Obituary of Lila Anne McOuat
LILA ANNE McOUAT
December 11, 1936 – April 12, 2023
An 80-year love story now links heaven and earth. Lila Anne Holland and Chuck McOuat met in their 1941 split Grade 1 / 2 class at Glenwood School in St. Vital, Winnipeg and the friendship grew from there. Calling for Chuck on Sadie Hawkins Day wearing a white chrysanthemum corsage, Lila, the quiet only child, attended boisterous dinners with his family of 13, dating, and dancing their way through their teens.
Especially dancing. Lila was trained at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet by its legendary Founders Gweneth Lloyd and Betty Farrally. Her tap teacher studied with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. She danced on the Rainbow Stage with Chuck, entertained departing troops during the Korean War and started her own 200-student dance school.
Graduating as a teacher, she taught Grade One at Glenwood School until she and Chuck were married in 1957 and they moved to Port Arthur where he had been hired as Sports Editor. After the birth of their first child, Geoffrey, they founded their own chain of newspapers, the Norshore Sentinel, covering the then-booming mining and paper towns of Nipigon, Geraldton and Beardmore.
Four years later Chuck enrolled at Lakehead University, and on the first day there, the President asked him to join as Director of Information while also carrying a full study load. Lila then joined the publishing company of Chuck’s brother Don as editor, writer and assembly artist, producing the local television guide while also working at Simpson’s Sears.
Son David arrived in 1969 and a few months later on New Year’s Eve, the family moved to Toronto where Chuck joined the national PR firm PRSL. In 1970, Craig was born, followed by Lianne in 1973 and Allyson in 1974. With four young children all within five years of each other, Lila’s days of working away from home were over.
Settling in Markham, Lila devoted herself to raising her five children while Chuck built the family advertising agency Collier & Park / McOuat Partnership. Lila was deeply involved in her church – Grace Anglican, where she served many years as President of the A.C.W. (Anglican Church Women), Churchwarden, Bazaar Convener, Reader, Altar Guild and ran the J.A. (Junior Auxiliary). Weekends were spent volunteering with Meals on Wheels, the local Food Bank or canvassing for any number of charities.
Lila was a beacon of kindness and every local kid’s favourite Mom, baking cookies daily and teaching empathy not with her words but her actions. Being around Lila showed you the goodness that comes from putting others first and the world is a better place for having had her in it.
Lila is survived by her husband of 65 years Chuck, sons Geoff (Joyce), David (Marion) and Craig (Karen), her daughters Lianne and Allyson and by grandchildren Alexis, Daniel, Nathan, Connor, Ciara, Katelyn, Veronica, Tatum, and Georgia.
Visitation will be held Sunday April 16, 2023 from 2 pm to 4 pm and from 6 pm to 8 pm at Dixon Garland Funeral Home at 166 Main Street North in Markham. Funeral Service at Grace Anglican Church at 19 Parkway Avenue on Monday April 17 at 11 am with reception to follow. Lila would have loved to have everyone wear bright and colourful colours in celebration of her glorious rise to Heaven.
Private family burial to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Lila’s name to the Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation where her son Craig serves on the Board. https://mshf.on.ca/2015-01-27-16-22-53/give-in-honour-or-memoriam