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Kays Branch News: Margie England changed our lives

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By Bee Spicer

I went to Margie England’s funeral last week.

If a funeral could be said to be nice, her funeral was. Maybe appropriate would be a better word. Two gentlemen spoke. One was her pastor at Dallasburg Baptist Church and the other a contemporary of Gilbert’s.

Both their talks were about Margie. Her obit gave all the details of how she had spent her life as a teacher, supporter of her church, and member of organizations in the county and state. She was a very busy lady.

The Margie England that I knew was all of those things, but she was also a wife, mother, and good friend.

The Englands came to Owen County in the early 1960s, maybe 1959. They were teachers in the Owen County High School and lived on a farm in Wheatley. The first we heard of them in Monterey was rumors that the new ag teacher was going to turn his tobacco farm into a golf course.

In that time, golf was just making its appearance on television on Sunday afternoons and Arnold Palmer was becoming a household name.

Golf was for the wealthy, not your average Joe. But it caught the interest of Stony and Frank McDonald and they made a trip to Wheatley to see what “Old Harold” was doing.

From that spark of interest, we became golfers, and Margie became our friend, and baby sitter – not just for me but for every couple who had small children and wanted to learn to play.

I was very young at the time and never gave it a thought that my girls would be a bother to the “golf lady” who was working in the pro shop, making sandwiches for customers, trying to look after her own three children, teach school and goodness knows how many other things she had to do.

She always greeted you with a smile and friendly conversation. We became friends over the years as we continued to play golf at Wheatley.

The place felt like home, at least, a good friend or relative’s home. Margie always made you feel welcome. When I started the “Kay’s Branch Open” in the late 1980s, Margie and Gilbert made my little tournament just as much a priority as the biggest scramble and charity tournament they held.

My golf ladies loved Margie, the “Pie Lady.” When we came to play, she always had homemade pies for them.

I lost a good friend, but like Mother, she had lived a good life and she did it well.

To Gilbert, Susan, and Margina, I send my sympathy and the knowledge that your mother was truly a remarkable woman and one of a kind.

Mary Ann, Mayme Joyce and I went to the 80th birthday party of Gloria Ann Nix Younger. It was held Saturday at the Shannon Run Baptist Church on Versailles Road.

The weather cooperated and the cold rain held off till we got there and home again.

It was a lovely party. Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were there, along with her church family, of course. The ladies in her church had baked two long tables full of cakes of every variety. They could have fed an army.

There was lots of visiting and recalling our school days and there was a picture history of her life, which we recognized ourselves in.

Nancy Carol, who lives in Versailles, came about 2:45 p.m. to join the party. We had planned to leave about 3 p.m. or so, but we just couldn’t tear ourselves away and were among the last to leave at a little after 4 p.m.. I don’t know about the rest of the guests, but five  ladies – of a certain age – had a great time remembering when we were young.

Audrey told us at church Sunday morning that Larry House had a heart attack last week. He is doing fine now though. We wish him a quick recovery.

I had a surprise in church Sunday.

As we started the service and the minister asked for announcements, Mike Raisor got up and came to the front of the church holding a package in his hand. He looked at me and said, we have talked about it and the members of this church want you to have something from us, and he presented me with a lovely plaque acknowledging 60 years of service to the Monterey Christian Church.

For once in my life I was speechless.