Margaret W. Walker passed away on Sunday, July 21, 2019, at Black Butte Ranch, Ore., from a heart attack at the age of 92. She was surrounded by her children and had just finished celebrating a Weitz family reunion.
Margaret Marie Weitz was born on Oct. 6, 1926, in Los Angeles, Calif., to George A. and Gertrude H. Weitz. She was the eldest of four children followed by George (Joan), Nancy (Otto Leuschel), and Phillip (Helen). The family moved to Caldwell, Idaho, in the 1930s where her father continued his produce business eventually purchasing land to grow potatoes and other crops.
Margaret began her college career at Stephens College, an all-women’s two-year college, in Columbia, Mo. She vividly remembered taking the train to Stephens and being extremely homesick. Upon graduation, she continued her studies at the University of Idaho, graduating with a degree in English.
Before beginning her first job, she spent a summer touring France by bike with a group of friends. Returning to Caldwell, she began working at the local newspaper as a reporter. She met Forrest K. Walker, a pharmacist fresh out of college, in Caldwell. They were married in her parents’ home on Sept. 26, 1952.
They soon moved to Salem, Ore., and started a family. Four of their seven children were born in Salem - Jonathan, Elizabeth, Phillip, and Nancy. Wanting to own and operate their own pharmacy they chose White Salmon over Vale, Ore., as the area in which to settle down. Matthew, Andrew, and Amy were born in White Salmon.
This began her more than 55-year residency in White Salmon. Margaret attended all her childrens’ many activities. She volunteered in the schools, the hospital, the city library, and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, which she joined at the age of 75. She ran the concession stand at the baseball field for decades. The sno-cones are still only 25 cents at her recommendation, and it has been renamed Margaret’s Snack Shack.
She took over a paper route from her eldest sons and continued it for years. Margaret was a well-known figure on her bike all about town well into her 80s. She gave piano lessons at her house for many years and played bridge with friends in Hood River.
She received awards and recognition from the schools, hospital, and the town. She was dearly loved by her seven children as a supportive and involved mother. Her 12 grandchildren treasured their time visiting her, especially with her endless supply of chips, Oreos, candy, pop, and ice cream. Margaret’s huge smile, intelligent conversation, and warmth will be sorely missed.
Margaret was preceded in death by her parents, both brothers, her sister-in-law Helen, and brother-in-law Otto. She is survived by her children Jon (Sue) of Vancouver; Liz and grandchildren Molly and Hale of Portland; Phil of Vancouver; Nancy Sorlie (John) and grandchildren Abby, Walker, and Jack of Bend; Matthew (Kay Pasquesi) and granddaughters Rosie and Lucia of Portland; Drew (Kathy) and grandsons Nicholas, Benjamin, and Andrew of West Linn; and Amy Avino (Jimmy) and grandchildren Louis and Maggie of Camas. She is also survived by her dear sister, Nancy Leuschel of Camano Island, Wa., (who was with her at the reunion), as well as many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, and grand-nephews.
Margaret will be buried at the White Salmon Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Columbia High School gymnasium. All are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests sending memorial contributions to the Skyline Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 1625, White Salmon, Wash. 98672 or the White
Salmon Valley School District Foundation, P.O. Box 157, White Salmon, Wash. 98672.