Valley Viewpoints

Missing Margaret

Jerry Hogan Kasperek devoted her Jan. 25 “Jerry’s Journal” column to Margaret Beckwith.

Jerry’s thoughts and memories captured what anyone who had known Margaret knew to be true. We got to know Margaret as members of the Fulton Athletic Boosters Club many years ago and were fortunate enough to develop a friendship and an association with this truly remarkable woman.

How do you describe Margaret? There aren’t enough adjectives to do her justice but here are a few: loving, caring, sensitive, emotional, detailed, consistent, dedicated, determined and strong.

Knowing Margaret, you have to begin with the love she had for her husband, sons, their wives, and especially her grandchildren. here was nothing that she wouldn’t do for them.

All of us are “suppose” to love our children and grandchildren, but in Margaret’s case, there was something extra special about their relationships.

As we learned over time, Margaret was a good athlete in her day, so it was natural that her boys and grandchildren might have some athletic ability. They were all involved in sports, which led to her being involved in the Fulton Athletic Booster Club. She could be seen at all of their events and if they weren’t playing, watching other children play or working in the concession stand.

The concession stand was her baby, making sure everything was in order and operating at its full potential. She was the last person to leave at the end of an event.

Margaret was the club’s treasurer for many years and, she was a strong advocate for recognizing athletes, coaches and fans by organizing award ceremonies. She took pride in everything she did always adding a special touch to make the event extra special.

No detail was overlooked.

This was the base that carried through to her caring for everyone she met, especially kids. Margaret genuinely cared more for others than herself.

Whenever we had health issues, Margaret was the first to call to see if we needed anything, which was followed by her visits, delicious strawberry salad and later meatballs and sauce. Soon thereafter, Margaret would come bearing gifts. We both have been the recipients of Red Raider jackets.

When Margaret became ill, we would either call or stop in to see her. Before we could ask her how she was doing, Margaret would ask us if we were okay and how our kids were doing. She always deflected anything to do with her situation by saying, “I’m okay.”

There seemed to be someone with her whenever we called or stopped by. Usually friends during the day. The last time we stopped by family members were with her.

Margaret’s condition had seriously worsened from our previous visit.

Margaret appeared to be sleeping when we got there with her favorite movie, The Student Prince, playing on the TV.

When her son Bill went up to her and said “the Westons are here,” she responded and indicated that she wanted us to come near.

Even though she was so weak, beautiful Margaret asked if we wanted some water (thinking of others again). She also let it be known that she wanted to squeeze our hand.

We kissed her forehead before we left, knowing in our hearts that would probably be the last time we could.

Needless to say, Margaret Beckwith made a tremendous impression on the both of us. We loved her dearly and deeply miss her. We are all better off having known her.

Bob & Sandy Weston

Fulton

More on Margaret

As most of you, upon hearing of Margaret Beckwith’s passing, I was stricken by a deep sense of lose.

The obituary, from The Valley News, was well written, gave brief highlights of Margaret’s life, accomplishments and loving family members.

Fortunately, on the same page Jerry’s Journal column was dedicated to memories of Margaret’s earlier life — she shared many of these memories with us written from her unique position as lifelong friend and peer to Margaret.

Somehow I feel Jerry could have expounded boundless paragraphs beyond the wonderful recollections she shared with us in her column. Hopefully in future columns she will do so.

Thank you Jerry for your touching memories of Margaret’s early years. Your memories of Margaret only further reinforce all the great aspects of Margaret’s life of which we have all come to know.

The Margaret we knew was a spark plug of vitality and positivity, ever encouraging, prodding to excellence, smiling, laughing and always lending a concerning ear to all in our close knit community.

Nothing could cheer you up more than a “Hi, how are you doing? How are the kids” and her then listening intently as you described their achievements of life’s goals during and after college. She always took a motherly pride in their achievements as if they were her own children.

Little did she know, they all were her own. She adopted them all from her very first words. The famous Margaret “Hug” cemented that relationship for the rest of their lives.

At football games, wrestling matches, volleyball, soccer, concerts, academic and athletic gatherings, all were Margaret’s purvey. Margaret was always there extending her positive influence and encouragement.

I feel it is no accident in the picture accompanying Jerry’s column showed a volleyball team in which Margaret (Smith) Beckwith is “Top Row, Center,” an early recognition of her life to follow.

That is the position she has taken with all of us who were blessed enough to know her. “Top Row, Center.”

Two and a half generations of Fultonians have been blessed by her presence in our community. To Rita and I, a friend has left us, to my children an honorary aunt has left them and to my grandchildren, a loving grandma has gone to heaven.

Our commonality is we were all lucky enough to be touched by her and at the same time to be greatly saddened by our mutual lose. We are all part of her enduring legacy. We are all the better for having known her.

To George, Christine, Bill and Sue, to Megan,Coutney, Austin Callie and Evan, thank you for sharing your beautiful mother and grandma with us all. As you grieve so do we all. To all who have been blessed by Margaret, let us do her greater honor with the lives she has touched. God Bless this tender soul.

Bogardus/Tanner Family

Fulton

 Also missing Margaret

Editor’s note: This letter was written as a thank-you to Jerry Kasparek, who wrote the column about Margaret Beckwith.

Your Friend, Margaret Beckwith, “Aunt Marg” was my Aunt.

I would like to thank you so much for the article you wrote this Saturday. You described Marg’s qualities so clearly and to the point, that I had tears welling up in my eyes.

My father Henry was born in 1917 and his father died in 1921-23 in White Plains.  Elizabeth moved to Fulton in the mid-20s (her siblings were married to  the Tetros.)

Anyway, Grandma married Mr. White, and that’s why Fred White, Joe White, Edie Fiorini and Marg’s last name were all White!.

Anyway by the time Marg was 10 or so, my Dad was 20 or 30 and working at Sealright helping the family who lived on South First. Well, knowing my father during those years, he would come home after a night out and raise hell with his mother and dance with his impressionable sister, Marg.

Thank you again for your recognition of your friend and I enjoy reading your contributions every week.

Hank Latino

Fulton

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