Margaret E. Harwood passed away peacefully at the age of 88 on Friday, April 13, 2012, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s/Dementia. She had been a resident of the Bridge Haven Memory Care Residence in Lawrence, KS, for the last several years. She spent the vast majority of her life in Lawrence.
Margaret was born January 17, 1924, in Tonganoxie, Kansas, to Emma Cannon Harwood and William T. Harwood. She was the youngest of four children. Her older siblings were Winston B. Harwood, Willard Elden “Timber” Harwood, and Milford Alvin “Short” Harwood. She attended Lawrence schools and graduated from Liberty Memorial High School in 1941. She then went to work for the Hercules Army Ammunition plant east of Lawrence.
After the war, she went to work for Kansas Power and Light in the secretarial pool. It was there she learned her secretarial skills and made the acquaintance of Raymond F. Rice, legal counsel for K.P.L. In 1948 she went to work for Mr. Rice as his personal legal secretary and served him for 13 years. In 1961, she went to work for the Ethel High Title and Abstract Company. Several years later Margaret, along with Gretchen Haehl, purchased the company and renamed it Douglas County Abstract and Title Company. Margaret served as president of the company until it sold in 1995.
During Margaret’s distinguished business career, she was active in several organizations. She was a member of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and served on its board of directors in the early 1980s. She was a member of and served on the state wide board of the Kansas Land Title Association. She was an active member of Altrusa Club and Plymouth Congregational Church. She was also, for many years, an avid bowler participating in numerous leagues. Margaret will always be remembered for her wry wit, sense of humor, and the class with which she conducted herself and her treatment of others. She was a class act in every respect.
On July 17, 1992, Margaret married her long time companion and the love of her life, Robert B. Oyler, local attorney and business man. They were married for approximately four years before his death.
Margaret was preceded in death by her husband, Robert B. Oyler, her step daughter and son-in-law, Nancy Oyler Moats and Byron Moats, and her step son Robert F. Oyler. Her brothers Winston B. Harwood and Milford A. “Short” Harwood also preceded her in death. She is survived by her daughter-in-law, Caryn Oyler and seven grandchildren and seven great grand children. She is also survived by her brother, Elden “Timber” Harwood, sister-in-law, Ruth Harwood, and eleven nieces and nephews and numerous great nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at Plymouth Congregation Church on Monday, April 23,, 2012, at11 a.m., with Rev. Dr. Peter Lucky presiding. The family will receive friends at the Warren McElwain Mortuary on Sunday, April 22, 2012 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Private interment will be in Oak Hill Cemetery.
Memorials are suggested for Plymouth Congregational Church and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary. The family would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the staff of the Bridge Haven Memory Care home for the loving care they provided her the last three years of her life. It was such a comfort to know that she was so well taken care of and we could not have asked for a better situation for her. Thank you so much!
I would like to say that my Great Aunt Margaret was one of the coolest and nicest ladies around hands down We will miss you dearly, myself included but am content knowing you”re resting in peace sweetie.
All my love,
Aunt Margaret was always so kind to all of us. I am proud that she was such a strong independent woman. She defied the times by being a savvy business woman. What a great role model. I hate that I will not be able to be there to say goodbye. Thank you for everything you did for us through the years. I love you.
A grand lady. Our condolences to her family.
My condolences to the family.
I will never forget all the love and compassion that Margaret gave me growing up in the Law firm of Oyler and Salyer. Not to mention the dear friendship that she shared with my grandfather (James Salyer). She will be truly missed.
I remember Aunt Margaret — elegant, serene, and full of grace. “And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”