Family in shock after sudden death

Margaret Hepburn who died suddenly.

Margaret Hepburn who died suddenly.

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The chairwoman of Mintlaw Walking Group has died suddenly during a walk with the club she led.

Margaret Hepburn, who has been described as a ‘community stalwart’ by her family, collapsed and died during the outing with the walking group last Wednesday.

A mother of three, Margaret was accompanied by her husband, Jimmy, on the walk when she died.

As well as serving as chairwoman of the Mintlaw Walking Group for six years, Margaret was also a former secretary of New Deer Show.

She also served as a president of Maud SWI, having been a member of the rural for nearly 50 years.

Margaret met her future husband, Jimmy, when she was 15.

Together, they went on to have three daughters and nine grandchildren.

During her career, Margaret worked as a bookkeeper and later in life opened a bed and breakfast with Jimmy near Maud.

Remembering his wife, Jimmy said: “She was always happy, she was a great family person.

“She was always smiling, and very friendly. She was something special.”

Speaking of her mum’s time in the SWRI, Helen told the Buchanie: “She was involved in all the competitions they had.

“Mum always played an active part and if there was a silly sketch to do, she would have done it.

“She did her judge’s test, too, which let her go out and judge other rurals and shows. She loved doing that.

“She was also secretary of New Deer Show for 18 years.

“She relentlessly put her all into that show and probably took it to the level is is at today,” she said.

“She was very efficient.”

Helen added: “She was always busy at home - she just loved cooking and entertaining.

“She liked us all being here, we were actually here last Sunday and had a great family day.

“She never really relaxed a lot.

“She lived life to the full. When we heard she had died, it was unbelievable. It was absolutely devastating.”

Daughter Ruth added: “She was never ill in her life, so for her to just to go out one day and never come back was such a shock.”

President of New Deer Show Allan Buchan commented: “I wasn’t directly involved with Margaret but many of the older members said that she took the show to a different level.

“In particular, she took the trade stands and all the livestock entries to an increased level.

“Part of the show’s success is down to Margaret’s work in previous years and we’re all shocked by the news of her death.”