Margaret Beaver lived life to the fullest.
Margaret Ann Carver was born in Oakley, Kansas on December 8, 1924. She was the fifth of thirteen children, who grew up amid the Dust Bowl and Depression to become highly accomplished adults. Father Harleigh Dean Carver worked, among other things, as a butcher and blacksmith to provide for his growing family. Mother Ruth Dorcas Ringwald ran her busy household: baking bread each day and making extra money giving piano lessons. Nothing was wasted; many things were home grown or home made. Margaret remembers as kids they shared a horse that would take them to school and wait outside the schoolhouse to bring them home.
Margaret learned early to be self-reliant. She shared a bed with her older sisters; if you wanted clean socks for school you had better grab them and hide them the evening before! Headstrong and independent, throughout her life Margaret placed great value in making her own money and paying her own way.
October 9, 1941, at age 16, Margaret secretly eloped with her high school sweetheart Willard Edmund Beaver. The young couple moved to Ft Collins, Colorado where Margaret finished her senior year. Showing her usual spunk and ambition, Margaret approached the high school music teacher with a proposal to start a marching band…with her as head majorette leading the band!
At the start of WWII, Margaret followed Willard to his first positing in New Orleans. With her Carver girl beauty and natural sense of style, she quickly found a job working in a dress shop until Willard was posted overseas.
After the war, the young couple purchased their first home in Greeley, Colorado. Willard worked for the railroad and Margaret started her thirty-year long career with the phone company. Their first child Deidre Ann (Dee Dee) was born February 1947 followed by Warren Randall (Randy) in August 1949. Margaret worked full time and cared for the children on her own while Willard was stationed in Japan during the Korean War.
Margaret was always a busy person. When not working her way up the corporate ladder with Mountain Bell, she was perennially on the go. She loved hunting for bargains in thrift stores and hosting weekend parties for the neighbors. Throughout her life, Margaret enjoyed remodeling their latest house, playing bridge, scrabble, crosswords, and reading (especially her well-marked books of poetry). Her efforts in handwork included knitting, hooking rugs, and crocheting. Randy still has the 12’ long x 6’ wide afghan she produced during a winning season of the Denver Broncos. Naturally athletic, Margaret especially enjoyed dancing with her husband, swimming and sunbathing. Even into her nineties, she “dressed to the nines”, played piano, enjoyed good food, and loved watching people. She believed strongly that it was important to have a positive attitude, and was witty, charming, and grateful to the end.
Her success as a female executive allowed them to travel to the Caribbean, Hong Kong, India and Southeast Asia, where they brought Christmas cheer to local orphans. Back home in Castle Rock, Colorado she helped found a thrift store that helped homeless youth get on their feet and back home. She was also instrumental in approaching the city council to build a senior exercise wing on the community center.
When she retired from the phone company, Marge was hired as CEO of the Pioneer Insurance Corporation, the phone company’s pension fund. In this capacity she discovered a massive malfeasance, which led to a successful multimillion-dollar lawsuit on behalf of Mountain Bell employees.
In 1998 Willard and Margaret retired to Sun City Grand, Surprise Arizona, where they lived through Willard’s death in 2008. With the help of her much loved son-in-law Dick Koerhing (Marcia Braaten) Margaret moved into assisted living in 2010 and remained active in Arizona for several years.
In 2014 Margaret flew to California to be near her son Randy (Jeannie Alkire). Still fiercely independent, it was only in her ninety-first year that she moved in with family. This last year with Jeannie and Randy she enjoyed, great meals, the lovely weather, and sharing stories of days gone by. She was eloquent in describing her experience with growing dementia: still interested in others and quite funny even in her last days.
Margaret is much loved and will be much missed. She leaves behind brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews too numerous to list, her grandson Bradley Benson (Maria) and three great-grandchildren, Kayla, Courtney, and Brandon Benson. As friends and family are scattered spread across the country and around the world, we share this memorial with all of you.