NORMAL — Margaret “Dee” Myers, 88, of Normal, departed on her trip to Heaven Monday (Feb. 6, 2017) at her home. She had been in hospice care.
Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday at Calvert & Metzler Memorial Home, Bloomington. Her celebration of life service will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Calvert & Metzler Memorial Home, Bloomington, with the Rev. Kathy King-Nobles presiding. A one-hour visitation will be afforded prior to the service beginning at 9 a.m. A family and friends gathering luncheon will be hosted at First United Methodist Church of Normal immediately after the funeral. Rites of cremation will be afforded, and a private inurnment will be at a later date at East Lawn Memorial Gardens, Bloomington. Memorials may be made to The Baby Fold and Advocate BroMenn Hospice.
Margaret, or “Dee” as she was also known to many of her friends and co-workers, was born Nov. 29, 1928, in Bloomington, the daughter of Edward Charles and Ruth Viola Arnold Ringel. She married Richard L. Myers on Aug. 16, 1947. Richard passed away Dec. 12, 1995.
Surviving are her three children, Jaye “J.E.” Myers, Normal; Renee (Kevin) Genge, Normal; and Richard (Elizabeth Baudhuin) Myers, Washington, D.C. Also surviving are one granddaughter, Natalie (Josh) Ogden, Colfax, and two stepgrandsons, Christopher and Elliott Genge of Bloomington. Margaret is also survived by her great-granddaughter, Allison Ogden, who shares her birthday with Great Gran'mama.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard; her mother, Ruth; her wonderful stepfather, Walker A. Taylor; her two sisters, Mary Ann Snavely of Kankakee and Florence Schneckenberger of Commack, Long Island, N.Y.; and her foster sister, Faye Bridgewater of Springfield.
Depression-era struggles led 3-year-old Margaret and her two infant sisters to be raised first at The Baby Fold in Normal, and then at the wonderful Lucy Morgan Home for Girls in Bloomington. She always said she was raised in a loving and nurturing environment there. When Margaret was 13 years old, her mother married Walker Taylor and all three of the girls at last went home.
Margaret graduated from Bloomington High School in 1947. She especially excelled in home economics. But work was young Margaret's passion: at 14 she served surreptitiously as a “car hop” at Hubbard's Cupboard on Clinton Boulevard. After a stint working at Brokaw Hospital in the dietary department, she then began her career at State Farm even while still in high school. Richard also worked at State Farm. Not long after they were married, “Dick and Dee” took on an exciting assignment for State Farm in Charlottesville, Va., where they helped open a new State Farm regional office.
Returning home to raise a family, Margaret and Richard eventually built a house in rural Hudson, known as “Windy Acres.” As a stay-at-home mom, Margaret busied herself around “the farm,” raising vegetables, canning strawberry and grape jam, sewing and decorating. She served as a volunteer at the Hudson Baptist Church and at Hudson Elementary School.
In 1974, the family moved back to Normal and Margaret returned to work, first at Illinois State University and then once again at State Farm. She finally retired from State Farm after 20 years' cumulative service.
After Richard's death in 1995, Margaret kept busy. She became a volunteer for BroMenn Hospice and served faithfully for more than 10 years. She helped lead a bereavement support group with her friend Margaret West, and that group produced many friends and companions on numerous trips to Europe and throughout the United States. Her favorite country was Italy. She also participated in the Elderhostel travel and education movement, often with her dear friend, Jean Girardi.
Quilting became a passion as well. She began quilting in 1984, and over the years produced many large, completely hand-stitched pieces. She also volunteered as a quilter at the McLean County Museum of History and spent many a Thursday morning with her quilter friends, demonstrating the art of quilting to museum visitors.
At 60, Margaret was determined to learn to play piano and took private lessons from the unforgettable Peggy Brown. After several years' effort, Peggy gently suggested her friend learn to play bridge instead. That good advice led to a new passion for the cards and participation in a local ladies bridge club which remains active after decades together.
Antique collecting had always been still another interest and, in 2005, Margaret and Jaye created what is now Old Warehouse Antiques in downtown Bloomington. In 2013, she and Jaye founded Alley Kats Arts and Antiques in the same old warehouse, only this time in back, “under the bridge.” After selling Alley Kats in 2016, and at nearly 88 years of age, Margaret continued to work three days a week as a clerk there, until her illness. Her smile, her personality, her wit and her exacting customer service skills were an intrinsic part of the Alley Kats charm. And her cookies.
A love of gardening rounded out this very busy life. Margaret was tireless when it came to planting, weeding, transplanting and perfecting her garden. Her garden today features over 150 hosta plants she propagated “from scratch” along with roses and other species.
Margaret loved cats, especially her current duo, “Ivan the Terrible” and “Boo!” She knew she would be met at the rainbow bridge by all her departed fur babies.
Margaret, “Dee,” was a loving, kind, list-making, always busy, talented, humble, fun-loving woman. She leaves behind a hundred good friendships forged over the years, a long record of service to others, and a spirit that will continue to influence the lives of her family.
At the end of her illness, Margaret expressed her excitement to go on her “greatest trip” to Heaven, to be in the presence of her Lord, and to be reunited with loved ones waiting for her there. After all, she felt she had cheated death once before; in 2010 at the age of 81 she suffered a brain aneurysm. But with the help of the OSF staff, Margaret fully recovered. In fact, her remarkable recovery was made famous by OSF by placing her photo and story on billboards, elevator doors at the hospital, OSF staff screen savers, ads, magazine articles and radio. “I've had seven bonus years,” she smiled. “I can't complain now.”
We will see her ship dropping away over the horizon and will say, “She's gone!” but they will see her ship coming into view and cry “She's here!”
Please view the obituary and share your condolences and memories at www.calvertmemorial.com.