Margaret B. was born in Long Beach, California in 1935. She is proud of making it to 88 and is heading toward 100. When she was young, her parents divorced, so she did not know too much about her biological father. She and her younger brother, James, were close growing up and played outside with other children. Margaret remembers her mother, Bonnie, as a hard-working waitress. Bonnie later married Bob, who became Margaret and James’ stepfather. He had a great relationship with them and even gave Margaret away at her wedding. She loved him to pieces.
A Hardworking Woman
Growing up, Margaret babysat, but when she turned 16, she started her first job at Buffum’s department store. She quickly became proficient in selling sterling silver flatware in the silverware department. Margaret worked throughout college. She attended Long Beach City College and Long Beach State College, where she received her teaching credential. In addition to her teaching credential, she also met her future husband, Bruce.
Bruce was a returned veteran of the United States Army, and Margaret recalls him as tall, dark, and doggone handsome. The two dated for three weeks before discussing the possibility of marriage. However, because it had been such a short dating time, Margaret feared informing her mother of their marriage intentions. It was not until five months later that they shared the news with her mother. When it came to marrying Bruce, Margaret says you just know.
A Wonderful & Marvelous Marriage
The two were married for 54 years; she says it was a wonderful and marvelous marriage. Margaret says they never argued the entire time they were married. They may have had a few long silences, but neither wanted to hurt the other one’s feelings. Both Margaret and Bruce became teachers. She taught primary grades, mostly 2nd grade, children with learning problems, emotional problems, and autism. Bruce taught high school English, U.S. History, Government, and, most importantly, Sex Education. Margaret shares that it was called human development, so the parent-teacher administration would not be hurt regarding this sensitive topic.
Growing As A Teacher
Upon becoming a mother, her love for teaching grew. Her oldest son, Scott, had difficulty learning math and some reading in school. To help him overcome this, she became a Miller-Unruh Reading Specialist, allowing her to teach students remedial reading and math. Bruce and Margaret had four children: Scott, Robert, John, and their only daughter, Julia. She loved being a mother and enjoyed the fun of it. Since she was a teacher, she brought home a lot of learning games, which they played together. There was a lot of laughter in their home.
During the summers, they traveled and camped all over California, Oregon, and Washington. When she and Bruce retired, they also traveled extensively between those states and the rest of the United States. Scott also joined the Army and was stationed in Germany. They took the entire family
to visit him for a few weeks and had the opportunity to travel all over southern Germany together. She found a lot of excellent places to see, and they marveled over it. She planned their excursions through reading books, which was an extension of the teacher in her.
Overcoming Difficulties As A Family
When Margaret’s son, Scott, was 26 years old, he was killed in an automobile accident, driving as a passenger in a car while serving in the Army in Germany. Margaret, to this day, does not know what caused the accident, and his passing was a sad time in her life. Her son, Robert, is a carpenter and house builder, John is a high school math teacher, and her daughter teaches middle school cheerleading. Julia also spent five years as a cheerleader for the Los Angeles Rams. She’s also immensely proud of her four grandchildren, all college graduates. Margaret also has one great-granddaughter. She likes seeing the process of life circling and seeing them do everyday things. Margaret is also there to tell her kids not to worry about them and encourage them that things will turn out okay if they are worried.
When Margaret was in her 40s, she developed breast cancer and had to undergo a mastectomy. But today, she can say she is a breast cancer survivor of 45 years. After the passing of her son, Scott, which was one of the hardest parts of her life, she knew that if she was able to get through this, she could overcome the hardship of cancer. For several years afterward, she volunteered with the American Cancer Society’s Reach to Recovery Program, where she visited other women who just had mastectomies and was able to encourage them.
Genealogy & Crafter Extraordinaire
Margaret recently learned that after her parents divorced, her father remarried, and she has a half-brother named John, who lives in Richmond, Virginia. She has become acquainted with him and his wife over the last few years. Margaret enjoys reading mysteries and thrillers in her spare time, and her favorite author is Patricia Cornwall. She always has a book in her walker. Most recently, she has been enjoying The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. Margaret also likes to sew and has made all of the decorations in her room, not to mention her daughter Julia’s wedding dress, which took 250+ hours to complete. She also enjoys quilting, cross-stitching, and embroidery. All of which are practices she learned from her mother.
Sticking to Her Beliefs
Margaret is a devout Christian and a long-term member of Woodland Presbyterian Church. She served as a deaconess and even sang in the church choir. Her parents were not religious. Her stepfather was an atheist, and her husband was also not particularly religious either, so she went to church regularly on her own. She now enjoys going to Sunridge Community Church with her daughter on Sundays.
Margaret is also a liberal democrat and has been accused of being a bleeding-heart liberal. She is also an avid genealogist. Margaret has researched most of Bruce’s and her relatives. She enjoyed discovering an ancestor, Richard Warren, who came to America on the Mayflower. Margaret also enjoyed visiting many famous libraries to do her research.
After 54 years of marriage, Margaret’s husband, Bruce, passed away in 2010, and she’s been a widow ever since. There is nobody she would replace him with, and she remembers him as loving and warm. He was nice to everyone and could fix anything. Over the last year and a half, Margaret has lived at Renaissance Village Murrieta and enjoys it very much. She thinks she’s found an excellent place to be, and as she’s shooting for 100, she imagines she will still live here when that time comes.