Margery (Wilson) Kristin (04/06/1920 - 04/12/2011)

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KRISTIN, Margery (Wilson)
(Age 91)

Margery Wilson Kristin passed away on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at home in a peaceful manner consistent with the way she lived her life. Known by her family and friends as Midge or Margie, she was that rare persona these days, a Coeur d'Alene native.
Born in Coeur d'Alene on April 6, 1920, she was the second daughter of Harold and Clemma (Acton) Wilson. The Wilsons had relocated to Coeur d'Alene from Plummer, Idaho after previously moving from their Missouri roots. Her parents operated Fort Grounds Grocery at 710 River Avenue. The family resided on the second floor of the business until Margery was five years old. Then, in 1925, they moved to a larger home, which her parents built in the Fort Grounds at 204 Military Drive. The Wilsons later moved to their final residence located in Hayden Lake in 1940. Her grandfather Wilson, who operated a grocery store in Plummer, Idaho, loving nicknamed her "Spud".
Margery idolized her father, who was a well-know businessman and investor in Kootenai County. One of his notable achievements was being a charter member of the Hayden Lake Country Club. Among his many real estate holdings was a building housing the Victor Apartments and Miller Café. That structure, located next to Lake Coeur d'Alene at Sherman and First Street, was later leased to Bob Templin who converted it to Templin's Hotel. Templin operated the hotel and restaurant concurrently with the North Shore Hotel, which occupied the adjacent property. Today, the original Victor locale serves as the site for the Coeur d'Alene Resort clock tower. The Wilson family sold the so-called Templin's property to Duane Hagadone in 1984, so he could incorporate it into his vision for the world class resort he developed on the former North Shore premises.
Midge attended Coeur d'Alene public school before matriculating to the University of Idaho where she earned a degree in Home Economics in 1942, and enjoyed membership in the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. Immediately after college, she worked briefly at her father's office until she was hired by the Buroker-Hicks Flying Service that trained Army pilots at Geiger Field (now Spokane International) during World War II. When they went out of business, she parlayed her education as a dietician to hire on as a baker in the test kitchen of Centennial Flour Mill in Spokane. Except for her time in Spokane with Centennial, Midge spent her entire life in Coeur d'Alene.
She married George Kristin on November 17, 1945. George, a civil engineer from Iowa, had been stationed at Geiger Field while serving in the Army when they met. After marriage, she became a devoted homemaker and mother. Later, with her family grown, Midge was employed by the Kootenai Extension office prior to joining the Kootenai County Fair staff as Board Secretary and Premium Coordinator in 1976. She worked each "Fair Season", which usually runs from March through August, for more than 25 years. This position provided some of her happiest memories. And, in 1994, she even won a premium award for a knitted tablecloth she had entered in the competition. The Coeur d'Alene Press chronicled her Fair activities in a couple of articles published in 1997 and 2000.
Midge's religious passion led her to an extraordinary commitment of time and energy while involved with Community United Methodist Church for several decades. Her son, Bill, once claimed that she was "busy running the Methodist Church". One of her most precious experiences was a trip to the Holy Land in 1984, with many friends. It proved to be enlightening and moving spiritually.
She also enjoyed driving cancer patients to their appointments in Spokane for nine years before Kootenai Health had a cancer center to treat these patients, which she did with one of her dear friends, Betty McLain. That program was called "Road to Recovery". On many Saturdays she volunteered at La Crosse Health & Rehab Center until her own health precluded further participation. The kids at Children's Village knew her as "The Milk Lady" for her regular deliveries of milk for their delighted consumption. The Inland Northwest Blood Center, the Coeur d'Alene Press's "Christmas for All" annual holiday fund raiser, and the American Cancer Society were yet other beneficiaries of Margery's charitable endeavors.
Deservedly, in 2001, Midge was recognized for her devotion to the community, especially for her chauffeuring of needy cancer patients to Spokane, when she was named the Vernone T. Lannen Public Health award winner for her contributions and dedication to the Panhandle Health District. She credited her parents for instilling her with a giving nature. Like her father, Midge preferred to function in a very understated and quiet manner as she conducted her involvement in community and personal activities. These efforts brought her great joy and she hoped that her contributions provided a positive influence to the organizations she served.
In addition to her many community contributions, Midge enjoyed knitting, baking, swimming, biking, reading, and especially gardening with her daughter, Kay. Summer time spent with the family at their cabin in Sunset Bay on Hayden Lake provided many enjoyable occasions for her. Socializing with her many treasured friends provided innumerable hours of pleasure and generated an abundance of fond memories. Indeed, by her own account, she led a full and satisfying life.
Interestingly, she claimed as one of her philosophies "the practice of life was best served if the left hand didn't always know what the right hand was doing". And, she believed that a smile can go a long way and help erase wrinkles, too. One of her favorite biblical verses includes the words, "and the wisdom to know the difference", to which she liked to add, "and the wisdom to keep my mouth shut".
Midge was preceded in death by her father in 1970, her mother in 1983, her husband, George in 1996, and her sister, Irene Schroeder in 2001. She is survived by two sons, Bill Kristin (wife Charlyn) and Keith Kristin (wife Sarah), both of Spokane, and her daughter, Kay Kristin of Coeur d'Alene. Additionally, she thoroughly loved her wonderful, very special five grandchildren and two great grandchildren, Mark Kristin (wife Heather and children, Sophia and Wilson) of Spokane, Staci Kristin (husband Chris Burke) of Portland, Shawna Kristin (husband Anders Hopperstead) of Vancouver, B.C., Ryan Kristin (wife Betsy) of Wilsonville, OR, and Lisa Kristin of Seattle. Other survivors include niece, Jill Williamson (husband Lee) of Hayden Lake; nephew, Tom Spear (wife Gloria) of Florida; and twin grandnieces, Julie (Rolfe) Grabowski and Joanne Rolfe of Coeur d'Alene.
Please join the family in celebration of Midge's long, enjoyable, and worthwhile life 1:00 P.M. Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at the Yates Funeral Home, Coeur d'Alene Chapel. Burial will be in Forest Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made in Midge's name to the North Idaho Fair Foundation, c/o Ron Ouren, Treasurer, 2823 Marceille Dr., Coeur d'Alene, ID 8315 or Hospice of North Idaho, 9493 N. Government Way, Hayden, ID 83835. You may visit Midge's online memorial and sign her guestbook at

Published in Spokesman-Review from Apr. 16 to Apr. 17, 2011
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