Margaret Murray Gartland, 90, died on Wednesday, October 3, 2012, in Needham, Massachusetts where she had resided since 2008 after moving from Demarest, New Jersey.
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Born in Honesdale on November 22, 1921, Margaret was the daughter of Margaret Rose Murray and Philip R. Murray.
She is predeceased by her husband Edward James Gartland who died on September 26, 1987, and her two sons, Philip and Edward.
Margaret graduated from Honesdale High School, attended Marywood College, and earned a graduate degree in religious education from Fordham University. Margaret taught Home Economics in Hamburg and Summit, New Jersey. After her marriage to Edward, she moved from Pennsylvania to New Jersey and together they raised their five children: Kathryn, Philip, Edward, Margaret, and Mary. Margaret's life centered around her family and faith.
She was the Director of Religious Education in her local parish, overseeing the religious formation of children and adults.
Margaret was an advocate for peace and justice. She continually took bold and compassionate actions to effect positive change in her family, community and greater world. She directed the Walk-In-Dinner Program for the Interreligious Fellowship of Bergen County for many years.
Margaret was a wordsmith with a passion for proper grammar and correct word usage. She wrote a column for the Catholic Advocate for several years and in her 80's she authored two books: The Children of Mother Murray's Mansion, the story of four generations of the Murray family, and The Alejandro Tree, a Christmas story that raised money for children in foster care.
Margaret was exceptional for her generous spirit, warm hospitality and welcoming ways. Her greatest love was her family and their friends who all enjoyed gathering for great parties at her summer home in Rileyville. Margaret embodied clarity of purpose, and a lifelong journey of renewal, innovation and courage.
Surviving are her daughters Kathryn Chambers and husband Robert, Tenafly, NJ; Margaret Pantridge and husband Mark, Needham, MA; and Mary E. Gartland, Arlington, MA. Additionally she has 10 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, October 6, 2012 at St. John the Evangelist Church in Honesdale at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow at St. Joseph's Church in Rileyville.
Arrangements by Hessling Funeral Home, 428 Main St. Honesdale. Condolences: www.hesslingfuneralhome.com
Published in Wayne Independent on October 9, 2012