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January 5, 2023

Marian Jean Whitfield (née Campbell) of Kincardine died Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, at the age of 100 years and 95 days. She leaves behind, and is mourned by, her children, Peggy Bird (David) of Nova Scotia, Catherine O'Brien (Terry) of Kincardine, Stephen Cross (Bonnie) of Stratford, and Barbara Cross-Tedesco (Ted) of Media, Pennsylvania. Her grandchildren, Chris Thomson, Michelle Oros, Chris Butters, Melanie O'Brien, Laura Woods and Peggy O'Brien, were always in her thoughts. She also had 11 great-grandchildren who filled her days with laughter and joy. Marian was predeceased by brother, Jack Campbell; her son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Irene Butters; and her husbands, Eric Butters of the United Kingdom (U.K.), Gilbert Cross of Kincardine, John Mitchell of Kincardine, and William Whitfield of Listowel. Born in Detroit, Michigan, Oct. 3, 1922, she went to public school there but in the summer, she lived in Kincardine at the cottage behind the fairgrounds. Her days were full of friends, swimming at the beach and off the dock. When she was back in Detroit, she was lucky enough to attend numerous Detroit Tigers ball games and Red Wings hockey games because her Dad, who worked for the “Detroit Times,” got complimentary tickets. She was proud of her Kincardine heritage and made sure her family learned that our great-great- grandfather, who was a path master, got a Crown land grant downtown, that his house at 786 Princes Street was one of the first brick houses in town, that the parking lot behind the Royal Bank was her mother's orchard and that Uncle Tony and his partner owned and operated the dance hall pavilion. Marian earned a scholarship to Wayne State University at 16 years of age, but finished it 40 years and five children later at Waterloo University. She married Eric Butters an RAF officer stationed at Port Albert, but sadly in 1944, she travelled on Winston Churchill's flying boat to the U.K. so he could meet his newborn son before dying. She stayed for six months through the Blitz during the Second World War, and then returned to Kincardine. Five years later, she married Gilbert Cross, the local baker. Seven years passed and the family moved to Stratford so she could attend Teacher's College at the age of 40. She taught for 25 years in Stratford and then Listowel. Every second year, she took courses to upgrade, but every other year the family camped from one end of North America to the other. In 1971, Marian married John Mitchell who died a mere three years later. When she retired in 1987, Marian took a six-week wilderness-camping and portaging course from Lakehead University. Then she traded her canoe and backpack for a suitcase and went to France for a month. Three months after that, she married William Whitfield and became a dairy farmer's wife. She travelled around the world and drove to Nova Scotia every summer, taking a different grandchild with her each year. When Bill died 20 years later, she moved back to Princes Street in Kincardine to be close to family. She was at Tiverton Park Manor for only one month, but loved the food and said they were all so kind. Marian was a master quilter, winning prizes at all the fairs, a weaver, a voracious reader, a life-long learner, a culinary teacher, a hospital volunteer and a euchre-playing world traveller. She always said, "Life is not a destination, but an adventurous journey where you meet the most interesting people." The family thanks Dr. Lisa Roth; Kylie Pike, Suzanne Craven and Mona Brown of Rural Home Care for keeping her healthy these past 16 years; and Dr. Jason Murray and the nursing staff for their kind and gentle care her last four days. Inurnment will be held at Kincardine Cemetery in the summer when we can all come home. In her memory, donations can be made to the Kincardine and Community Health Care Foundation; arrangements entrusted to the Davey-Linklater Funeral Home, Kincardine;