Legacy of Living, Loving, Learning and Laughing — Margaret Arlene (Walters) Evans peacefully passed away this past Saturday, September 8, 2018, surrounded by her family, her 2 dogs, 103 ceramic roosters and a closet full of new shoes. She died as she lived – her way and on her terms. Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, September 11, 2018, at Annunciation Catholic Church. Burial will follow at Friendship Cemetery. Visitation will be two hours prior to services at the church. Memorial Gunter Peel Funeral Home and Crematory, Second Avenue North location is in charge of arrangements. Born in Benton Harbor Michigan during the Great Depression, she had to walk to school in knee-high snow with borrowed, tattered shoes. At the time, she was grateful that her mother had mended her socks to lessen the frostbite. While enduring such hardships, “Marge the Sarg” marched forth, developing fortitude and a life-long attitude of independence that we often mistook for stubbornness. This hard-learned strength of character allowed her to overcome thyroid cancer, massive open heart surgery and the election of George W. Bush. After graduating High School (1951), she eagerly enrolled in the Army and then the Marines, where she met fellow Marine Sergeant David T. Evans. As the story goes, she started the relationship by offering him a piece of gum on a whim. Our Mother had only two qualms in life, that she outlived her husband “Big Dave” and that every time she voted, he would unknowingly cancel out her vote by choosing the opposing candidate. The numerous times that she was featured in the local papers as the Mother-Of–The-Year (for raising 11 kids at the time) or mentioned on Mother’s Day, she would always caution that we were “simply a family” – that names such as natural-born children, adopted children, foster children, guardianship children or children of the corn or whatever, were just the labels of others. Her 7 surviving children: David, Shawn, Kevin, Mark, Jon, Chris and Wendy honor her memory without imposed labels. At the age of 48 (yes, 48), she graduated from the M.U.W School of Nursing (1980) and worked 21 years on the maternity ward for the Baptist Memorial Hospital. Throughout her retirement years, whenever she was out in the community, her service to others was constantly being acknowledged by past patients and family. You have to be proud of a little woman (standing a mere 5’4”) who reached such heights of gratitude. Her hobbies were feeding the birds outside her viewing window and collecting ceramic roosters. When any member of the family would mistakenly buy her a duplicate rooster, she would place them together as a couple, naming them Pete & Repeat. The rooster is a Chinese symbol of physical and moral fortitude – which is a fitting description of our Mother. If she could read this, she would say that’s a “bunch of bird crap”. Her later passion in life became her 20 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren. She enjoyed preparing small gifts of toys and treats and then watching the children rush to the table to see what awaited them. This was a tradition that she did in memory of her Grandmother “who always treated visiting family with treats from the heart”. In the final years of her life, family members constantly pleaded with her to use the medical walker for her safety. She responded by naming it “George Walker Bush” and trashed it in the bushes, while proudly exclaiming, “As long as I fall on my hard head, I’ll be alright”. She died as she lived – her way and on her terms. In lieu of flowers, please send any donations to: Dogs for Adoption- Columbus Lowndes Humane Society.
Appeared in The Commercial Dispatch on September 11, 2018
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