Margaret Aileen Baldasaro
Born: July 22, 1923
Died: December 24, 2008 in Hamilton, ON
Interred: Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery, Burlington
Aileen was the daughter of the late Frank and Alice Pope and was predeceased by her first husband, Bill Purvey of Bermuda, her late husband Wallace J. Baldasaro, her sister Claire and brother-in-law Dominic Baldasaro of North Bay. She is survived by her son Francis Purvey of Florida, daughter Jean Gerken and husband Henry of Florida and her sister Mary and husband Jake Anton of Kitchener. Aileen will be greatly missed by her grandchildren Aaron and his wife Maria of Abbotsford B.C., Ashleigh Purvey of Florida, Henry, Bill, and John Gerken of New York, great-grandchildren Maxwell, Sidney, Billy, Peter and Christian, all of New York.
Aileen graduated from nursing at St. Mary’s Hospital in Kitchener in 1945 and later served in the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in Bermuda where she continued her very successful nursing career. She married Bill Purvey in Bermuda in 1949 and enjoyed an active life socially and as a volunteer – and later as Director of Volunteers – at the hospital. Bill Purvey died in 1975. Aileen married Wallace J. Baldasaro in 1976, and moved back to Canada.
In Bermuda in 1976, Aileen was made an Officer of the British Empire (O.B.E.) in recognition of her work at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital. In the same year she received the Benemerenti Award from Pope John Paul for her work within St. Michael’s Church in Paget, Bermuda. She was a very proud Catholic and lived a life of goodness and caring. Francis Purvey said an extraordinary number of people had paid their respects since his mother’s death. “Most of them say, ‘I had no idea she had these awards or had these accomplishments’ because she was a very humble person at the same time.”
Dorothy Trimingham, former president of the “Pink Ladies” – the hospital’s Women’s Auxiliary – worked with Aileen for 10 years. She said: “She was a fabulous lady and she was a very great friend. She was a wonderful woman who started volunteering to train the volunteers. She was there day and night. She started everything, and she really made the Pink Ladies a hugely important feature of the hospital. The hospital began to depend more and more on us because she knew what she was doing and managed to keep everyone in line without being rough with anybody. We all loved her, she was fabulous.”