The Lord, Jesus Christ, enfolded his arms around his daughter, Margaret Purvis Munsen, on Thursday, January 28, 2010 and carried her to Heaven. She was 96 years old.
Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother and Great Great Grandmother, she was preceded in death by her husband, Mel (Whitey) Munsen. Born in Spokane, Washington, she was one of six siblings and is survived by one sister, Patricia Campbell. She had three children, Kay Trepanier, Peggy Munsen, and Mary Munsen; nine grandchildren, John Trepanier, Nanette Croteau, Adam Wolfenden, Kim Duarte, Carrie Wolfenden, Lisa Peterson, Stacy Wolfenden, and Claire Croteau. (One of her grandchildren, Lori Wolfenden, died at age 26 of cancer.) She has 7 great grandchildren, three great great grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Margaret began her teaching career at the age of 17, in a one-room school house at Tucker Prairie, Washington. Her salary was $45 a month. She was janitor, water carrier and fire stoker besides her teaching position.
She came a long way from Tucker Prairie, ending her 39-year teaching career in 1979, after spending the last 23 of them at Layfayette Elementary in West Seattle, first grade, Room 15.
She earned her degree at Eastern Washington University and her Masters at Seattle U.
On her retirement, she was asked about the differences in today’s education or students. She replied “Children are the same – very lovable and beautiful. I just hope I have helped build a little character in each child that has entered my room, as well as to have given them a dedication to academics.”
Of the many experiences she had, she felt honored to receive the Golden Acorn award from Lafayette and the well-attended retirement party given for her by the Lafayette PTA, and the retirement party given to her by her family. She was able to see Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean,and the Panama Canal, not to mention a VIP visit to Washington, DC where she met the President.
Margaret retired with many happy memories that she will never forget, and many people who sat in the seats in Room 15 will never forget the happy memories they have of Margaret Munsen.
Besides being an outstanding teacher, she was a fairly good bowler and a died-in-the-wool Mariner’s fan, knowing every players name and the position they played.
Her family will miss her terribly. She was so loving, kind, caring and so well-known and respected in the community. She was extremely independent and her mind was sharp as a tack.
Rosary will be held at the Howden Kennedy Funeral Home on Monday, February 8th at 7pm with Father Jack Walmesley officiating. Her mass of the Christian Burial will be held Tuesday, February 9th, beginning at 10 a.m. It will be followed by a reception at the parish hall, where a celebration of her life will be shown and many loving memories shared.