Our mother Margaret was born in Langdon, North Dakota on July 30, 1917. Her sister was born a couple of years later and their mother died a couple of years after that. Both Margaret and Billy Ann were raised by their grandmother and in the early 1920s, the family relocated to Long Beach, California.
Margaret was in high school there when the Long Beach earthquake happened in 1933. For several months, the students had to attend classes in tents set up on the athletic field because the school building was unsafe. Her grades were good enough for her to get a scholarship to UC Berkeley where she took her degree in child psychology in 1939.
After graduation, she moved to Washington DC, where she met our dad, Bob, white they were both working on the census. I guess they hit it off because they were married in 1940. They had little opportunity to be together until the war was over, when they moved to San Francisco and started their family with the birth of Janet in 1946. By the time Bob (Chip) was born in 1951, they were living across the SF Bay in Albany.
Dad's work as a heavy equipment salesman took us to Englewood, a suburb of Denver, Colorado in 1956, where we lived until 1960. Mom & Dad were divorced when we were there and we moved back to California, where Mom got a job at the Lawrence Lab in Berkeley (and later in Livermore) and bought the house in Pleasant Hill where she lived for the rest of her life (even though she always referred to it as a "temporary home").
She was one of the pioneers in the new field of computer programming, a job she had learned because she thought it had a good future, a real understatement. I think she enjoyed her work, despite its challenges, and she never backed down from a challenge.
But I think her life really began when sine retired from the Lawrence Lab in 1983, because she could finally do what she had always wanted to do - travel and see the world. And that's what she did for the next 26 years. The last few years had slowed her down a bit, but she was either preparing for a trip, going on a trip or had just returned from a trip. Last year, she had been to the Adriatic Coast in the Spring and China (for the fifth time) in the Fall. She had already planned trips for this fall to Paris and the Basque Country in Northern Spain.
When she was home, she loved walking in her neighborhood, and at the Lafayette Reservoir. She played tennis until her doctor made her stop a few years ago. She went to the gym and used the exercise machines and the swimming pool until recently, and did water exercises and water-walking up until the end.
She stayed in touch with family and friends, some going back to school days and loved visiting with her grandchildren (Erik, Branwyn, Matt, Patrick & Desiree), and great-grandchildren (Rachel, Zach & Harry) as they came into her life.