Margaret Lucinda Andrew Dutton Nady (Continued)
I AM HOME (AGAIN)!
In summer of 1967 they returned to Nevada. Robert resumed building his private testing laboratory while teaching at the newly created ISU Civil Engineering Technical Institute. The Institute off red students a condensed two-year program which intensively prepared them to graduate already having salable, practical skills, with little employer expense to train them. As you would expect, potential employers loved the program because students had had real-world training. The classrooms were almost overflowing with capable students who didn't desire a four-year degree for some reason. There was only one problem with this novel program: Because the two-year students started out with roughly the same pay as the four-year graduates commanded, there was pressure from above to discontinue the program- which, lacking foresight, they did after a few years. During this time, Margaret returned to Iowa State to keep working on her undergraduate degree- English literature with a minor in Art History. After making up for roughly two years' worth of failing grades from much earlier, she had to get two years of 4.0 to graduate with a 2.0 gpa. And graduate she did from Iowa State, in 1969! Duncan Malom, the same advisor she had had twenty years prior, waived the 2.3 gpa requirement for her to enter the teaching program, because of her most recent academic success. She flew through the coursework and earned her teaching certificate. She chose not to teach full time, but for many years she substituted in the Nevada school system, often several times a week, while also volunteering in the high school library for Lori Netts, the high school librarian. She had lots of stories to tell, whether she was teaching English or Shop. She would start every day she taught by admonishing her class that under no circumstances could they screw up in her class, telling them that if they misbehaved and she was no longer invited to substitute, "I need the money to pay for my mink coat!". This was met with laughs and a few groans, and generally nobody screwed up. Many of her students would visit her over the ensuing years, when they were much older and grew to realize the life tools she had given them: Non-academic wisdom and introspection. She was a trusted confidant. They felt that they could always get a straight answer from her, regardless their problem or situation. She loved learning and she loved teaching, imparting more real-world lessons of life than she imparted knowledge of planing wood or of discovering the five pairs of aortic arches of a night crawler. There was one aspect of teaching which profoundly disappointed her: When the teachers gathered for lunch in the faculty lounge, the topic of conversation would invariably drift to discussing academic and disciplinary problems they were having with certain students, whom they named and discussed in front of all the other faculty members. She seethed when she sat through this. Didn't they know that if a child is branded as being a problem and the child's current teacher gossips about that child in front of next year's teachers, that the label 'dummy' or 'troublemaker' will be perpetuated and will follow that child throughout his/her entire secondary school experience? She roiled at such thoughtless but destructive chit-chat and also at what she felt was the 'dumbing down' of education, generally.
From1973 through the mid-eighties, Robert worked on various civil engineering/host country government collaborations in Haiti, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia was quite unenlightened regarding the restrictions placed on women, including foreign national women. Women could not drive and had to be covered in public and no liquor was allowed, in public or otherwise, although the American men on the project would make their own beer and wine from local produce and old¬ fashioned trial and error experimentation. In Haiti, she taught at the parochial school during their two years' tour there. It was then that Margaret realized that no one was running Robert's engineering testing materials lab in Nevada while he was overseas. In response, her children learned and became IDOT certified technicians in an array of testing procedures, and she competently took over as office manager, making sure that clients were being serviced and billed timely and that weekly payrolls were being met. She and her long-time friend and helper, Helen Johnson, ran the office functions until Robert sold his business in 2001to a fledgling testing lab in Des Moines, Construction Materials Testing, headed by Doug Clement. Margaret was known for rolling up her sleeves and doing what needed to be done.
When confronted with a troubled family member, she would have them make out a list of all the problems that were worrying them. Then they would sit and go down the list of bullet points together. Many problems were crossed off the list because she convinced them that on a scale of one to ten, with ten being death, most problems weren't important enough to be on the list. Robert stayed on with CMT as a consultant and helped them to quickly achieve a statewide reputation for excellence. The company grew rapidly and moved to a much larger facility while he was there. He was proud that he had played an integral role in the success which fueled their impressive growth. Robert had a stroke in 2008 and returned to work after several months, being driven to work in Des Moines every day, until six months before he died, in 2012, when poor health necessitated his full retirement.
AND THEN THERE WAS BRIDGE!
Margaret enjoyed attending her children's and grandchildren's sporting events, music concerts, dance recitals, weddings, baptisms, family get-togethers, swimming meets, and, reluctantly, an occasional parent-teacher conference. How did we get back to bridge? Margaret was known for her fanaticism for the card game bridge. She had card sense, played the game solidly and seriously, and was always eager to learn new conventions and subtle ways of communicating with her partner. Her skills catapulted when she enrolled in the ISU adult education bridge lesson series that ensued over a four-year period. Here she played with others who were as passionate as she and wanted to better their bridge game. She regularly met with three other women in the class, outside of class. Her foursome even took several two-day Mississippi River cruises on the 'Twilight' excursion boat, which, among other destinations, sailed from Le Clare, Iowa to Dubuque, Iowa and back, their favorite trip. They played furiously from eight a.m. until it was too dark to see to play! The bridge was so intense that they had to be reminded when it was time to eat lunch and dinner!
THEY ARE HOME!
In July 1975, Margaret lost her father, Orson. Her mother, Irene, left us in December 1999. She began to rely increasingly on her children, grandchildren and closest friends for companionship, now that her best friend, her mother, was gone. She missed them for the rest of her life, as we shall miss her for the rest of ours. Margaret was active in the Solomon Dean Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Nevada DAR chapter, now merged with the Ames Sundial Chapter. She gave historical programs and enjoyed listening to historical anecdotes and presentations from other members. She was a member of the local chapter of Questers, traveling to area museums and to other places of local historical significance. She believed in traditional American values and supported many charities and institutions of higher learning which reflected this, many of which refused all government funding. She backed Republican candidates seeking to represent America at our community, district, state and federal levels. She supported her church, Family of Faith Church, and she believed in American exceptionalism and the Constitutional freedoms that ensure equal access to opportunity for all Americans to live fulfilling lives.
I AM FINALLY HOME!
Although she had always been a member, supporter, and worker for her church and insisted that her children attended Sunday school and vacation bible school and church camp in the summer, it was within the last twenty years of her life when she acknowledged and responded to the invitation from
Jesus Christ to enjoy eternal life with him. Her pastor, Scott Milsom who founded the Family of Faith Church with a nucleus of like-minded people who sought Truth, changed her life. In the last few years of her life, she often expressed to family that she was prepared to be with Jesus and God and join her grandmothers Smith and Andrew, her parents Orson and Irene, and the love of her life, her husband Robert. We are and will be missing her greatly until we, too, can share in the joy that she is experiencing in being reunited with them. After all, the rest of our mortal existence is merely a moment, compared to the Eternity that awaits us.
TAKE LEAVE OF THE EARTH.
I WILL BE WITH YOU. SOMEDAY.
Please join us for a Celebration of the Life of Margaret D. Nady on the summer solstice, Monday, June 21st, 2021 at 1pm, at Memorial Lutheran Church, 701 11th Street, Nevada, Iowa. The service will be followed by refreshments and reminiscences. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be given to Family of Faith Church, to the Story County Animal shelter, or to a charity of your choice
. Thank you.
Rasmusson-Ryan Funeral Home in Nevada is handling arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.rasmussonfh.com
Published by Ames Tribune from Jun. 12 to Jun. 17, 2021.