Maria Anita (MacCrostie) Toll
Marie Anita (MacCrostie) Toll formerly of RR 3, Blyth and Braemar Nursing Home, Wingham, passed away with family by her side, on Wednesday, April 29 at Wingham Hospital. She was in her 95th year.
Marie was born on Oct. 13, 1920 at the MacCrostie homestead in West Wawanosh Township. She graduated from public school at Belfast and Lucknow Continuation School. After working as a sales clerk in Toronto for a year, she received her teacher’s training at Stratford Normal School in 1941/42. Her independent nature was revealed when, without a car or money, she hitch-hiked to and from Toronto and Stratford to her family home near Belfast.
In fulfilling her love of children and learning, Marie enjoyed a successful career as an educator. She taught in one-room, rural schools in Amberley and Whitechurch from September, 1942 until December, 1944 when she married Aubrey Toll and accepted a teaching position at SS # 16, East Wawanosh, remaining there until 1948. After her children were born, she returned to teaching, first at USS #3, Morris-East Wawanosh and then at SS # 10, East Wawanosh, known locally as the McGowan School, where all of her children were also her students.
From 1962-1981, she taught at the newly-built Walton Public School, where for the final 14 years of her career, she was the principal.
During her long career she witnessed huge changes in technology and educational methods: from travelling to her schools on foot or in a horse and buggy or cutter to driving a car with the luxury of windshield wipers and a heater and from teaching by coal oil lanterns to using a television in the classroom to support the newest curriculum.
Marie was very creative: an artist, a seamstress, a quilter, a writer, a superb cook and pie-maker. She was an active participant in the mixed farming operation she and her husband, Aubrey managed. She was also very involved in the preparation of their registered Clydesdales for the show ring, accompanying Aubrey with their family of four on the 5-City, Western Fair Circuit three times during the 1960s.
In 1975, Marie and Aubrey purchased the McGowan School property, which was situated a mile to the east of their farm. The school was moved to the southwest corner of the lot and they built a new house on the school site where Marie was once the teacher.
After retiring, Marie enjoyed refinishing furniture, gardening, quilting and proof-reading at the The Citizen. She also enjoyed participating in the compilation of Wilderness to Wawanosh, a history of the township published in 1992. Her family was her pride and joy: she offered unconditional love and unwavering support. She was an intuitive and loyal friend.
Marie will be fondly remembered by her many pupils for her sense of humour, her appreciation and respect for nature, the use of her opal ring to “encourage” inattentive students, her insightful teaching, her firm but fair discipline and the ominous echo of her clicking heels as she neared a disruptive classroom.
Marie was the cherished mother of Cheryl Cronin (Tom), Blyth; Vaughn (Marlene), RR 3, Blyth; Kerry Toll (Greer Black), Calgary, Alberta and Avon Corneil of Bluevale. She also leaves to mourn 10 adored grandchildren: Michelle McNichol (Ron), Scott Cronin (Kim), Greg Toll, Bryce Toll (Tanya), Andrew Toll (Mia), Kaitlyn Armstrong (Scott), Devon Black, Tallan Black, Drew Corneil (Jenny) and Dane Corneil; nine beloved great-grandchildren; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Stewart Toll and Leba Silvert, London as well as several nieces and nephews.
Marie was predeceased by her husband, Aubrey Toll (2005), her parents, William and Myrtle (Webster) MacCrostie; her siblings, Hugh, Ronald and Carol MacCrostie; sisters-in-law, Marjorie McDougall and Amy MacCrostie and brother-in-law, Ken McDougall.
In keeping with Marie’s wishes, cremation has taken place and in lieu of a visitation and funeral, a private family celebration of Marie’s life will occur at a later date. Memorial donations to the Clinton Public Hospital Foundation, Wingham and District Heath Centre Foundation or a charity of one’s choice would be appreciated by the family as expressions of sympathy.
Arrangements are entrusted to Falconer Funeral Homes, Clinton.