Margaret Wilson-Howard, a long time educator and supporter of the arts in Vacaville, died peacefully in the company of her family, Jan. 6, 2012. Margaret was a teacher for 35 years, teaching at Markham Elementary when she first moved to Vacaville in 1969. Later she transferred and taught at Eugene Paden Elementary, finishing her career at Hemlock Elementary. Margaret was a member of the Vacaville Art League for many years, earning accolades for her oil and acrylic paintings.
Margaret was born in Murphysboro, Ill., in 1921, to Charles E. and Edith Worthen. After a killer tornado destroyed her family’s farm in 1925, she moved with her parents and six brothers and sisters to Granite City where she graduated from high school in 1939. Margaret joined several of her brothers and sisters in Silver City, N.M., to attend college at New Mexico State Teacher’s College. She married, Sgt. Kenneth Carmel Wilson, who was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, in Dec. 1944. At the end of the war, they moved to his hometown of Porterville, Calif., where she finished her B.A. degree at Fresno State College and taught school at Burton, Roche Avenue and John J. Doyle elementary schools for 23 years. A job transfer for her husband brought her to Vacaville in 1969. She used her bi-lingual ability in Spanish to advocate for children who were second language learners. The last few years of her teaching career, Margaret taught as a Reading Specialist. She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, The Order of the Eastern Star, Daughters of the American Revolution, T.O.P.S. and the Community Presbyterian Church.
After Carmel’s death in 1980, and her retirement from teaching, Margaret became a librarian in Winters, Calif., and used her second language, Spanish, to read to children at the Yolo County Libraries in Winters and Esparto.
In 1986, Margaret met and married Richard Howard of Pittsburg, Calif. They were actively involved in ball room dancing for many years until Dick’s death in 1991. Margaret traveled and continued a life of exercise, community involvement and artistic endeavors. She made many good friends at Emeritus where she spent the last year of her life.
Margaret is survived by her sister, Allene Dale of El Paso, Texas; a dear friend, John Seitel of Vacaville; her children, Kathleen Hailey ( husband John Hailey) of Ceres, Calif., Barbara Wilson-Frost of Vacaville, and Jim Wilson (wife, Nancy Wilson) of Redding, California. She has eight grandchildren, David Billings, Kathy Pettengill (Scott), Jonathan Hailey (Jill), Beth Hailey, Greg Frost (Martina), Bryan Frost (Ashlee), John Wilson (Sarah) and Dan Wilson (Lindsey). Additionally, Margaret was “GG” (great-grandma) to eight great-grand children, Zakary Hailey, Nathan Hailey, Lily Hailey, Allyson Hailey, Audrey Pettengill, Harrison Frost, Ava Wilson and Charlotte Frost. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews and dear friends.
A memorial service for Margaret will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012, at Community Presbyterian Church, 425 Hemlock Drive in Vacaville. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the American Cancer Society, Kaiser Permanente Hospice, Vacaville, or a charity of choice.
Arrangements by Vaca Hills Chapel Funeral Home 707-446-3233.
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