grandma margaret-rose

The other night I was on girlwatch at John and Erin’s house when Sage pointed to a framed photo on the wall and said, “That’s my grandma Margaret-Rose.” It was one of those life-goes-on-but-never-the-same moments, when grief—even 25-year-old grief—surfaces in the very best way. No matter how many years pass, no matter what kind of life has happened in the meantime, I want to feel my grief.


You’ve seen this quote before. It really speaks to me. Yes, I grieve my own losses, but I grieve my sweet granddaughter’s loss too, that she—along with her sister and cousins—will not feel the love of their grandma Margaret-Rose unless we do what we can to keep her memory alive.

So here, precious little ones, is a little of what I know about your grandmother, who went to heaven at exactly the right time by God’s calendar, but way too early for earth’s timeline.

Wms fam

Here she is with her parents, Kenneth and Edna Williams, and brother, Daryl. Of course you know great-grandma Williams, since she sends you birthday cards or comes to your parties.


This is the young woman your Gum saw on a George Fox College choir tour and was instantly smitten. Do you think it was a windy day on the Oregon coast?


She noticed him too, and before long they only had eyes for each other.




She was lovely, energetic, expressive, fun-loving, unpredictable.


And in the springtime of 1968, they made an important covenant with each other. That means they promised to love and serve each other for as long as they both lived.



The newlyweds lived in a downtown Newberg apartment while Gum finished college.

Soon they moved all the way to Illinois, where Grandma Margaret-Rose finished college at Elmhurst College with a bachelor of arts degree in eduation.


Fairly soon, their family expanded by two—first Abigail…


…and then Perkins. Gum can tell you lots of funny stories about Perkins.



They loved to make beautiful music and share it, helping others to know more about Jesus.

As much as they loved their pets, Grandma Margaret-Rose and your Gum wanted children.


Along came Rachel, who was born in Kansas.


Then two years later, Peter was born in Colorado.


And two years after that, John was born in Washington. And their family was complete.

M-RM how to raise children

Your grandma (and grandpa too) were clear about how to raise their children. [a writing assignment]



Clearly, Grandma Margaret-Rose had a mother heart. Here’s what she wrote for each of her children:


M-RM essay to Rachel


M-RM poem for Peter


M-RM poem for John

She wrote about Gum too!

M-RM Mauri vignette


They always had a song to sing,

Amazing Macys

which often included the children.

Now, are you ready for a fun story?

M-RM hamster request_Page_1
M-RM hamster request_Page_2


And then your grandma got sick. She did everything the doctor suggested that would make her well. She got well—for a while. So the whole family went to Disneyland!

Here’s the letter she sent to her family and friends at Christmas that year.


Sadly, her cancer came back, and God took her to heaven. Life wasn’t the same after that for Gum and Rachel and Peter and John and her parents and many, many others who knew and loved her. Each one has a story to tell about her. Many wrote down their memories about your grandma Margaret-Rose, and they’re kept in a notebook for you to read someday. But until you learn to read, you can know a little bit about her from this post.

Love, Gus

PS: If your parents are reading this, they might enjoy one more piece of her writing.

M-RM Early Attic Decor

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26 Responses to grandma margaret-rose

  1. Rachel says:

    I know we don’t ask for things for Christmas anymore, but you’ve just given me exactly what I wanted. Thank you.

  2. Craig MacDonald says:

    I’m sorry.

  3. Q. says:

    You are quite something, dear mama.

  4. Cynthia McCracken says:

    What a beautiful tribute to Margaret Rose!! Thanks for sharing this with those of us who aren’t in the family’s inner circle.

  5. Howard Macy says:

    Thanks for these lovely memories. They move me deeply and I really can’t say all that I feel and remember. Margaret-Rose was a great gift and blessing to our whole family – and to many more people than I’ll ever know.

  6. Leane says:

    Thanks for the memories. Love to all of you.

  7. Nita says:

    What a labor of love, Sherry. Thanks so much for putting that all together.

  8. Gary Townsend says:

    What an amazingly wonderful teacher, role model, musician, loving and caring person she was!

  9. Cristie says:

    I never knew her, but Mauri and Margaret-Rose made an impression on my parents, and my mom told me of her. She spoke of a lovely person, a lovely family, and the great sadness that everyone around was hit with when she passed. Thank you for letting me get to know her a bit more. It’s always a pleasure to see the past to understand the present.

  10. Mary Ann Bluhm says:

    You really captured the essence of Margaret-Rose. Dave and I treasured our visits with the young Macy family and modeled our parenting after theirs–including the “helping stick,” a wooden spoon to be used only for willful disobedience, followed by crying, then a loving explanation that “kids who learn to mind grow up happy.”

