Margaret Strachan was 5 feet tall and 98 pounds, and yes, she was BIG. She was big in how she chose to live her life which was grounded in her beliefs, passions, and love of family and friends.
Margaret was born in Cincinnati, Ohio to Virginia Young and her Dixieland Jazz trumpet player husband, Robert Young. The challenges of raising a family took Robert and his trumpet on the road to venues far, far away.
Virginia was wise. She gathered the six-pound Margaret and they landed at a tiny Eastern Kentucky town, Salyersville, where Virginia’s parents, Cap and Bess Prater resided. It was in this small town of 800 where Margaret gained big life lessons over 14 years because of her Granny’s love, wisdom and strength.
In Salyersville, Margaret discovered the importance of lifetime friendships through her childhood and treasured friend, Charolotte Green. She also developed an empathy for poor people that would serve her well in her future career.
At fifteen, Margaret joined her mother and stepfather in Charleston, West Virginia, to attend Stonewall Jackson urban high school, with major activities in the arts, sciences and humanities. She graduated with honors in 1955.
In the Fall of 1955, Margaret entered the University of Kentucky. In less than a week, she met John Strachan and they fell in love, and married in February of 1956. During John’s stint in the US Air Force and early advertising career, they moved six times and welcomed three children. Margaret finally settled into her cherished lifelong home on Bainbridge Island where she raised her family, entertained friends, and lived for fifty years.
After her divorce from John, Margaret took big steps to attend Seattle University and graduate with honors with a degree in Sociology. Her first job after college was working as a telephone advocate for seniors in the Mayor’s Office. Eventually, she began working for and retiring from Senior Services of Seattle King County. As a manager and leader, she found joy in helping to establish and provide services for seniors such as Senior Information & Assistance, Minor Home Repair, Home Sharing and Senior Rights Assistance. Margaret was most proud of bringing the Meals on Wheels Program to life in Seattle & King County, serving almost 500,000 meals a year at the time of her retirement. Her passion and dreams drove her to create programs that would have a big impact on her community.
Margaret loved her career, but she also loved her home which was filled with treasures discovered from antique stores. Candles were always lit at dinner. Flowers from her garden filled her vases. She was never without a pet cat and spoiled them silly. Her shelves were lined with all the many books she loved to read. Her walls were filled with family art and art that struck her fancy. And the sound of music usually filled the air. But the biggest reason that Margaret loved her home was because it was a haven for her family and it was a gathering place for those she loved.
Margaret’s final days were filled with her favorite songs, her loving family and long-time friends. Her big heart was full, and she passed in peace.
Margaret is survived by her children, Shelley Thode (Chris), Marc Strachan (former wife Carrie) and Scott Strachan (Allison Trundle), and her much loved grandchildren – Kailey, Mathew, Timothy, Hannah, Moses, and Diana.
To honor Margaret’s love for animals, donations may be made in her memory to PAWS of Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap at 4688 Lynwood Center Road NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110.
Margaret always loved a big party. It was her wish to gather her dearest ones and celebrate the life she shared with them at Molly Wards Gardens in Poulsbo on a beautiful, summer day. Details to be announced.
Arrangements are entrusted to Cook Family Funeral Home of Bainbridge Island.