Margot Elizabeth te Velde
April 24, 1943 - Sept 17, 2013
Margot Elizabeth te Velde, 70, passed into the arms of the Lord at home Tuesday evening surrounded by her family after bravely fighting breast cancer for many years. She was born Margot Elizabeth Burleigh April 24, 1943, in Berkeley, Ca, and grew up in Piedmont. She graduated from Piedmont High School in 1961, then attended UC Davis where she soon met George te Velde, Jr., and married him when she was 19. It was a love affair that lasted 51 years. She moved with George to Chino, California, where she completed her Bachelor's Degree in Sociology at UC Riverside in 1965, while her husband started in the dairy business with his father. In 1979, George, Margot, their three children, and the cows moved to Modesto, where she lived until her death and formed many lasting friendships. She was a member of Modesto Christian Reformed Church.
Margot's interests were wide and varied. She was an avid "birder." She sprouted, cultivated, and tended scores of species of cactus, a passion she shared with her late brother Malcolm Burleigh, and could identify each by their proper taxonomic name. She collected miniatures, and she played chess. She loved music, playing the piano, and sometimes dusted off old "Scruffy" the violin. Walking into her home, you might here Elvis, Donovan, The Beatles, or even Gregorian chants, and a gourmet soup was usually ready to serve if you were hungry. George and the kids ate very well.
On special occasions, she would gather the family and recite from memory Poe's The Raven, or Robert Service's The Cremation of Sam McGee. For Halloween, she would dress up like a 60's hippie she called "Bug Lady" and make George dress up like her mate "Sand Dollar." Her grandkids all knew Grammy was always loads of love and fun.
She loved Yosemite Valley, spending a week or two there each summer from when she was 2 until her death. She had hiked most every trail there more than a few times and always seemed to have the best prepared lunch on the hikes when she would unpack a perfect, fresh tomato to slice onto a mortadella sandwich. Margot was an artist, creating beauty through ceramics, drawing, painting, cooking, and in her genuine and unceasing kindness. She will be dearly missed by all who knew her.
Margot was preceded in death by her parents Gordon and Cecile Burleigh, her brother Malcolm Burleigh, and her granddaughter Alora Veneman. She is survived by her husband George teVelde, Jr., her children Sandra Elizabeth Veneman, George Andrew teVelde, Stacey Anne Johnston, and 12 grandchildren.
Franklin and Downs Funeral Home is honored to be serving the teVelde Family. Burial services are private. A memorial service will be held on Saturday October 5th at 1:00pm at the Modesto Christian Reformed Church on College Avenue. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Modesto Christian Reformed Church to the "Pump" fund. For condolences to the family please visit her online guestbook at www.franklindownsfuneralhomes.com
Published in the Modesto Bee from Sept. 20 to Sept. 22, 2013