Margaret E. Randolph, 77, passed away peacefully with her family by her side at 4:13 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 21, 2017) at her home in Bloomington.
A service celebrating her life will be 10 a.m. Wednesday at Calvary United Methodist Church, 1700 N. Towanda Ave., Normal. The Revs. Randy and Debbie Reese will officiate. Private family interment will be at Randolph Cemetery, Kenney. Visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Calvary United Methodist Church, Normal.
Margaret’s life began Sept. 24, 1940, in Lincoln, as the daughter of George C. and Olga Stoll Irwin. She married her high school sweetheart and the love of her life, Dr. John E. Randolph, on June 30, 1963, in Beason. Dr. John passed away April 4, 2007. She was also predeceased by her parents and her brother, Robert Irwin.
Surviving are her two daughters, Julie (Steve) Knipstein, LaGrange Park, and Dr. Laura (Dr. Jerry Oakey) Randolph, Bloomington; five grandchildren, Max and Zoey Knipstein and Aidan, Jack and Vaughn Oakey; three brothers, George (Shiela) Irwin, Middletown, Del.; John (Doris) Irwin, Beason; and her twin brother, Maurice (Karen) Irwin, Lincoln; two sisters, Jane Jacobs, Lincoln, and Betty (Richard) Peyer, Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.; and two brothers-in-law, Robert (JoAnn) Randolph, Chillicothe, and David (Cathy) Randolph, Kenney.
Margaret loved her family, friends, church and golf, generally in that order. She was an extrovert with a huge smile, with a gift for getting to know people and a tendency to get involved and help out in ways both large and small. Margaret adored her five grandchildren, and was a constant source of fun, food and life lessons for all of them. She never stopped being a mom to Julie and Laura, and was always available to hear stories, offer advice or find a recipe. She embraced her sons-in-law Steve and Jerry and delighted in cooking for and watching and talking about sports with them. A fierce competitor, Margaret cherished her golf group at Bloomington Country Club and enjoyed spirited games of Scrabble and Rummikub.
Her generosity had no bounds. Margaret had a unique ability to connect with people of all ages and backgrounds in a way that left everyone loving Marg. She was a spirited conversationalist and had a knack of getting to really know people, even if she only met them for a short time. She supported numerous charitable causes and organizations and was always willing to provide assistance to someone in need.
Margaret was a farm girl at heart, and believed food was a key element in any celebration and a solution to many problems. She and John hosted numerous family gatherings and parties at their home, and planned and executed each one with near military precision. She was famous for her cinnamon rolls, and would invariably show up with a pan for a friend who had lost a loved one or needed comfort.
Margaret graduated from Beason High School in 1958, attended University of Illinois for one year and went on to graduate from Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Springfield in 1962. She worked as a nurse for three years at University of Illinois Education and Research Hospital in Chicago, and though she stopped working to raise her children, she continued to find ways to be of service throughout her life. Margaret served as president of McLean County Medical Alliance, CL chapter of PEO and board of the Day Care of McLean County. She was an active member of Calvary United Methodist Church for 45 years, volunteered at BroMenn Hospital, supported the ISU-Mennonite School of Nursing in countless ways and spent many summers working with the Women’s Golf Association at Bloomington Country Club.
Margaret showed great courage during her 11-year fight against ovarian cancer. She would attack each setback with vigor and determination, and relished the good times with wonderful trips, golf games and time with friends and family. Her family is grateful for the care and support she received from the staff at Community Cancer Center, Calvary United Methodist Church, the nursing team that cared for her 24/7 over the past seven weeks and from the many wonderful friends who were members of “Team Margaret” over the years.
The family suggests memorials be made to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; Calvary United Methodist Church, Normal; or Community Cancer Center, Normal. Arrangements are being handled by Calvert & Metzler Memorial Home, Bloomington.
Please view the obituary and share your condolences and memories at www.calvertmemorial.com.