Margaret's Story

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Margaret Ann Vincent 1940-2017

In fitting fashion, on 27 August 2017, Margaret decided to leave this earth at the tail end of summer to avoid the Fall, which she greatly despised; spring was by far her favorite season. The cancer provided the perfect pardon to exit this life and move on to the other side. In preparing for this transition she was perfectly clear about not making this a somber affair. As a result, this obitus will be direct and entertaining, celebrating a life long lived.

Let it be known that Margaret's two favorite occasions were weddings and funerals. She said they both essentially accomplished the same thing, bringing families and friends together to celebrate the most important times in life. As we consider Margaret's last special occasion please ponder the special times you had with her and how she made you smile. She would have it no other way.

Margaret was born to Steward Clifford Presley and Martha Columbia O'Dell as a coal miner's daughter in the holler of Jenkinjones, West Virginia. She often recalled fond memories of walking on the wooden sidewalks between family homes, beautiful Springs (her favorite season) and walking through the cool grass. Life started out tough for her when her mom passed away when she was only two. She would see her father remarry and become the beneficiary of five new brothers and sisters; Steward (Fuzz), Pat, Mike, Yvette & Yvonne.

She was a proud Coal Digger graduate of Gary High School. She was frequently heard recanting how she memorized various formulas from chemistry class and how much she enjoyed her school days. After graduation, she became a medical secretary at Stevens Clinic Hospital in Welch, West Virginia where she could type 100+ words per minute. At the same time, she met her future husband William Thomas (Tom) Vincent and they married on 14 July 1961 renewing their vows again 3 July 1967. Along with Tom came two step daughters, Susie Shumate and Esther Burton and she herself gave birth to two rambunctious boys Bryan Keith Vincent & William Kevin Vincent. Somehow, she managed to make it through their teenage years without sending one or both of them to their grave or herself to jail. For this alone she deserves some sort of sainthood. In return, the children gave her more family members than she ever dreamed of; son in laws, daughter in laws, seven grandchildren, granddaughter in laws along with eleven great grandchildren.

Baking & cooking were Margaret's greatest passion. She cooked with ease and food became the way she showed and shared her love with others. She was most famous for Hungarian Pastries at Christmas. The many people who benefited from her Hungarian pastry obsession and classes probably curse the day they learned to make them and lost their waistline. She cooked for the Bramwell Street Fair, Eastern Star, Presbyterian Church, friends and family. There were pecan tassies, chocolate covered cherries, coconut bonbons, peanut butter rolls, rice crispy wreaths, banana pudding, southern fried chicken and countess other delectables. If she knew something was your favorite it was sure to show up sometime soon to tempt you.

On the personal side, Margaret was a compassionate private woman with a sense of humor drier than the Mohave Desert and a love for solitary activities; reading, walking, tending to flowers in her garden, completing crypto quotes and puzzles with ease, making countless notes in cookbooks, consuming self-help books by the dozens and tending to her charm of hummingbirds, which gave her great joy.

Outside of her personal time great joys were sharing a strawberry daiquiri with a friend, time spent in Eastern Star, volunteering at the Bramwell Presbyterian Church, attending theatre and for quite some time selling Mary Kay cosmetics. Eastern Star provided her with countless friends and memories. For those of you who experienced Eastern Star with her know these were some of her most cherished moments in life. Theatre allowed her adventure beyond her own life's experiences. To her close friends, Marie, Donna and Mary please know she never stopped talking about how much she loved you.

If Margaret had one regret in life it was that she was not able to travel the world. As a result, her instructions were that she be cremated and her remains placed in the Bluestone River to travel the waters of time. There was one quite humorous moment during this conversation when it was pointed out that she had never learned to swim. Her response was classic, "I guess I'll have to figure it out by then".
Instead of flowers Margaret would like for you find it in your heart to perform an unexpected, unsolicited random act of kindness for someone in need. While it may seem small, the ripple effects of small things is extraordinary.
Published on September 23, 2017
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