Margaret Todd, 94

Singer, gardener, cook and volunteer

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Margaret H. Todd, 94, of Forest Park, formerly of Oak Park, died peacefully on Feb. 8, 2013 at the British Home in Brookfield. Born on May 4, 1918, she grew up in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago, moved to Oak Park when she married James Todd in 1940, and then to Forest Park in 1989.

"Lord give me life until my work shall end and work until my life shall end" was a little post she had up on her kitchen wall and a motto by which she lived her entire life. Her career spanned 19 years as a part-time secretary for Sears and then Western Electric in Cicero.

She loved singing from the time she was in glee club at Austin High School and shared her voice with many. Gardening was another love, and she spent hours reading. Her kitchen was her home within her home, where she collected and tested new recipes on her loved ones, which gave her much joy. She also enjoyed the weekly community center's senior trips and a monthly bingo game.

An avid Cubs fan, her motto was, "Wait till next year." Above all, her faith was her rock. Over the years, she was noted for her dedicated and active involvement at Kloeckner Memorial Church in Austin and then Willard Methodist and Cornerstone Methodist churches in Oak Park.

Second only to her faith was her family. Nothing pleased her more than to play with, visit with, cook for, talk to, see pictures of, or interact in any way with any and all of her family, including her son, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Her love also extended to those outside of church and family as shown in her volunteer work. For some 20 years, starting at age 72 and until she turned 93, she helped run the toys and games room at the Economy Shop. She'd take home the dolls and clothes — to clean and iron them, wash and brush their hair. She'd test toys to see if they worked, put together puzzles and games to make sure all of the pieces were there and do whatever was needed to improve their marketability. She'd check the local paper on Sundays to compare current prices so she could fairly price the merchandise. She also sewed new blankets and hats for newborns every week at the Nineteenth Century Charitable Association. She put heart and soul into her work. When asked the secret to her long life she always replied, "Keep on moving."

Margaret Todd is survived by her son, James P. (Jean); her grandchildren, Kelly (Andy) Soltys, Brian Todd, April (John) Gravitt, Steve, and Kevin (fiancé Kris Jones) Todd; and her great-grandchildren, Charlie and Tyler Soltys and Austin Gravitt. She was preceded in death by her husband, James, and her son, Gordon B. Todd. She leaves a legacy of love.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16, from 9 a.m. until time of service, 11 a.m., at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home, 203 S. Marion St. in Oak Park. Interment will take place at Chapel Hill Gardens West Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to Cantata, 8700 W. 31st Street, Brookfield, IL 60513 are appreciated.

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