Margaret Belle Pendleton Streicher died just over a year ago, on May 9, 2012, at the age of 90, in an assisted living home in Washington, DC, of age-related causes.
She was born on November 3, 1921, in Findlay, Ohio, where she grew up as the daughter and only child of the late Judge Chester Pendleton and Anna Blanche Craig Pendleton.
In 1943, Mrs. Streicher received a BA degree in geography from Oberlin College, where her parents had met as college students. In 1945, she received an MS degree in geography and geology from Syracuse University. There she met her fellow student and future husband, Michael A. Streicher, a research metallurgist. She subsequently taught for two years at Smith College. Between those two years, during the summer of 1946, she and a colleague in the geology department organized a car trip from Ohio to Alaska. They were the first unescorted women ever to drive on the Alaska Highway. They traveled on gravel roads from Dawson Creek to Fairbanks and back. A newspaper article from the time notes that they drove slowly, averaging 25 miles an hour, so they had "only" six flat tires.
After marrying in 1947, she and her husband lived first in Bethlehem, PA, where he was completing his doctorate at Lehigh University. In 1949, they moved to Wilmington, DE, where they spent the remainder of their married life, with her husband working for the DuPont company, and later teaching at the University of Delaware.
In addition to her devotion to and focus on her family, Mrs. Streicher was active in Wilmington educational and arts organizations. In 1949, she joined the Wilmington chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), and for many years served on its board. She was a member of the board of the Wilmington Music School (now the Music School of Delaware) from 1973 to 1982, including serving as president. And she was a longtime board member and patron of the Delaware Chamber Music Festival. In addition, she and her husband were loyal and enthusiastic subscribers to Opera Delaware, the Delaware Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Dr. and Mrs. Streicher traveled frequently, to Pleasant Lake in New Hampshire in the summers, New England in the autumn, Europe and Scandinavia, as well as New York City, Wisconsin and Washington, DC to see their children.
Mrs. Streicher's husband died in 2006, after 58 years of marriage. In June 2008, she moved to Washington, DC to be closer to family. She is survived by daughter Elizabeth Pendleton Streicher and her husband Lionel Epstein, of Washington, DC, and five stepgrandchildren and their families; and son Eric Michael Streicher and his wife Patrice Streicher, of Madison, WI, three grandchildren, Karl Lindgren- Streicher of San Mateo, CA, Anna Lindgren-Streicher of Somerville, MA, and Peter Lindgren-Streicher, of Wellington, New Zealand, their mother Ellen Lindgren, of Middleton, WI, and a stepgranddaughter.
Mrs. Streicher's children are especially grateful for the comfort and friendship of the extended family, and of sisters Ana Jovel and Patricia Calito.
Funeral services were private, in Washington, DC.
Published in The News Journal on May 12, 2013