Marnie Keith-Murray, adventurer, entrepreneur, networker, advocate, and sailor, made her exit on March 21, 2023. Born in Bath, England, August 20, 1937, to David and Nancy Keith-Murray (nee Gautschi). Sister to Peter and Mark, mother to daughter Andrea (deceased), and sons Paul (Trish) and Colin (Cassandra). She leaves her beloved grandson and roomie, Ty, and her travelling grandchildren, Ashton, Natalie and Devin.
Marnie moved from England in 1945, aged 8, to Vancouver, acquiring a lifelong love of the sea. Schooled in North Vancouver and at UBC in Physical Education, she joined the RCAF, and was commissioned in 1958. Her postings took her to Yukon and Winnipeg, where she married and was transferred to France, living in nearby Virton, Belgium. Andrea and Paul were born there and Colin in Nova Scotia where she taught PE. Transferred in 1968 to Moosonee, Marnie was Town Recreation Director. She enjoyed snowmobiling, snowshoeing, crossing frozen rivers in the dark, and travels around Hudson Bay. Next transfer was Trenton, ON, teaching at Bayside SS, travelling on weekends to work with the Canadian Red Cross Water Safety program as an examiner. In 1976, the Red Cross lured her to Toronto as full-time Director of Youth.
After 5 years in executive search, Marnie launched her own executive search firm in 1988. Marnie was instrumental in shaping women’s networking in Toronto. She ran networking nights, coordinated with other groups and published a national directory of women’s networks. She was an active member of the McGill and Elmwood clubs.
She loved Lake Ontario and joined local sailing clubs. After spying the beautiful clubhouse of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, she joined in 1993. Not interested in racing on other’s boats, she bought Capilano, her 8.7-metre sailboat. She sailed solo all around Lake Ontario, leading to 26 years of fun, adventure, groundings, meeting rocks, lightning strikes and great friendships. In 2010 she was the first solo sailor to win the Hodder Award and followed with Cruising Squadron Sailor of the Year in 2011.
In 2001, she joined her community of friends on her beloved Salt Spring Island in BC. Four years of sailing in the Caribbean and Bahamas intervened and Marnie enjoyed
many adventures exploring the ICW and the islands. After volunteering at the Vancouver Olympics, she moved to Paris for four years, summering at RCYC on Capilano. Her beloved daughter Andrea died in 2015 and Marnie settled into a new life as resident Nana to 12-year-old Ty.
A wonderful seven years on the Danforth, with a teenager who sailed, the best little dog in the world and family close by, came to an end when ALS appeared.
Through her illness, Marnie brought together her many friends to assist. This was a gift to all as they soon developed a shared bond with one another. Marnie’s courage, pragmatism, commitment to fitness, sense of adventure, love of friends, and sheer willpower became an inspiration for many. She added her trademark elixir of champagne to every celebration. She will be greatly missed.