Marion Violet Broder

F, ID# 549, (1925-2022)
Marion Violet Broder
      Marion Violet Broder was born on 5 June 1925 in 40 Leopold Place, New Westminster, British Columbia.1 She was the daughter of Robert Roswell Broder and Violet Faye Jones.1 She was baptized on 28 December 1925 in New Westminster, British Columbia.2 She married James Gordon Doyle, son of Charles Michael Doyle and Gerda Louisa Naas, on 20 July 1946 in St Peter's Church, New Westminster, British Columbia.3,4 She and James Gordon Doyle lived in 40 Leopold Place, New Westminster, British Columbia, between 1946 and 1948. Marion and James lived in a house on the grounds of Broder Canning Company in Lethbridge, Alberta between 1948 and 1952. Marion and James lived in 3015 Parkside Dr, Lethbridge, Alberta, from 1952 to 1979. About 1959 an addition was built on the west end of the house adding 4 bedrooms and a mother-in-law suite. During the 1950s, '60s and '70s Marion was very active in the Southminster United Church UCW (United Church Women) and was its President on several occasions. On 7 February 1957 James and Marion flew from Vancouver, BC to Honolulu, HA. They were accompanied by Violet Faye (Jones) Broder.5 In the 1960s, Marion and James had a summer home in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta. She graduated from the University of Lethbridge in Lethbridge, Alberta, on 12 May 1979 with a degree in Business. Her son Randy graduated at the same time. Marion and James lived on an acreage called Windmeadows at the south edge of Lethbridge, Alberta after 1980. The property, approximately 55 acres, was purchased in 1972 and the house, which was designed by Marion, was built in 1979. By the early 2000s much of the land had been sold to a developer leaving about 11 acres.6

On 20 Aug 2016, Marion and James celebrated their 70th anniversary with a family party at Windmeadows. They received greetings from Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Governor General David Johnston.

When Marion was well into her 80s, she jotted down some highlights of her life:

