Born April 8, 1922. Died peacefully on July 21, 2019 at Joseph Brant Hospital, at the age of 97.
Survived by her daughter, Connie; son, Ian (Sandra) and predeceased by her son, Stephen (Pat). Also predeceased by her brother, James Black; her sister, Connie Self (Ken); and survived by her brother Gervis Black (Liane).
Merle was born in Ogdensberg, NY, where her father, Binney Simpson Black, was Minister to a congregation there. They moved several times in her childhood around southern Ontario according to his callings.
Merle graduated as a registered nurse from Sarnia General Hospital in 1944 and left shortly after for Trinidad to join her husband of 7 months, Philip Blundy. Their son, Stephen, was born there in 1945 and daughter, Constance, in 1947. After their return to Canada in 1948 they moved to Oakville where their son, Ian, was born in 1951.
Merle and her family attended St. John’s United Church in Oakville and she was Superintendent of the Sunday School there for many years. She also led the 1st Oakville Land Rangers on many adventures and remained a friend and mentor to many of those young women 50 years later.
Philip died in 1975 and Merle married Murray Belford in 1980.
Grandchildren arrived: Jessica in 1978, Chad in 1979, Merritt and Stephanie in 1982, Nicholas in 1986, and Alessandra in 1989. Great-grandchildren were her joy: Charlie and Mary Kaedence in 2013, Luca and Evie in 2015, Mavrick in 2016, Merabel and Liliana in 2017, Isla in 2018, and Marley in 2019.
Merle also lived in West Vancouver for many years between 1978 and 2007 where she formed many close and lasting friendships. She moved back to Cambridge, ON to live with her sister, Connie, till Connie died in 2012. Merle’s home since then has been Bonnie Place in Burlington where she made many close friends. Throughout her life, Merle made connections wherever she went and kept the connections strong over time and distance.
Merle lived an eventful life; she loved travel, beautiful things, and people above all.
A celebration of Merle’s life will be held on August 27th at 11 AM at Glad Tidings Church, 1401 Guelph Line, Burlington. The family will be there from 10 AM for visitation, and a reception will follow the service immediately at the church.
If you wish to honour Merle with a donation, support for the Joseph Brant Foundation would be appreciated. Merle spent 3 weeks there, and was cared for with great care and kindness.