Margaret Stevenson

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Margaret Hammers Stevenson

June 8, 1916 - January 19, 2013

Margaret Hammers Stevenson, 96, formerly of West Lafayette, died peacefully but unexpectedly January 19, 2013, at her home in Corvallis, Oregon. Her caregiver, daughter, Heather, was at her side.

Margaret Emma Hammers was born a twin, June 8, 1916, in Washington, D.C., one of 4 children of Sadie and William Hammers. She grew up in Washington D.C. and spent summers on her grandfather's farm in Morgantown, Pennsylvania. She attended Central High School where, in Central Songsters, she met her future husband, E.C. "Steve" Stevenson. She attended Hood College in Frederick, Maryland from 1934-1938, graduating with a degree in Economics.

Margaret and Steve were married September 1, 1939, in Washington, D.C. Following the wedding they moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where she was secretary for the Presbyterian Church Student Center while Steve worked on his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin. In 1942, they moved to Maryland, where Steve worked for the USDA.

In 1948 with 3 children in tow, they moved to West Lafayette, where Steve joined the faculty at Purdue University, eventually becoming Head of the Horticulture Department. By 1956 three more children had joined the family, and Margaret was busy homemaking, participating in several women's church groups, hosting bridge parties and tending a small farm. She had a beautiful voice and sang duets with Steve, as well as solos, in their church choir and the Ag Staff Christmas Chorus. She joined PEO in 1966 and belonged to the Wabash Township Farmers' Club along with other organizations. She enjoyed re-finishing furniture and collecting antiques.

Steve was appointed Associate Dean of Agriculture and Director of Resident Instruction at Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, in 1967. Margaret spent the first year in Corvallis designing an Early American house that became their home for the remainder of their lives.

She was a former member of the Federated Church, West Lafayette, and the First Presbyterian Church of Corvallis. She continued her membership in PEO, and served as President from 1972-74. She was a member of the OSU Folk Club for over 40 years, volunteering at the OSU Thrift Shop. She was a member of the Good Samaritan Hospital Auxiliary for 36 years, serving as President from 1977-78. She worked in Family Assistance in to her early 90's. She officially accumulated 7,500 hours of volunteer service, but logged many more before records were kept.

Margaret belonged to the Assistance League of Corvallis for 34 years and took up painting as a hobby for its Holiday Boutique. She began painting Old World Santas, wooden Christmas ornaments and nutcrackers, and branched out to tole painting, rosemaling, découpage, scherenschnitte (papercutting design) and many other crafts. She also enjoyed cross-stitching. She collected Old World Santas, cardinals, antique iron trivets and cookie cutters and anything to do with carousels. She was an avid reader her whole life, and her family's stock remark to her if she said, "I can't remember," was always, "Because you had your nose stuck in a book!"

Preceding her in death were her husband, who died in 2005, and her brothers, William and David Hammers.

Surviving are her twin sister, Mary Duvel, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; six children, Carol Poe (Stanley), Franklin, Craig Stevenson, Holualoa, Hawaii, Jim Stevenson (Linda), Sierra Madre, California, Karen Hedrick (Ronald), Davis, California, Heather Jones, (Bradd), and Rick Stevenson (Cynthia), both of Corvallis, Oregon; 16 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A service will be held Friday, February 1 at 1 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Corvallis. Reception following. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center Auxiliary, 3600 NW Samaritan Drive, Corvallis, Oregon 97330, or the Assistance League of Corvallis, 547 NW 9th St., Corvallis, Oregon 97330.

Interment will be in Caernarvon Cemetery, Morgantown, Pennsylvania.

Published in the Journal & Courier from Jan. 24 to Jan. 25, 2013
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