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Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Margaret Patzer, it is easy to see that she was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who leaves behind the most amazing legacy for her family. A woman of faith, she exemplified what it means to serve the Lord she loved in ways both great and small. Margaret was truly inspirational in the way she took every day captive, and her zest for life was contagious to all who were near. She could find the beauty in even the simplest of things, and she had such a special way of making even the ordinary things truly extraordinary. Deeply loved, Margaret will be forever missed.
It was great to be an American during the 1920s. Innovation was booming, which gave way to advancements that transformed the way we lived our everyday lives. Radios, washing machines, and refrigerators were among the signs of the time, and it was during this time that the lights of Broadway never shined brighter while the silent film era came to an end. Amidst this eventful time was a time of great anticipation in the lives of Wallace and Margaret (Nicholson) Barber as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as fall colored the landscape of Lincoln, Michigan, in all its beauty in October of 1926. The big day finally arrived when the baby girl they named Margaret Louise drew her first breath on October 26th. Raised in Lincoln, just outside of Detroit, Margaret was one of 11 children as she was joined in the Barber clan by her siblings, Evelyn, Richard, Howard, Dorothy, David, Florence, Stanley, Lucille, Grace, and Marian.
In many ways Margaret was a young girl of her generation. She quickly uncovered the incredible value of family. Margaret was an active girl who could sometimes be found out playing baseball in the yard using cow-pies as bases. Margaret also laid rabbit snares in the snow during the winter, harvesting rabbits on the way to school and resetting the snares on the way home. She attended local schools and later graduated from Mercy College of Nursing in Detroit.
Life was forever changed for Margaret when she met the man of her dreams. His name was John Frederick Patzer, and they soon found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to establish a life together Margaret and John were married. Together they welcomed six children including Larry, John, Pamela, Douglas, Tom, and Kurt into their hearts and home. Margaret fully devoted herself to caring for her home and family, and her children were the light of her life. She raised her children in the Detroit area before moving to Kalamazoo, Michigan. Later, Margaret moved to where she was active in caring for the homebound. She spent her final years at Maple Creek in Grand Rapids.
Throughout her life Margaret was a bustle of activity. She loved spending time with her family, and her children were spread out over a number of years. Margaret’s skills in the kitchen were fantastic, and she was especially known for her cinnamon sticky buns and various baked goods during the holidays. She was willing to cook whatever anyone brought home for her, but she was not one to clean anyone’s catch since it was expected that if you caught it, you clean it! Margaret loved camping, which was something they did often while their children were growing up. Even when part of the family didn’t want to go, Margaret packed up those who did and went on her own. She also loved gardening, berry picking, and walking in the woods. While living in Kalamazoo they had a lot of land with trails. Margaret encouraged her family to enjoy their land year round as she went out and got cross country skis for her family to be out there even during the winter. Margaret also wasn't afraid to take on a challenge such as the time that she and her youngest son laid the majority of their patio in a single day since her husband had been taking way too long with it. Of course they did a fabulous job as well. She loved playing cards and taught her grandchildren to play dominoes, too.
All who knew Margaret Patzer would agree that she was such a blessing to everyone she met. Her devotion to her Lord was apparent in the way that she lived her everyday life, and she was a source of comfort, strength, and unconditional love to her husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. With her caring and nurturing touch, there was no one who met Margaret and didn’t feel like the most special person in the world. Life will never be the same without her here, but her family will forever hold her memory close to their heart.
Margaret Louise Patzer passed peacefully in the presence of family to her heavenly reward on Thursday June 30, 2016. Margaret’s family includes her children, Larry (Kathy) Patzer, John (Mary Duquin) Patzer II, Pamela (Paul) Labadie, Douglas (Joan) Patzer, Tom (Susan) Patzer, and Kurt (Caroline) Patzer, ten grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and surviving siblings Florence Slater, Stanley Barber, Lucille Van Snipe, Grace LaRoche, and Marian Olthouse. Margaret was preceded in death by her husband, John Frederick Patzer, parents, Wallace and Margaret (Nicholson) Barber, and siblings Evelyn Gibbs, Richard Barber, Howard Barber, Dorothy Barber, and David Barber.