Margo Naismith(1952 - 2013)

Naismith, Margo SAN DIEGO -- Margo Naismith, 61, passed away on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, in Escondido, California. Born in San Diego and a resident of San Diego virtually her entire life, Margo was a wife and mother, a highland dancer, a teacher of highland dance, and an organizer of Scottish dance activities for over 40 years. Born March 18, 1952, in La Jolla to Tom and Margo Milligan, Margo attended Franklin and Adams Elementary, Wilson Junior High, and Monte Vista High Schools. She took highland dance classes from Beth Sutorius and Stewart Smith. Margo was a powerful champion dancer with an exquisite foot and point. She won the Pacific Coast and the Western United States Highland Dance Championships on more than one occasion and traveled extensively with her family competing across the United States and Canada. Margo began teaching highland dance when she was 16 years old and taught at her Academy of Highland Dance continuously from that time until her sudden and unexpected death of cancer. She also taught dance at St. Thomas' Episcopal School in Houston, Texas from 1978 to 1981. Margo loved teaching children and had a gift for, not only developing champion dancers, but for kindly nurturing and sustaining close, deep relationships with her dancers and their parents. There were few things Margo enjoyed more than working in the dance room with her students. Margo graduated from Grossmont College and Heald College, and was a dance major at San Diego State University. She was a fellow of the British Association of Teachers of Dance and a member of the Federation of United States Teachers and Adjudicators. A founding member of the International Dance Association, Margo organized the Celtic Festival in Balboa Park for nearly 30 years. She was Dance Director for the San Diego Scottish Highland Games and for many years the Dance Director of the House of Scotland Pipe Band. Margo loved her family and built an intimate life around family and close family friends. She enjoyed traveling particularly to the State and National Parks, Mexico, and Europe. Margo is survived by her husband, Campbell, and her son, Colin, of San Diego, and by her brother, Laird Milligan, of Cancun, Mexico. A memorial gathering will be held Wednesday, June 26, 2013, at 4:00 p.m. in the Cuvier Park Bowl on Coast Blvd. in La Jolla. This will be followed by a celebration of life at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego directly across the street from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation (tax deductible) be made to the House of Scotland, Naismith Memorial Fund, 65 East Shasta St., Chula Vista, CA 91910.

Published in U-T San Diego on June 23, 2013