A mass celebrating the life of Margaret Cragin Self will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 21 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church.
Margaret grew up on Lincoln Street in Bakersfield, attending St. Joseph's Grammar School and Garces Memorial High School. It was at Bakersfield College that a young man named Bob Self noticed her working the student registration desk, and that was the beginning of a lifetime of love. Bob and Margaret were married on June 21, 1953.
With Margaret's encouragement, Bob graduated from UCLA as she worked to put him through school. The Navy then took them to Coronado where Bob was appointed legal officer aboard the USS WASP. It was there he discovered his passion for the law which led them to Boalt Hall School of Law at U.C. Berkeley. She loved sharing stories of the fun they had living in condemned student housing with the Law School Gang who became life-long friends. She always laughed about the Ph.T (Putting Hubby Through) degree from Boalt Hall that hung on her office wall.
They returned home to Bakersfield, had three daughters, and spent many happy years on both Harmony and Skokie Drives. Their parties were legendary, and their home was the epicenter of fun with Fourth of July and Christmas parties, Random Tandem tennis tournaments, end-of-school swim parties, and Saturday night tennis and dinner with friends. Their stories and laughter went into the wee hours, many times to the dismay of the girls who just wanted to get a good night's rest. Yet the fun didn't stop there - out of town memories were also created with HEPS (Huggs, Edis, Pauldens, and Selfs) tennis weekends, cruises, Lake Tahoe family vacations, and San Francisco Christmas shopping trips.
Margaret was fiercely loyal to Bob and so proud of his legal accomplishments as a founding partner of the Young, Wooldridge, Paulden & Self law firm. At the time it was considered one of Bakersfield's premier firms, and Bob became known as one of Bakersfield's finest legal counselors, even arguing several cases before the California Supreme Court. Margaret beamed with pride when, to this day, people would recognize her name and share a story of how Bob helped them with their legal needs, commenting on what a professional, admirable man he was.
Margaret was a founding member of the Kern County Bar Association Lawyers Wives, leading courthouse tours to school children, teaching them about the judicial process. She was a member of the Bakersfield Racquet Club, Junior League of Bakersfield and the Blue Ribbon Society. She enjoyed St. Francis Parish Women of Worship (WOW) meetings and the Bakersfield Symphony. She amazed and inspired us all with her youthful attitude and positive spirit that kept her on the tennis court and weightlifting at Lifetime Fitness. She had neither the time nor interest in "getting older." She was preceded in death by her husband Robert J. Self and brother Edward Cragin. She leaves behind a brother, Daniel Cragin of Santa Monica, three daughters; Susan Self of Brentwood, Linda (Roger) Griess of Bakersfield, and Lisa (Paul) Tyler of West Los Angeles. She also leaves behind her three beloved grandchildren who were the light of her life - Mary Margaret, Robert Jacob and Martha Grace Tyler.
Margaret loved her faith, family, friends, a great game of tennis, playing bridge, working out, dinners at Mexicali, a good laugh, and a "nice buttery chardonnay." She spent the past five years enjoying her time with "the ladies of The Greens." When Bob passed away in 2009, life was never again the same, yet she knew he wanted her to create a wonderful, rich life for herself. She often said, "If I can't be with Bob, this is the next best thing." Our gratitude goes out to her special friends Doris, Ruthie, Carolyn, Nancy, Barbara, Marti, Connie, Mary, Judy, Sally, Bonnie, Pat, Lee, Perky - too many to mention. A special thanks to Don Hall and Dick Giles for their unwavering loyalty to her and Bob over a lifetime. She lived a full, happy life, filled with love and laughter, and we will miss her forever.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests contributions to the Bakersfield College Foundation/Robert J. Self Endowment Fund.
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