• Born 05 June 1925 at her parents’ home in New Westminster, BC – her father was sure the hospital would mix up babies.
• Raised by her grandmother (Mary Ann (Misener) Jones) while her mother worked as the bookkeeper for her father’s companies.
• Kept busy every day after school with music, art, and elocution lessons – no time to follow the crowd to the local coffee shop. She loved school and excelled which pleased her parents but did nothing for her popularity with her schoolmates.
• Summers were spent at the family home in Crescent Beach, BC where she had swimming lessons every day. She won several trophies and a ½ mile badge.
• Winter was figure skating time and she loved it. By 14 she was pairs skating and needed private ice time which was only available 4:30-6:00am on Sundays. For three years she walked a mile each way through the wooded park every weekend of skating season. A severe fall during the Western Canadian Pairs Championship ended her figure skating career at 16.
• She wanted to be an architect and applied to Stanford University. They replied that they would be happy to accept her application for any field except architecture because that department did not accept female students regardless of their qualifications because the courses involved math, physics, and engineering that women could not understand. Annoyed (to say the least), she refused to go to Stanford and spent that winter taking a stenographer course in the mornings and practicing piano for 8 hours each day. In June 1944, she passed the performance exams and earned her ATCM from the Toronto Conservatory of Music. She was not a musician and had continued her lessons for 12 years at her father’s insistence, so she presented him with the ATCM certificate.
• In the fall of 1944, she attended a private women’s college just outside New York to study design and drafting. She loved it and completed the two year course in one year. She was in New York City on VE Day.
• On returning home, she immediately registered at UBC to major in math and physics, starting with summer school. Her final math mark was 99 but her father was horrified and refused to pay for the fall semester, insisting she change to more “lady like” interests. She spent that winter working as a dental assistant.
• During that winter, the problem of university became a non-issue. Jim Doyle had gone off to war as her brother’s best friend and her “extra” brother. He came home from England as a very handsome Flying Officer. They were married on 20 July 1946.
• Two years later, they moved to Lethbridge with baby Faye where Jim would work for her father at the cannery. It wasn’t too long before he became “Mr. Broder’s right-hand man”. They lived in a four-room bungalow on the cannery property with neither water nor sewer connections. A rotary hand pump brought water into the kitchen sink from a barrel in the basement. The bathroom was “out back”, and the bathtub was a galvanized wash tub in the kitchen with water heated in pots on the gas stove. By the next year, the house had been “citified” and baby Linda arrived.
• By the time Wes was born they had built a house, designed by Marion, way out of town – on Parkside Drive – where they lived for almost 30 years. For many of those years her mother and father lived next door and Marion cooked and delivered their dinner daily.
• Soon after arriving, she transferred her church membership to Southminster United Church. This led to a life-long involvement with that church. She was a president and life member of the UCW (United Church Women), secretary of the Board of Stewards, Sunday school pianist, member of the Alberta Conference finance committee, member of Presbytery for many years, and later in life, church treasurer.
• When the children were older and more independent, she served eight years on the Public Library Board. Plans were made to replace the old library building in Galt Gardens. Several proposals were submitted but she felt the design preferred by the rest of the board was a “cracker box” that would be an eyesore in a few years, so she refused to make the vote unanimous as required. She stubbornly refused to change her vote and thus prevented construction for almost a year. Eventually the board found a new local architect who believed Galt Gardens was not the appropriate location. The new library, designed by George Watson, was constructed on its present site and the cornerstone included her name along with the other board members. She also found time to teach music at the Dorothy Gooder School (for handicapped children) every Friday morning for 10 years.
• On her 40th birthday she received her private pilot’s licence and Jim bought her her own Cherokee plane which she occasionally flew to Edmonton to see Faye and Wes and to Red Deer to have lunch with an old friend who had moved there. She had regularly acted as Jim’s navigator as they logged over 2000 hours of family travel so learning to fly seemed no big deal.
• When Randy was in first year at U of L, she took to reading his textbooks. So the next year, at age 49, she enrolled in the Business Management program majoring in accounting. She graduated with Great Distinction three years later along with Randy. She accepted a position as accounting lab instructor at night school while she put in the required articling time for a professional accounting designation with a local accounting firm. She then returned to the university as a full time instructor during which time she passed the required exams for her Chartered Accountant and Certified Management designations. At 65 she took compulsory retirement from her position as Assistant Professor.
• She and Jim loved to travel. They were on the second scheduled flight of Canadian Pacific Airlines from Vancouver to Honolulu in January 1957. When the girls were teenagers, she and her mother arranged for all of them to spend a month on a guided tour of Europe. However, in the meantime, Faye and Dick eloped, so Sue Broder (her niece) took Faye’s place on the trip.
• Over the years she and Jim covered the continent, the Caribbean, and all the good ski spots in the US, often with the whole family for Spring break. In later years, they often took a cruise to break up the winter, usually with children and grandchildren for company. But their favourite places always remained Maui and home.
• Her last few years were devoted to her family, her knitting, and her flowers. Her growing number of great-grandchildren were a never-ending source of delight. Over the years, she encountered her share of problems, but she always believed God had some purpose for putting her in difficulty. She never lost her belief that she had had the most wonderful life possible – that God had been so very generous to her. She wanted no one to weep or mourn her passing but to sing hymns of praise to God for the blessings he had heaped on her.

She also left a notebook with handwritten vignettes of her life. This was probably written in the early 2000s.

She was left a widow when James Gordon Doyle died on 19 November 2021.7 She died on 12 September 2022 in Lethbridge, Alberta, at age 97.8

On 5 August 2023, Marion's and James's ashes were interred in Mountain View Cemetery, Lethbridge, Alberta.
Last Edited=9 Aug 2023


  1. [S172] Marion Violet Broder, Birth Certificate 22-B-25 Vol 496 (13 Jun 1925), BC Vital Statistics Agency, Victoria, British Columbia.
  2. [S173] Marion Violet Broder baptism, Dec 28, 1925, privately held by Faye West, Edmonton, Alberta. BAP 002.
  3. [S149] James Gordon Doyle & Marion Violet Broder, Marriage Certificate 1589 (25 Jul 1946), BC Vital Statistics Agency, Victoria, British Columbia.
  4. [S945] Marion Broder & James Doyle, Wedding Invitation, privately held by Faye West, Edmonton, Alberta.
  5. [S2048] Honolulu, Hawaii, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1900-1959, CP Airlines flight 327, 7 Feb 1957, Passenger List, Ancestry ( accessed 27 Jan 2020).
  6. [S1786] Windmeadows, Offer to Purchase & Interim Agreement, 7 Sep 1972, copy privately held by Faye West, Edmonton, Alberta.
  7. [S2086] James Gordon Doyle entry, Death Registration 8606 (19 Nov 2021), Cornerstone Funeral Home, Lethbridge, Alberta.
  8. [S2085] Marion Violet Doyle entry, Death Registration 9036 (12 Sep 2022), Cornerstone Funeral Home, Lethbridge, Alberta.
  9. [S134] Faye Louise Doyle, Birth Certificate D 159913 (31 Jan 1947), BC Vital Statistics Agency, Victoria, British Columbia.