Margaret Elizabeth Fankboner ‘Maggie’

Sadly, Margaret Elizabeth Fankboner ‘Maggie’ passed away on January 15, 2024. Maggie died of natural causes in Royal Jubilee Hospital ICU at 18:43.
Morgan, her daughter, and Maggie were holding hands and listening to Handel’s Messiah as she transitioned, one of her favourite pieces. Her love of classical music, art and family were well-known.

Maggie contributed significantly to our world and we are better for knowing her. She was an intellectual, activist, artist, scientist, and Mother to many. Maggie contributed tirelessly to causes and her generosity and ability to love people are unforgettable. She was a sophisticated woman with wisdom and grace, who returned to her religious roots before passing on.

Maggie is very missed by her husband of 57 years, Peter Vaughn Fankboner. They met as marine biologists digging for worms on a sunny California beach and made it. They created two children, Dale ‘Carl’ Kaehler and Morgan Alexa Fankboner; and three grandchildren, Gabriel Tobias Kaehler, Thaddeus Peter Kaehler and Larkin Eliza Fankboner. Maggie leaves a loving family behind, including her three sisters and two brothers, who meant the world to her.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Maggie was marvelous and will be very missed. Much love to her family and friends at this time.

  2. Janis Rutherford

    I met Maggie, Peter and toddler Morgan at SFU where we adults worked. A Fankboner family of academics and aesthetes. Grateful for having known you all. Much love.

  3. Jeannie and Christopher

    Alas, we were neither confidants nor lifelong friends to Maggie, but we did have the distinct pleasure of meeting, then getting to know her, and subsequently discovering that she was, indeed, such a sweet, sweet soul! Much can and has been said about the transience of life, but to have it tempered by Maggie’s smile and sharp sense of humor was a precious gift that enriched our lives and we are far better for it. Thank you, Maggie! And God Bless!

  4. Cousin Clement (Clem) Furlong
    February 23, 2024

    The news of Maggie’s passing deeply saddened me and brought a flood of pleasant memories. I used to ‘kid sit’ Maggie, Becky and Mary pre David, Mark and Debbie. Through the years we managed to stay in close contact. Despite Maggie’s younger age, I thought she might beat me to a PhD. Had circumstances been different, I’m quite sure she would have. She was very bright. After settling into a faculty position I often thought how much I would enjoy mentoring Maggie on a PhD project such as chemotaxis of marine microbes. I believe that we occasionally discussed this possibly. While this did not happen, I did have the pleasure of mentoring two of David’s son’s undergraduate projects. I’m so glad that Maggie and I had a chance to chat shortly before her passing. My pleasant memories of my very talented and bright cousin Maggie will be with me the rest of my days. My condolences and love to the Probert and Fankboner families that Maggie leaves behind.

    Cousin Clem

  5. I spent the last half-century as a historian writing about science and religion. In religion and science, Maggie was a soulmate, unique in our extended family, my very first maternal first cousin. Her handmade handwritten cards carried on where e-mail ends. I keep a large collection from ten or twenty years. They are precious permanent occupants of my archive even as Maggie is a precious permanent voice in my Choir Invisible, ‘… those immortal dead who live again | In minds made better by their presence: live | In pulses stirr’d to generosity, … | In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars, | And with their mild persistence urge [wo]man’s search | To vaster issues. | So to live is heaven …’

  6. Maggie. Super bright. So creative. So filled with love and concern for others.
    Interested in so many things in the natural world, but her first love, the ocean and her favorites, freshly lapped shells and rounded stones with bright colors and interesting striations. It was fun exploring the natural world with her.
    She also enjoyed good food and indulging people with Molasses Sugar Cookies! But she would also cook up healthier fare, making the best salad I have ever had! Becky, Erin and I enjoyed a fabulous meal out with her in May on a patio with filtered sunshine. Good memories.
    I love her laughter, head thrown back, the merriment in her eyes. And she could laugh at herself, a gift! She had a lot of grace toward our young family when we were snowed in on Burke Mountain and she loaned the kids her metal bread pans to build snow forts with…to be found rusted when the snow thawed!
    And then there were the challenges of taking care of Peter when his infirmities struck. The challenges of her own health and the difficulties of navigating the medical system. Bearing up under various trials that would break lesser people she continued to persevere. It’s as if she took Winston Churchill’s words to heart; Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
    The move to the island was so much work for her. But again, Maggie was dauntless, processing through fifty years of artwork, pottery, and books. She was so decisive.
    Her great love for family, keeping in touch with people. The beautiful cards she thoughtfully crafted out of magazine pictures. The time she invested in her siblings, particularly the youngest ones, Dave still remembers his time with Maggie in Petaluma and Victoria as some of the best of his childhood.
    As we became grandparents ourselves, we were better able to understand the love and delight Maggie had for her grandchildren. Many phone calls she wanted to talk about little else than the latest goings on with them.
    She passed way too soon, but we look forward to the day when we shall see her again!

  7. My deepest condolences to Peter and your family . Words cannot adequately express my gratitude in knowing your mother. She was exceptional in every way and it was a privilege to have known her.

  8. I was deeply saddened by the news of Maggie’s passing. We met SFU where we worked and then carried on a long distance friendship through cards and letters. I, too, have held on to these beautiful keepsakes as a memory of our friendship. Maggie was an exceptional woman, so intelligent, talented, and kind. I will miss her laugh and insights. My condolences to her family and friends.

  9. Tasoula Berggren

    The sad news about Maggie reached us when I was planning to call her. Yes, I was very sad to know that Maggie passed away and I will miss her dearly. I will miss her calls and beautiful handmade cards, I will miss her friendship indeed. Maggie was the department assistant at Simon Fraser University when I was in the Math & Stats Department. The Math department was a long corridor with doors to the offices of the professors and teaching staff. One day I saw Maggie walking this long corridor, actually towards me holding a big and thick book. Are you going to read that book, I asked. With a smile on her face, she replied. It is about the last Venetian Queen of Cyprus, Aikaterina (Caterina) Cornaro. I was touched that Maggie was interest in the history of my country and Maggie became my friend ever since. Working under Maggie was not always easy but always quickly her spirits changed. She helped in many ways. She gave me courage when I said to her that I wanted to start conferences encouraging high school women from grades 10 and 11 to continue their math courses. I remember, she was always at our meetings with other colleagues and she approved the committee’s chosen name “Women Do Math”. It was a successful activity for many years which attracted hundreds of girls to SFU for talks and math activities.
    Maggie was a kind person to students and helpful to people. I remember, a French mathematician woman with four little daughters, came to my office asking me to help her get a job. So, I went to Maggie who was then hiring teaching assistants. Maggie had a big heart, she was smart and she could tell who was good. She hired her as a teaching assistant in my lab and her choice was excellent. Maggie showed interest in people and students. When I told her that I was going to give a talk at a math education conference and I was concerned about my talk, without any hesitation, she offered to help me by reading and correcting my writings.
    I remember Maggie fondly for the attention she paid to me. Even when I retired, we continued communication with phone calls, gifts which I never expected and homemade beautiful cards which I love. We sent her cards from Cyprus and I know she liked that. When her cousin Jim Moore visited her we had her and Jim to our house. We knew Jim from a sabbatical that we spent at Harvard and Jim being a historian was connected with Len.

    I will always remember Maggie as a good and helpful friend. Eternal be her memory.

    Tasoula Berggren
    Senior Lecturer, Emerita
    Dept. of Mathematics

  10. Morgan Fankboner

    I miss you a lot, Mom. I hope you are out of pain, graced with love and left when you needed to. I see you in the birds this Spring, particularly the robins who mark my way. I love you.

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