Margaret Lucinda Andrew Dutton Nady
Nevada - JUNE 27, 1927- MARCH 12, 2021
I AM HOME!
Margaret Lucinda Andrew Dutton Nady was born to Irene Smith Andrew and Herbert Andrew of Nevada on June 27, 1927. As a child, she was fortunate to have loving relationships with both sets of grandparents who lived in the same town that she did, a rarity today. In grade school she contracted pneumonia and was home in bed, critically ill, for the greater part of an academic year. In her adult life she often related her experience of seeing a beautiful angel who visited her bedside. She did, indeed, see an angel during her illness and we have never questioned it, for we know that it is true.
Her parents divorced when she was young. Her mother then married Orson Briggs Dutton, whose family were Nevada bankers. Orson was smitten by young Margaret and soon adopted 'Pookie' as his own when she was twelve.
She attended schools in Nevada, Iowa, graduating from Nevada High School in 1945. Her classmates remembered her as being poised, enviably thin, introspective, well-read, and highly intelligent- if not a bit on the devil-may-care side when she piloted the family's 1947 avocado green Oldsmobile 98 convertible along Nevada's streets and country roads! Her cavalier driving reputation officially ended decades later when she became the first person in town to get a 'radar' speeding ticket. The Nevada Evening Journal cited the incident with the notoriety that it deserved. They were short on copy for that issue, apparently. Long-time friends will remember that avocado green was her favorite color all her adult life; but perhaps she went a bit overboard, as major (and small) household appliances, carpeting, window treatments, bed and bath linens, porcelain bathroom fixtures, many of her personal items and clothing, and subsequent automobiles were also characteristically avocado green or, at the least, a soft sage green if whatever she was buying didn't come in avocado!
After graduating from Nevada High, she attended her freshman year of college at Texas State College for Women in Denton, Texas, making fast friends with girls from many faiths and backgrounds. She openly admitted that she had lots of fun at TSCW, which, as you would predict, led to getting rotten grades.
The most notorious TSCW story she would ever admit to is regularly sending all her laundry, by train, back to Nevada, when she ran out of clean clothing.
COMING BACK HOME!
In the fall of 1948, Margaret entered her sophomore year at Iowa State College, majoring in English Literature. She met Robert McElhinny Nady in a record shop on the Drake University campus in Des Moines. They were married in Arnold's Park, Iowa, on September 1, 1949, after which they moved to Des Moines and enrolled at Drake University, where she continued pursuing her English Literature degree. Robert majored in music and played several nights a week in dance bands, eventually having his own band, Bob Mack. Prior to her 'Avocado Period', mentioned above, her signature color shortly after marrying Robert was black. The interior of their apartment on the Drake campus was entirely black-furniture, ceiling, window treatment, painted walls, everything. Clearly, her earlier penchant for a black interior decorating aesthetic was a predictor of the 'Avocado Period' to follow. After the fall semester they moved from Des Moines back home to Nevada, to await the birth of their first child, a little girl, Zoe Rene, who was born on June 15, 1950. Robert worked at the Iowa Highway Commission (now the Iowa DOT) in Ames. They encouraged him to attend classes in the College of Engineering while working. He graduated with BS and then a master's degree, after completing his thesis in 1952. He remained at Iowa State, teaching various civil materials courses, ensuring that the family would remain in Nevada for the foreseeable future, close to Margaret's natal family. Their second child, the first of their two sons, Orson Dutton Nady, was born on March 27, 1954. Their third child, another little boy, Christian Jay Nady, was born on April 9, 1959.
During her early childrearing years, Margaret enjoyed volunteering at Story County Hospital, participating on many church committees at the Central Presbyterian Church in Nevada, and with Robert, they were house parents for social events held at Robert's ISU fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi. Perhaps her greatest pleasures during those years were Thimble Club and the Literature Division of the Nevada Women's Club. She was the third-generation of Dutton women to belong to Thimble Club, a group of about 20 local women who met every other Wednesday at one of the member's houses for luncheon and an afternoon of party bridge. At the end of the afternoon, after quarters were awarded for high score and pennies were smugly handed to the player who got set the most, she always made sure she left the party with three small white gusseted paper cups filled with pillow mints and nuts which had been placed above each lady's plate; one to take home for each of her children. Meetings of the Literature Division consisted of one member reviewing a book and the other members sharing their thoughts about it after the review. She eagerly looked forward to their monthly visceral discussions.
A HOME AWAY FROM HOME
In 1965, Robert took a summer's leave of absence from ISU to help set up a civil engineering technical program in Calcutta, India, and Margaret accompanied him. Thus began their life-long love affair with India. She had read many books about India, telling her children often that she could almost smell the funeral pyres of the Indian ghats (many years before she had occasion to actually visit one), because she had read graphic descriptions of them when she was young. In 1966, Robert again traveled to India and worked with USAID for eighteen months, setting up civil engineering tech institutes in each of ten Indian states. Margaret and the three children joined him in New Delhi. The morning after they arrived and were settled in their house, they were rudely awakened by an earthquake, shaking so strongly that the little gecko lizards which customarily rested on the interior bedroom walls were detached and fell to the floor! Welcome to India! It was an inspirational and enlightening eighteen months. Margaret made many Indian, third national, and American friends, and they would often go to lunch at the Oberoi Hotel, attend cultural events, or shop in the endless silk saris, antiquities, and jewelry shops. The three children attended American International School. All were sad when the project ended and they returned to the States.
(Obituary to be continued on a subsequent page).
Published by the Des Moines Register from Jun. 11 to Jun. 13, 2021.