Margaret J. Holmes
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Aug. 1, 1908 - Aug. 9, 2012
Margaret J. Durham passed away peacefully on August 9, 2012 at Bay Village of Sarasota one week after her 104th birthday. She was born in Norwalk, CT on August 1, 1908, to the late Charlotte and Stephen S. Jarvis Sr. Brother Stephen S. Jr and sister, Charlotte Murray preceded her in death.
Her many memories as a child include growing up on Seaview Avenue, the sinking of the Titanic, and seeing Ty Cobb play baseball. She graduated from Norwalk High School in 1926 where she was active in ballet, theater, and class and school government. After graduating from Willimantic State Normal School (now ESCU) she taught kindergarten in Holmes School in Darien. In 1933 she married C Irwin Holmes, a three-sport athlete at NHS and a much respected member of the community. In 1949 she joined the Norwalk School system teaching kindergarten at Winnipauk and Roosevelt Schools. There she began an annual school wide flower show, was active in Student Council, and helped to develop a nature trail in back of Roosevelt School. She retired in 1969. In 2010, with friends and family present, she was installed on the NHS Alumni Association Teacher Honor Roll.
Upon the death of her husband in 1969, she moved to Sarasota where she met and married Norman K Durham from Muncie, Indiana. He died in 1993. She was active in Delta Kappa Gamma, Kiwanees and Red Hat. She was the "Teddy Bear Lady" at St Andrew UCC who, when inspired by her great grand-daughter, started a project that placed Teddy Bears in the pews, with inspirational messages of support attached. These were taken and given to those in need of comfort.
She is survived by daughter, Barbara Pearson (Jeff), stepdaughter Susan Ritchie (Ron), stepsons Jim Durham (Mary) and the late Dick Durham (Janet), grandchildren Greg Pearson (Karen), David Ritchie (Meredith) Ann Deister (Rich) and Debbie Durham, and 7 great grandchildren, a niece, nephews and many dear friends.
A "Celebration of Life" will be held on November 17, 2012 at 10:30 a.m., at St Andrew UCC, 6908 Beneva Road, Sarasota. Donations may be made to the church or
Published in The Hour on September 6, 2012