Life Story / Obituary
Margaret Templeton von Walthausen
December 6, 1926 -- November 22, 2020
After nearly 94 years of caringly walking on earth, Margaret Templeton von Walthausen was born into Great Mystery on November 22, 2020. Known as “Peg” to her many friends and family she was always generous and kind, never missing an opportunity to share an encouraging word with anyone in her sphere of influence. This continued to her last days, always kind and generous with a smile, supportive word and expression of gratitude for each and every kindness extended to her. Having lived a full and vibrant life, she recently exclaimed, “I’ve had a good life!” Hers was indeed a life well lived.
An avid gardener, her flower beds were works of art that inspired everyone who experienced their beauty in color, texture and design. After a long day of weeding and trimming it was difficult to coax her indoors even after the sun went down.
Her creativity extended into crafting as well. Boxes of found materials from her many forays to the beach and wanders through natural areas (her favorites being pinecones, fungi, berry branches, driftwood and rocks) filled the basement and attic to overflowing, affording just the right piece at the right time when needed to create a shadow box, piece of jewelry or terrarium.
Her love of crafting extended into her profession as an Occupational Therapist where, conducting home visits throughout the Detroit metro area, she utilized crafts as a path towards helping people recover from physical traumas, broken bones and diminished mobility. She also trained to become a “lay reader” for Detroit Public Schools, was Administrator for the Michigan Family and Divorce Mediation Service, and assisted in various capacities at a law firm before “retiring” to Traverse City.
Never content with mastering one skill, her inquisitive nature drew her to routinely scour magazine, newspaper and online articles for new ideas and sources of inspiration. Whether a recipe, clothing pattern or flower arrangement, she loved reading the stories, learning new methods and applying them in different ways.
Peg was “at home” whether in the garden, office or kitchen; she never feared experimenting with new recipes or ways of presenting home cooked meals. Her apricot squares were legendary. No guest to the house ever left without a nut bread in hand.
Peg was a consummate caretaker whether of people, places or things; she was most engaged and engaging when helping others. A prolific letter writer, correspondence by letter (and later email) was incredibly important to keeping people close and connected. She was a stickler for good spelling and proper sentence structure.
Possibly her greatest joy was music. She so enjoyed her many decades of singing in the church choir all the way back to Bethel United Church of Christ in Detroit, then First Presbyterian Church in Dearborn, and most recently Central United Methodist Church in Traverse City, as well as, the NMC Community Choir. All of the special relationships, camaraderie, potlucks and garden gatherings that came from those experiences were lights in her life!
Peg was preceded in death by her husband of 69 years, Arno, sister Geordie and parents George and Elise. She leaves behind three sons -- George (Nancy), Carl (Arlene) and Rolf (Mari) -- former daughter-in-law Nancy Windheart, brother-in-law Jim, special niece Emilie (Jim), Bufe cousins, Haas family connections and Aussie “relies” on the Barton family side, as well as many friends near and far.
Special thanks to the outstanding care and support of the staff at Boardman Lake Glens Highlander House, as well as Hospice of Michigan.
Following a graveside ceremony in celebration and remembrance, Peg was laid to rest next to her husband Arno in the Green Burial section of Peninsula Township Cemetery on November 24, 2020.
In lieu of flowers please direct memorial gifts to “Wills and Memorials”, c/o Central United Methodist Church, 222 Cass Street, Traverse City Michigan 49684.
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