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Margaret Shipe Chambers

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Margaret Shipe Chambers Obituary
Oct. 26, 1911 ~ Aug. 8, 2009
Margaret Shipe Chambers passed away peacefully on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2009, surrounded by her family. She was born to Ed and Eloise Shipe on Oct. 26, 1911, in Organ, the Territory of New Mexico. Her early education was in the one-room school in Organ until the family moved to Las Cruces so her older brother, Charles, could attend high school. She graduated from Las Cruces Union High School in 1929, lettering in basketball. She won a bathing beauty contest while in high school, winning an electric coffee pot, which she gave to her dad. She continued her education at New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts (NMSU) where she received her degree in history and met and married her husband, William H. Chambers Jr., in 1933. Margaret joined Zeta Tau Alpha sorority while at NMSU and continued as an active alumna for 75 years.
In 1940 Bill was called into active duty with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Margaret and their two sons returned to Las Cruces while Bill was in Europe during World War II. Over the next decade the family lived in numerous locations, including Santa Maria, Merced, San Francisco, Washington state, Oklahoma and Santa Fe. They settled in Alamogordo in 1957.
In Alamogordo, Margaret was very involved in community activities. She worked with the Girl Scouts and the local library for many years. However, her passion was gardening, which led to her involvement with establishing the garden center and city beautification projects. She was active in local and state garden clubs, judging flower shows, giving classes on flower arranging and judging. She worked with the local Red Cross from the early 60s through the 70s assisting military families in need. 
When her son Chuck joined the Air Force she decided "Join the Air Force and See the World" was for mothers also. She traveled to England, Scotland, Wales, Germany, France, Holland and Spain, as well as 49 of the 50 states … she had hoped to visit her niece in Alaska but was never able to make the trip.
Margaret was preceded in death by her husband, Bill; brother Charles; sisters Lola Shipe and Elsie Beasley; and grandson Doug. She is survived by her sister Martha Castle; sons Bill (Lana) and Chuck (Patty); daughters Marie (Stan) Kowalski and Molly (Steven) Zerbach; grandchildren Denise Swendra, Jim (Rachael), Chuck (Aletha), Brett and Marcus; 11 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Margaret was always known, lovingly, as "Auntie" by her numerous nieces and nephews.
Interment will be in the Santa Fe National Cemetery with a graveside service at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 14, 2009. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations to be made to Mesilla Valley Hospice or Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation.
Arrangements are with La Paz-Graham's Funeral Home Las Cruces. To send condolences go to
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Aug. 12 to Aug. 26, 2009
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