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Margaret Wood Tribbett


1921 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Margaret Wood Tribbett Obituary
MARGARET ELIZABETH WOOD TRIBBETT Margaret Elizabeth Wood Tribbett (Margy) passed away peacefully in her sleep on April 3, 2019, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the age of 97. Born in the country near Kirklin, Indiana, she was one of six children born to Zona Vern and Delbert Franklin Wood on October 16, 1921. Her older brother, Wendell Wood joined the Navy as a teen, fought in WWII, and made the Navy his career. Her older sister, Marjorie, moved to Indianapolis for beauty school, later settling in Hagerstown. Brother, Frank, Jr., Mariam, and Mid, grew up with Margy as a caring, second mother. A graduate of Kirklin High School in 1939, Margy was determined to attend college. But war was looming, and money scarce. Margy took a job at Montgomery-Ward in Lebanon, IN as an office assistant. It was there that she met her lifelong love- Jim Tribbett (DOD 3-14-01). Jim and Margy married on October 18, 1941, just three months before Jim went to War. He was sent to the University of Idaho for radio and transmission training before he headed for Europe aboard the LST 1. Jim served as Radioman First Class on the LST 1 serving in North Africa, Italy, and France. After the War, Jim began an apprenticeship with his grandfather, Harry Saunders, who was a gold-leaf expert and sign painter. Already skillful and artistic, Jim learned the dying art of gold-leaf lettering and art. One of his customers was Hicks Bus Body Company, maker of school buses in Lebanon.. The couple started a family in 1946 with the birth of their first daughter, Patricia Ann, followed just 21 months later by a second daughter born in 1947, Peggy Jean. Jim was asked to drive a school bus to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, by the owners of Hicks Bus Body Company. Fort Lauderdale was a paradise to Jim. The couple packed up their little girls and drove to Fort Lauderdale to begin a new life full of promise and opportunities. Margy was a devoted member of the First Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where her young girls sang in the choir. Margy was the first Clerk of the Small Claims Court in Fort Lauderdale. Her love for the law was realized during her years assisting and mentoring young lawyers. She spent fifteen years as Chief Clerk, receiving several awards of excellence. Jim and Margy dreamed of retirement in a golf community in North Carolina. They bought a home in Linville, North Carolina. They became club champions at the Linville Land Harbor Golf Club for many years. Margy proudly held the record for eight holes-in-one. Jim had "only" seven! Margy's world revolved around her family. She is survived by her daughter, Patty Purcell (Bill), granddaughter, Peggy Purcell, grandson, Chad Purcell, great-grandson, Masen Purcell, and great-granddaughter, Bella Alper. She is also survived by her daughter, Peggy Gehl, a Senior Judge with the 17th Judicial Circuit, and granddaughters, Megan Gehl and Lauren Gehl. Margy is also survived by one sibling, Mariam Lenox (Jack), and sixteen (16) nieces and nephews, all of whom she loved dearly, and they all loved her. The world is an emptier place without Margy. She filled the lives of so many with her good humor and kindness. She lit up a room. She was the soul of any group she joined or office where she worked. She will be buried, as she wished, with Jim, next to her mother, Vern, and next to brothers, Wendell and Frank, Jr., at the Mts Runn Cemetery in Whitestown, IN on May 18, 2019. Donations may be sent to Peggy Gehl, 600 W. Las Olas Blvd. #2204, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312, for the Margy and Jim Tribbett bench fund. Park bench memorials for Jim and Margy will be placed at the Linville Land Harbor Golf Club in Linville, NC, and on Ulen Country Club, Lebanon, Indiana.
Published in Sun-Sentinel from May 14 to May 15, 2019
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