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Margaret Gray Exter


1920 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Margaret Gray Exter Obituary
MARGARET GRAY EXTER March 28, 1920 - April 22, 2016 Three weeks after celebrating her 96th birthday with 21 family members, Margaret (Marge) Gray Exter passed away peacefully on April 22, 2016 in Bend, Oregon. Devoted wife, loving mother, enthusiastic grandmother, and delighted great-grandmother, she leaves the family without its biggest cheerleader! Margie was born on March 28, 1920 to Matthew Robert and Margaret Peace Gray in Burlington, Kansas. A Midwest girl, she also lived in Abilene and Kansas City. She attended the University of Chicago where she met the love of her life, Robert (Bob) Exter, in one of those eyes-across-the-crowded-room stories. They were married on Sept. 1, 1939 in Chicago and lived to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary. He predeceased her on January 19, 2010. Marge was drawn into the fashion industry as a new bride when she was hired as a model by Marshall Field and Co. in downtown Chicago and in 1953, for Bonwit Teller, when her husband's job took the family to Massachusetts. In 1955 after the family's move to Riverside, California, Marge modeled for GKC (GK Christiansen), the Harris Co. and Broadway. Her greatest joy was teaching charm classes at the Harris Co., where she turned awkward teens into graceful young women. She also worked as a fashion coordinator, organizing fashion shows for the Harris Co., Broadway and many philanthropic organizations. Her stint as a docent at the Heritage House allowed her to dress in vintage costume, as she delighted her tours with stories of Victorian era life. Marge loved to swim and made swimmers of all her five children. She eagerly attended their swim meets, synchronized swimming shows and water polo games. She also passed on to her children her love of singing and playing a musical instrument, making sure that everyone had something to contribute to the family Christmas Eve show. She leaves behind her children: Peg (Steve) Donner of Laguna Beach, CA; Tom (Kathy) Exter of Honeoye Falls, NY; Tyler (Leslie) Exter of Plymouth, CA; Pam (Bill) Bronson of Bend, OR; and Todd (Abby) Exter of Vergennes, VT; 16 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. A memorial will be held at a later date in Bend, Oregon, where she had lived for the past three years.


Published in Press-Enterprise on Apr. 29, 2016
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