Margaret MacKay Keeling


(formerly Heatley, nee Bedford)

Peacefully on Thanksgiving Sunday…. We give thanks for a grand lady, a loving Mother, Grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt and good friend. Margaret was born to the late Albert and Clarissa Bedford in Salmon Arm, B.C., their only daughter with four brothers: Albert, Doug and Maxfield who are now deceased, leaving younger brother Victor Bedford.

In 1930 Margaret received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia, then embarked on a distinguished career as an educator and high school councilor in Salmon Arm and Kamloops. In 1939 she married George Dustan Heatley, a member of the B.C. Provincial Police, which was subsequently incorporated with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The happy couple settled in Kamloops and began a family with a daughter Mary Claire and later, a son, Douglas. In 1955, also on Thanksgiving Sunday, sadly and all too soon, Cpl. Heatley passed away, shortly after being honoured for 20 years of dedicated service. Without her loving husband and their father Margaret raised the children. The three had many fond memories of “summers at the lake”. With the children grown up, Margaret married F. Temple Keeling a dear friend from her university days. Together they traveled the world and when at home in White Rock enjoyed great entertaining. Always, always “ a good time was had by all!”

After Temple’s passing in 1988, Margaret became even more devoted to “all her kids”. As her family grew “Gram” Margaret loved each one of us for our differences, which gives us great strength now. Mary Claire’s son, Eric Sands, was his Gram’s good buddy with daily phone calls and bringing her that coveted delicious “Saturday hot dog”. Maegan (nee Sands) followed in her Grandmother’s footsteps to become a teacher and with husband Brian Church delighted her with two great granddaughters: Victoria (Tori) Margaret and Jacqueline Rose. Also treasuring Margaret’s memory are Douglas, his wife Dianne, their daughter Olivia and her husband Travis Jamieson. It was with great pride and joy that Margaret was able to celebrate a third generation to attend her beloved alma mater, UBC, when in 2001 Olivia received the same BA degree as her ”Gram”.

Mom was an inspiration to all who shared her long and generous life. She embraced the journey with vigor whether it was as an avid Bridge player or by going on safari to Kenya, Africa for her 80th birthday! To honour Mom’s 100th year her large, loving family and friends encircled her with a wonderful party. A “Celebration of Life”, at which she was present to enjoy it all and she wouldn’t have had it any other way!

We wish to thank the caring staff of Whitecliff Retirement Residence where Margaret lived in recent years with the dignity she so well deserved. Much appreciation to her companion Jill. Our gratitude to Dr. L. B. Darby and the compassionate nurses on “6-north” of Peace Arch Hospital.

Mom’s wish for her final resting place was to be returned home to Salmon Arm where there will be a private farewell.

Online condolences can be sent through Margaret’s obituary at

Funeral arrangements are in the care of Bowers Funeral Service, Salmon Arm

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