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FLAHERTY, Mathilda “Tilda” “Tilly”

March 17, 1924
June 7, 2019

Tilda was born in Goriach, Austria and with her parents immigrated to Canada at the age of 5. Her early years were spent in Central B.C. enjoying rural life, nature, and found it all quite enchanting and mastering her life long skills of being competent at pretty much everything she tackled. After graduation Tilda moved to Edmonton to live and work with the CNR where several lifelong friendships were established and she met and married Charles (Chuck). Together they raised their three children and over the next two decades lived in Edmonton, Saskatoon, Medicine Hat, Kelowna, Vancouver and Ottawa. Although the frequent moves were difficult, Tilda found ways for the family to experience the best that each community had to offer. Ottawa was her (and Charles for much of the time) home for over 45 years where the political environment and opportunities that availed themselves in the Nation’s Capital were energizing and central to the family’s life. For the last 9 years of life in Ottawa Tilda lived at Unitarian House where kinship and intellectual enrichment were abundant leaving a special place in Tilda’s heart. Tildas’ last move while still living independently was to Cochrane, AB, to be closer to her daughter and her husband Ed’s amazing cooking.

Tilda was quick witted, quick minded, strongly opinionated, and an articulate communicator whose ideas were often ahead of her time. She was extraordinarily competent at any challenge she took on from setting up many new households, chopping wood, shooting a 22, sewing and crafts to volunteerism in the community and other not for profit organizations. Her bravery and courage were demonstrated both by her final move to Cochrane at the age of 94, where the culture, the people and the politics were totally foreign and also by her final decision to say farewell on her own terms.

Family and friendships were very important to Tilda. Her family, Charles, Margaret, Susan and Terry had many wonderful years together filled with special family traditions, wonderful pets, new adventures, involvement in church groups and time at the lake.

Central to her life were the friendships that she maintained many going back 40 – 80 years, all which were cherished. Their shared experiences, activities and memories continue to be talked about to this day. With family, friends and often complete strangers Tilda was a consummate caregiver full of caring and compassion.

There was nothing Tilda loved more than engaging conversations on most topics, but favorites were politics, nutrition, current events and most other controversial topics. Reading volumes of substantial intellectual books, the Ottawa Citizen, The Globe and Mail and watching CBC news were all consuming pastimes. As were creating memories with family and friends. She was a bit of a radical and tended to be involved in organizations and with people that challenged the status quo like CNWE.

Tilda had great joys up to her last days, with a special weeklong visit with her dear friend of 45 years and a week with her loving daughter Margaret.

Special thanks to the caring folks at Agape Hospice in Calgary for making Tilda’s final journey one of compassion, respect and dignity. Condolences may be forwarded through

In living memory of Tilda Flaherty, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Cochrane, 369 RAILWAY STREET, COCHRANE, AB, T4C 2E2, Telephone: 403-932-4740.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Colleen Nestor

    My heartfelt condolences to Margaret, Susan, Terry and of course Ed who supported them in their endeavors to care for mum. You helped her live an engaging and fruitful life and she loved each of you dearly. May your memories of her carry on with each of you. Her engaging smile, intellect, and great sense of humor will always be in my memories.

    Hugs to all of you at this difficult time.

    Colleen Nestor

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  2. Belinda Austin

    Susan, Ed and Family:

    What an amazing woman your Mom was! We are thinking of you during this difficult time.

    Belinda Austin and Chris Lacny

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  3. Diane MacDonald

    Dear Susan, Ed, and family

    This is a beautiful tribute to your Mom. She epitomizes a life well lived.

    You loved and cared for her well. Her strengths are reflected in you. She is at peace and we hope you will find rest now too.

    Diane MacDonald & Gary Menard

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  4. Sue and Jim Bosiak

    Much love to you both Susan and Ed. You have been an amazing daughter Susan caring and loving. May your Mom rest in peace and may you also be at peace knowing you took great care of her.
    Sue and Jim xxx

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  5. Dear Margaret and Susan,

    I have always admired your mother, her energy and inteligence. I have seen her last time, when she was about 87 and still having a very sharp mind. It is a gift to live that long with a brain still working well. I am glad that she has not suffered for a prolong period of time, lived well till the last weeks thanks to your care and passed on according to her wishes. My thoughts are with you.

    Jana Kolac

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  6. dinner friends at Grande Av. Village. tables13,14,15 17 &18

    No time to say good-bye, condolences to the family
    Your dinner friends at Grande Av, Village. Tables 13,14,15,17,18. Our thoughts are with you.

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  7. Dear Margaret,

    How wonderful that your mother had such an indomitable spirit that she shared with you and so many others!

    With sincere sympathy to you and your family,

    Cathy Arnold

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  8. I will always cherish my memories of Tilly, who was an enthusiastic member of CNWE and livened our many gatherings in Ottawa. I send my condolences to Susan, Margaret and Terry and am sure you all have very good memories of your mother, which I hope will help to lessen the pain of parting.

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  9. Mary Ellen Chown

    I remember meeting Tilly at CNWE gatherings and being inspired by her wisdom and energy! In her memory, we will continue to work for women’s equality. My sincere condolences to your family in these days. Peace by with you.

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  10. Kevin Flaherty

    Dear Susan, Terry, Margaret and any others who were close to Matilda,

    My deepest condolences on the loss of your mother. The words of her obituary brought back my fondest memories of Aunt Tilly, as known to me at a young age. Strong of curiosity and interest in the world, always offering a musing, a thought, an opinion. A welcome shelter offered a strange and troubled young nephew who felt he could just ‘show up’ on her doorstep. Her engagement and wisdom were always evident and to be cherished. As a cousin (her nephew) I often saw her through my interactions with her children and for most of my life, from a distance. And now my thoughts and feelings are with you. Love from me.

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  11. Kathleen Flaherty

    Dearest Cousins,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I will always cherish Tilda in my heart – her passion, her wit, her courage remain a beacon for women everywhere. My love to all of you. Kathleen

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  12. Colleen Flaherty

    Margaret, Susan and Terry….my memories of growing up at the lake are filled with your Mom and Dad, and they always make me smile. I also smile when I think of your Mom playing ball with RJ when he was about 4 years old; I’m not sure which of them had more fun! I’m saddened by her loss. Her wit and intelligence, and her gentle smile, will be missed. Our deepest sympathies to all of you.

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