SPRINGFIELD - Margaret "Peg" Jane Evans Harwood, 96, passed away peacefully Friday, June 21, 2013, at her daughter's home in Efland, N.C.
Margaret was born Nov. 29, 1916, in Springfield, the daughter of Walter and Martha Evans of Springfield.
The youngest of four children, she grew up on Stanton Avenue in Springfield and graduated from Springfield High School, and then attended nurse's training at Middletown Memorial Hospital in Middletown.
On May 10, 1941, Margaret married John Edward Harwood at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Springfield, and shortly thereafter, while her husband served in the U. S. Army Air Corps, Margaret ran the family printing company she and her husband purchased in 1942 from her father-in-law.
Margaret was a lifelong member of Covenant Presbyterian Church and served as one of the first women elders, as a deacon and a delegate from the Miami Presbytery to the General Assembly. She also helped in starting and loved working with the Challenge Nursery.
Margaret was an actively involved member of the Springfield Art Museum, Young Women's Mission, the Monday Afternoon Club and the Springfield Country Club. She and John enjoyed many good times with their friends at the Polo Club.
The Harwood home was always decorated to the nines for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Memories of the holidays as we gathered around the dining room table or the beautiful Christmas tree in the living room remain in our hearts and minds. Parties with family and friends filled her home with laughter and joy. Margaret knew how to entertain and show gracious hospitality to anyone who came through her door.
Margaret's love for nature and sense of adventure defined her. She learned to "love nature and nature's God" through her parents and brother Bree. The Cedar Bog Nature Preserve was a place where she loved to walk and enjoy God's creation. Her father and brother were instrumental in the preservation of this unique fen, for which she was very proud.
When not in Springfield, Mullett Lake, Mich., was the place where Margaret was most happy and content. Many years of fun memories were built around her family in that cottage on Mullett Lake. Rides in the forests throughout Cheboygan County and beyond with her children looking for deer, blueberries and the fire tower were summer highlights. Picnics at Lake Michigan always included her specialty cake with caramel icing.
She used every opportunity as a teachable moment showing her grandchildren and great-grandchildren the simple joys in life. What fun they have had playing sardines, hide-the-shoe-lace and many adventures on the boat with their beloved "Grammy" and "Poppie." Margaret was also "Grammy" to many children through the Sonshine Club led by Pastor Eli Williams and Major Jim Gingrich. She volunteered for the after school program and endeared herself to many of the young people she met.
Margaret was a gifted writer and avid reader and a master at crossword puzzles. She would create a poem, story or quip just by observing life and people around her. Her works reflected her faith, love for family, deep inner emotions and a terrific sense of humor!
In later years, while still in her Springfield home, she was lovingly cared for by a number of wonderful people, especially Lori Brown, Amy Fuller and Jennifer Obrien. Over this past year, David Brown rarely left her side in her daughter's home in North Carolina. Each one has become a special part of our family.
Whether it was faithfully contributing to certain charities or expressing grace and peace, she was always genuinely loving and giving. Margaret was a woman of deep faith and shared her love for the Lord with everyone. She will be deeply missed by her family and all who knew her.
Margaret is survived by her children, Thomas Harwood (Sandra Stabile) of Niles, Mrs. Nancy Evans (Charles) of Springfield, Mrs. Martha Barnes (Bert) of Springfield, Ms. Mary Harwood (Lori Oshrain) of Efland, N.C., and Mrs. Caryn Wagner (Mike) of New Philadelphia. She is grieved by Edward Ater of Springfield and her loyal canine companion, Susie. She also is survived by her 14 grandchildren, Melissa Bacon of Columbus, Megan Trout of Dayton, Matthew Harwood of Durham, N.C., Amy Gibson of Springfield, Julie Trice of Dayton, Christina Schwartz of Mariemont, Jeff Aleshire of Cincinnati, Thomas Noonan of Berlin, Germany, Jessica Shaeffer and Elizabeth Evans of Charlotte, N.C., and also Tiffany Redman of Phoenix, Timothy Weddell of Chandler, Ariz., Matthew Pritchett of Dayton and Katia Watson of Seattle, Wash. She has 21 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; nieces, Mrs. Kay Kopp of Springfield, Mrs. Barbara Ryan of Boston, Mass., and Mrs. Corrine Klie of Mentor; nephews, Mr. William Leffel of Columbus, Mr. Joseph Leffel of Newark, Mr. Richard Harwood of East Lyme, Conn., and Mr. Jack Mullins of Erie, Pa.; and her favorite cousin, Mr. Bill Evans of Warren, Mich.
Margaret was preceded in death by her husband, John, of 70 years; brother, Bree Evans; her two sisters, Mrs. Dee Leffel and Mrs. Isabel Smith; niece, Margaret Smith Allison; and nephew, Jack Leffel, all of Springfield.
A celebration of her life will be held at noon Saturday in the chapel at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Springfield.
The family respectfully suggests that in lieu of flowers family and friends may make a donation in Margaret's name to the Salvation Army, P.O. Box 98, Springfield, OH 45501; Russians Reaching Russians, Fellowship Christian Church, 2301 Valley Loop Road, Springfield, OH 45504; the Covenant Presbyterian Church, Memorial Fund, 201 N. Fountain Ave., Springfield, OH 45501; or Cedar Bog Association, 980 Woodburn Road, Urbana, OH 43078.
Arrangements were handled by Littleton & Rue Funeral Home and Crematory in Springfield. You may express condolences at www.littletonandrue.