Obituary of Frances Alda McIntosh
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Frances Alda McIntosh (née Rothaermel) was born February 21, 1930 to Elsa (née Koenig) and Harold Rothaermel in Kitchener Ontario where she grew up, living near her mother’s family.
She attended King Edward School, KCI, and Waterloo College. In her graduating year at KCI, she edited the yearbook and tried to win an academic scholarship. She achieved 13 firsts in the provincial exams, the first person ever to do this. However, she found that she was not eligible for any of the academic scholarships; they were all reserved for boys. She received $100 as the top student in Waterloo-Wellington Counties, $100 from the Canadian Federation of University Women - KW and $100 from the Waterloo Trust. She was a member of CFUW for over 60 years.
She finished her third year at university while editing the Keystone yearbook. After graduation from Waterloo College, she worked as assistant to the President of Equitable Life Insurance Company in Waterloo.
Frances met her husband, Ian McIntosh, at Equitable Life. Ian started as a student in the actuarial department, and eventually became president and CEO.
She volunteered with the March of Dimes, did the first survey of historical architecture in Waterloo for the Ontario Architectural Society, and was Superintendent of Sunday School at the Church of the Good Shepherd. She served as president of the church in 1984-5 and after that served for eight years as treasurer. She wrote a history of the Swedenborgian Church in Kitchener.
In 1970, together with a committee from CFUW, Frances wrote “100 Alternatives”, a book about 100 women with 100 different careers in the KW area. It was used in local guidance counselling at the high school level for some time.
She sat on the Kitchener Local Architecture Conservation Advisory Committee Board, as well as the Waterloo Region LACAC. She was the founding president of the Homer Watson House and Gallery Foundation for five years, helping to turn the crumbling house into a successful art gallery, and then looked after the gardens on the property for many years. She also chaired the Waterloo Historical Society committee to raise money and produce “Waterloo County, an illustrated History.”
Frances was awarded the Oktoberfest Woman of the Year award for volunteer service in 1989.
She loved playing bridge, lunches out, classical music, family parties and travelling, and visited more than 60 countries all over the world. In 2003 she and Ian organized the trip of a lifetime to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on a cruise to the Bahamas with 20 members of the family.
Frances is survived, and will be deeply missed, by her sister Peggy Heuss, her four children Kathryn Craig (John), Carol (Dan Heffernan), David (Brenda) and John McIntosh (Monica), her seven grandchildren Gavin, Robert (Beth) and Hilary Craig (Robert Prusinski), and Jeffrey (Hai Van), Nicholas (Alessandra), Sarah and Adam McIntosh, as well as her six great-grandchildren, Kemper, Beckett and Hudson Craig, and Mai An, William and Ian McIntosh.
Friends are invited to share their memories of Frances with her family during memorial visitation at the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King St. S., Waterloo on Wednesday, November 22, 2023 from 6-9 p.m. The memorial service will take place in the chapel of the funeral home on Thursday, November 23, 2023 at 3 p.m. with a reception to follow in the Fireside Reception Room.
Condolences for the family and in lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Church of the Good Shepherd in Kitchener and to the Homer Watson House and Gallery and can be arranged through the funeral home, www.erbgood.com.