  11. Lisa says:

    A beautiful tribute and a wonderful gift to so many of us beyond Margaret-Rose’s family. Thank you for this.

  12. Erin says:

    Thank you, Gus/Sherry. What a gift.

  13. Paula Hampton says:

    Wow. Wonderful, Sherry. Thanks so much. I always know how long it’s been since Margaret-Rose’s death because I was pregnant with Kelsey that summer — and she’s soon to be 25 (November). Mostly I remember choir practices at NFC, and Margaret-Rose’s spontaneous laughter, and her straightforward and frank way in conversations. (“That guy is a jerk, Paula.” or “That relationship is not worth the emotional energy you’re putting into it.”) A beautiful, honest, talented person who–as you say–left this earth way too soon.

    Thanks for prompting so many memories — and for so graciously sharing with all of us.

  14. Ridgely says:

    This is precious, I’m undone by it. Where’s the Kleenex.

  15. Pam says:


  16. Sheldon Tucker says:

    What a wonderful tribute to a loving, vivacious Godly women!
    Tears are running down my face as I remember Margaret Rose.
    My heart goes out to these grandchildren and this tribute is so cool!

  17. Cousin John Macy says:

    Thank you for sharing! A beautiful tribute to life and living, finding pleasure in the moment(s) it brings, and joy mingled with sorrows in the memories. You have once again tugged gently at my heart-strings…Bless you!

  18. Curt Ankeny says:

    I don’t get on Facebook often but I visited today and saw Sherry’s posting. It was good to read through Margaret-Rose’s poems and other writings. I first came to know and appreciate MR when we moved back to Oregon in 1962–I was 10. I always felt that Margaret Rose and Mauri were good friends to me even though there were a few years between us (not that many!). I was blessed to see how they related to one another as a married couple and the genuine enjoyment they found being together. They were an example to me of how a couple should treat each other. I was sad that her life ended too soon but I was also glad that Mauri and Sherry found each other after losing their first spouses and I see the same fun-loving relationship continuing as well as their music ministry. I wish I could see you guys more often! Sherry, thanks for sharing all this information with your grandchildren and with many of us who know you.

  19. Cousin Wendy says:

    I never knew her, until you wrote this. Thank you for this glimpse into a precious life.

  20. Brenda Moody Geiger says:

    To Margaret-Rose’s family: I don’t know you, but I knew Margaret-Rose when we were little girls. She was in my classes at Portland Christian Grade School in Portland while I went there. Frank Roberts sent me the information about Margaret-Rose. Since I only knew her as at child, it was wonderful to see the pictures of her and see her family and know that she turned out to be a wonderful Christian lady. I remember her as she was in that first picture of her, her mother, father, and brother. I had to leave Portland Christian Grade School in third grade because my father had a heart attack and my parents could no longer afford to send me there. That is when I lost track of her. I saw her once again and spoke to her when she was on choir tour with George Fox and they were singing at a church in the Bay Area. I was attending Simpson College and, with friends, went to that concert. I was looking at the program and read Margaret-Rose Williams and wondered if it was the same person I had known—and yes it was. I also saw Frank Roberts in that choir. Funny how two people come into your life over time being connected with another person commonly known. Frank and I went to high school together. I also think that Margaret-Rose and I took piano lessons from the same teacher whose daughter was also in our class, but I might be mistaken on that. I always thought Margaret was so pretty. I was saddened to know she died at such a early time. Thank you to whomever made this available and thank you, Frank, for sharing it with me.
    Brenda Moody Geiger

  21. Cindy Staggs says:

    I used to watch Mauri and Margaret Rose and wanted a marriage just like theirs! I loved hearing them sing together and just watching them. She had a profound influence on many people and is missed, but oh what a joy that we were blessed by her in our lives at all!

  22. Cousin Rebecca says:

    What a wonderful remembrance. I loved reading Margaret Rose’s writing. I must say Mauri is twice blessed having two remarkable women to share his life.

  23. John says:

    Sherry, this is an amazing gift. I actually remember the poems that Mom had written to us and thought that I had lost mine. It is so valuable to have these memories documented of Mom. Thank you for the care and love you put into this post.

  24. Judi Mittelstaedt says:

    Oh my…I am undone…overwhelmed…memories flooding through me, tears flowing freely. Having just been with you and mauri this week. Oh, the picture of those beautiful children of hers! What a priceless gift you have given us all, Sherry. Thank you…thank you. Judi

  25. Deborah Johansen says:

    Not sure how I missed this when it was first posted…but reading this today after having just spent an evening with her grandchildren makes it all the more precious and poignant. I love you Sherry…thank you for allowing those of us who loved Margaret-Rose to look at her sweet face again and be reminded of all that she was.

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