ENNEKING, MARGARET OLIVIA LITTLE
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Margaret Olivia Little Enneking died peacefully after a long and happy life on February 13, 2013.
Margaret was born in Geneva, Illinois on September 11, 1925, the daughter of Florence Titus and William Douglas Little. She grew up in Geneva, and graduated from high school in 1943. She had a sister, Florence Bechtel, affectionately known as Minx, and a brother, Bonnie, who was killed in action during the invasion of Tarawa. Her brother William Douglas Little and his wife, Mary Ann, survive her.
Because of the death of her beloved brother Bonnie she delayed her entrance to the University of Wisconsin to stay with her mother. When she did attend the University she became a member of Delta Gamma sorority where she met a student waiter, William Enneking, who was the son of one of her mother's friends. She and Bill married the same year she graduated in 1947. Their first child, William, was born in 1948. In 1950 they moved to Denver for Bill's internship and their second child, Bonnie was born. The family lived briefly in San Diego before Bill was sent to Korea for two years. Margaret and her two small children lived in Chicago with her mother during that time.
After the war Bill joined Margaret in Chicago and began a residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Chicago. Their daughters Maggie and Via were born. At the completion of his training Bill began a career in academic medicine and they moved to their first post in Jackson, Mississippi. New to the South, Margaret installed her treasured engraving of Abraham Lincoln over the mantel. One of their first friends quickly gifted her with a matching portrait of Robert E. Lee. During their sojourn in Jackson their daughters Flossie and Kayser were born.
In 1958 Bill, along with other University of Chicago alumni, was recruited to help establish a new medical school at the University of Florida. They moved to Gainesville on January 1, 1960 where they have resided ever since. Their son Christjohn, or CJ, was born in 1963.
For many years the Enneking family were prominent patrons of St. Patrick's Elementary School, and P.K. Yonge and Gainesville High School. Her dinner table was always smoothly expanded to accommodate visiting friends and scholars where she guided many interesting discussions about the issue of the day. Also during this time Margaret was instrumental in building support for the medical school. She was a founding member of the UF Medical Guild and served as one of its early presidents. Her membership in that organization continued until her death. One of her favorite assignments was to work in the gift shop where she could both fulfill her Guild duties and indulge her love of shopping.
In the course of their life-long partnership Margaret and Bill enjoyed traveling the world many times over and count as close friends people from six continents. She took great delight in introducing her grandchildren to the world, taking the most recent high school graduate along to the country she and Bill were traveling to that year. Whether at home or abroad they were often able to indulge their passion for fishing and sailing. They lived for many years on Melrose Bay where they delighted in living on the lake, entertaining family and visitors from near and far. They were also a familiar fixture on many fine weekends in both Cedar Key and Crescent Beach. Margaret was particularly fond of the family beach house at Crescent Beach. She was a noted fisherman who caught many deep-water game fish throughout the world. However if asked what her hobby was, her invariable reply was international shopping. Her other great interest was antique furniture, an interest passed on from her own mother. For many years she both collected and refinished antique furniture. Margaret and Bill and all of their children and grandchildren also took great delight in playing all sorts of card games.
Margaret is best remembered for her charm and the twinkle in her eye. She lent an air of happiness to daily life that radiated joy to all who knew her. Her sense of humor rarely failed her and throughout the course of raising her chicks she often found it necessary to call upon it. She made an indelible impression on her children, their friends, and the many young surgeons trained by her husband for her truly casual skill and unflappability in managing both her husband and her busy, always growing household. To her family and many friends she was an especially wise mentor, who, in the words of George Elliot, "was one to whom one may pour out the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that gentle hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away."
Margaret is survived by her loving husband of her 66 years, William, seven children, sixteen grandchildren, and five great grandchildren. The children and their spouses are Bill and Heidi, Bonnie and Dan, Maggie, Via and Ray, Flossie, Kayser and Mark, and Christjohn. Their grandchildren and their spouses are Erica and Thom, Teena and Robbie, Emily and Branden, Will, Maggie and Jamie, Jessica and Nate, Daniel, Maury, Raymond, Christopher Blake, Megan, Florence, Olivia, Andrew, Emery, and Madelon. The great-grandchildren are Thomas, Alex, Olivia, Milo and Annaliese.
The family would especially like to thank the many caregivers at Oak Hammock for their excellent help during the last months of Margaret's life. The family would also like to thank Dr. Katherine Huber for her long and loving care of Margaret.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, February 23, 2013, at 12:00 p.m., at Queen of Peace Catholic Church, 10900 SW 24 Avenue. Arrangements are under the care of WILLIAMS-THOMAS FUNERAL HOME DOWNTOWN, 404 North Main Street. Margaret always enjoyed bright colorful flowers and her work for the Medical Auxiliary. For those who wish donations may be made to UF Medical Guild, P.O. Box 100215 JHMHC, Gainesville, Florida 32601-0215.
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Published in Gainesville Sun from Feb. 16 to Feb. 18, 2013