(12 August 1936 - 8 October 2019)
  • Katharine Hepburn - who, like Margaret, was known for her fierce independence and spirited personality - has been quoted as saying: “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” Those words could have just as easily been said by Margaret.

    Margaret always stood up for what she believed was in her and her family's interests. She rarely agreed to anything that wasn’t without seeking a compromise or concession. As a girl she would demand to be treated by boys as an equal and would physically fight them to stand up for herself. At no point in her life did she ever believe in the strict gender roles that society was structured around. She loved to find out how things worked, was as much a repairer of sewing machines as she was a tailor and seamstress and always spoke fondly about the times she would work on engines alongside her mechanical engineer father. Margaret dreamed of being an airline stewardess - not for the glamour of the role, but for the sense of adventure and because she was fascinated about the physics of flight. The only thing that stopped her was being denied by the airlines on health grounds.

    As an employee she was firm and direct rather than subservient and deferential to her inevitably male bosses - which earned her as much respect as her skills did. On one occasion she resigned rather than be taken advantage of and then refused to return when the employer sought her out and begged her to come back.

    Margaret married Jim in 1953, long before the second wave of feminism began in the late 1960s and back when it was normal for wives to vow to "love, honour and obey" their future husbands. She was 19 years old but even at that young age Margaret had such a fully formed sense of equality that she refused, in the face of convention, to say the word "obey" in her wedding vows. It didn't fit with how she saw herself and she wouldn't promise to do something that was inconsistent with her personal values.

    In the 1970s she raised 3 boys as feminists. Once when asked why she simply replied: “Because that's a way I can change the future”.

    In her latter years friends and family often forgot she was blind and strangers would have a hard time believing it. After Jim died in 2012 Margaret was determined to continue living in the house on her own and to avoid moving into any residential care home. She fiercely defended her independence and declared that "it is my time now". After being diagnosed with cancer earlier this year she was determined to avoid moving into any palliative care facility. She died in her bedroom in the house where she raised her family - just as she wanted.

    None of her sisters or her brother would say that as a young girl she lacked a sense of mischief. All her sons would attest to her independent spirit and how she lived (and encouraged her children to live) in accordance with their own personal values. None of her nephews or nieces or grandchildren would say that she was without a sense of fun.

    This is how she will be remembered and remembered with lots of love.
    Uploaded by Darren
    • 2 months ago
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