as soon as the time and day are arranged.