Essery, Muriel Catherine

Having heard the Easter music of Faure’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah a final time, Muriel Essery passed away on April 3, 2021 in Meaford, Ontario.

Muriel was born on September 9, 1925 in Meaford to Harold and Catherine Brown. From an early age, her talent and passion for music were evident.  She’ll be remembered as an outstanding organist at Knox and Grace United churches, an alto singer in the G Clef Choir, a pianist performing Two Pianos Eight Hands concerts, an accompanist and a composer of anthems.  Although capable in many other ways, music was her voice, her satisfaction and her gift to others.  Muriel was a kind and gentle soul, strong-willed and constant, caring and compassionate, encouraging and supportive.  Her quick wit and facility with language were hard to match.  She was a rock and a soft place to fall.  Her influence on the lives of her grandchildren cannot be overstated.

Muriel was predeceased by her parents, her husband Gordon Essery, her brothers Wilfred Brown (Nona) and Mac Brown (Ruth) and her infant sister Isabelle.  She is survived by her daughter Susan Newton of Kenora, son Dan Essery (Karen) of Brighton, ON;  her grandchildren Mike Newton (Teika) of Kenora, Jodi Essery (Attila Clemann) of Gatineau PQ, and Ben Essery (Corinne) of New Westminster, BC and great grandchildren Maya and Sam Newton, Leif and Dorian Clemann and Hazel Essery.  She is survived as well by special cousin Grace Risk (Mervin), several nieces and nephews, including special niece Phyllis Fleming (Therese Samuel), her sister-in-law, Mae Essery, and her brother-in-law Ed Burchart.

Muriel’s family is most grateful to Dr. Alexandra Collins and the entire staff of Meaford Long Term Care Centre for their exceptional care of Muriel during her final months.

An online memorial service will be held and interment services will take place in Meaford and Kenora when arrangements can be made. Donations in Muriel’s honour can be made to the Kenora District Festival of the Arts, the Meaford Culture Foundation; or to any animal rescue of your choice. (Cheques only please) through the Ferguson Funeral Home, 48 Boucher St. E., Meaford, ON   N4L 1B9.

“There is sweet music here that softer falls

Than petals from blown roses on the grass,

Or night dews on still waters between walls

Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass;

Music that gentler on the spirit lies

Than tir’d eyelids upon tir’d eyes.”

Alfred Lord Tennyson from Choric Song 1 of The Lotos-eaters



An online memorial service will be held and interment services will take place in Meaford and Kenora when arrangements can be made.

Donations: Kenora District Festival of the Arts, the Meaford Culture Foundation; or to any animal rescue of your choice. (Cheques only please)
Make a donation in memory of Muriel Catherine Essery

Memories & Messages of condolence

  1. Bonnie Hammond
    Friday, April 9, 2021

    To Muriel’s Family – I offer my sincere condolences to all of you but especially to Phyllis & Therese whom I know well. Muriel was so special & she will be missed by many family, friends & her Grace Church Family.
    Remember the good times – I know that there will be many memories for each of you. Take Care & God Bless!
    Bonnie Hammond

  2. Marilyn Mount
    Friday, April 9, 2021

    To Muriel’s family,

    May I offer my deep sympathy to Muriel’s family, especially Thérèse and Phyllis. I sang in
    the choir and we all shared Muriel’s gentleness and wonderful organ and piano playing –
    Especially when Muriel and and Sandra payed played together.

    May the Lord be with you,
    Marilyn Rawn Mount.

  3. Randy
    Saturday, April 10, 2021

    To the Essery and Newton clans, we send our sincere condolences. Muriel brought so much to our community in so many ways, but her musical gifts were golden. She was indeed a very special lady.
    Rest in peace, Muriel. The Jackson Family, Kenora

  4. sylvia bell
    Saturday, April 10, 2021

    I was so pleased when Muriel returned to Thornbury. It was lovely to see her at church and at the Symphony. She was a good friend to my Dad. He went to her place weekly to play his violin while she accompanied him..
    She gave so freely of her gift.

  5. Randy Darling
    Tuesday, April 13, 2021

    Muriel was a great lady who could play so well i enjoyed her music so much when she was here at Errinrung may she rest in peace

  6. Pamela Osborne-Brett
    Wednesday, April 14, 2021

    Our sincere condolences on the loss of your Mom. May the great memories you have help you through this most difficult time. I will always remember her as a beautiful and gentle soul!

  7. Ferg Devins
    Wednesday, April 14, 2021

    Deepest Sympathies to family and friends on Muriel’s passing. She was a kind a gracious person who gave so much to her communities through her talent and music. She brightened many days.

  8. Lisa and Mike Lyle
    Wednesday, April 14, 2021

    To the family of Muriel,
    She was an absolute delight of a lady and the best neighbour anyone could ask for. She was so talented in many ways. We enjoyed many conversations and laughs “over the fence” and never tired of listening to her play the piano or tell us incredible stories. She was an absolute treasure and we missed her when she moved back home. She was so happy to move back to be closer to more family and friends. Kenora lost an amazing lady. May she rest in peace.

  9. Gord & Lynne McCoy
    Wednesday, April 14, 2021

    Hello Dan, Susan and families …

    Muriel was a very special person and we always enjoyed chatting with her.
    She contributed so very much to the music in Kenora . We enjoyed her visits to St. Andrews in Keewatin when she graciously filled in and played for services.
    She will always be remembered with love and respect by all who knew her.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  10. Michael Lyle
    Wednesday, April 14, 2021

    My favorite musical memory of Muriel occurred in 2014 when she accompanied our Fifth Ave. Singers as we sang old first world war songs. All put together by the museum, we had about eight songs and one in particular had a very short intro. Only one of us caught the cue and stopped very quickly. Muriel didn’t even blink. She played the intro again making it so smooth. As we approached our cue a second time she gave us this look that said “Are you going to sing it this time?” It was such a perfect school teacher look that conveyed the message. We managed the rest without a hitch. She was a grand lady!

  11. Patti Bastie
    Saturday, April 17, 2021

    My sincere condolences to Muriel’s family.
    It was always a joy to come together with Muriel on Saturday afternoons for puzzle making or scrabble and listening to opera. She was the best neighbour and friend.


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