Margaret Ellen Shade Branstetter arrived in Heaven at 5:55 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010. She had been ill since Christmas Day. She was welcomed home by her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, her beloved husband, Lawrence A., "Bud"; the twins she miscarried in 1958; her parents; brother; three sisters, Eva, Fay, and Gertrude; many other family members and friends.
Margaret was born at home in Nevada, on March 12, 1932, to Harry and Nellie Phillips Shade, and had two brothers, Leo Scott and Everett Shade. Margaret grew up in Nevada, Mo. She began working at age 12 as a waitress at the Bungalow Inn, owned by Thad and Lucille Taylor. The Taylors were like a second family to her and she loved them dearly.
At age 16, Margaret began working as a "soda jerk" at Flory's Pharmacy, in Nevada. Margaret was an excellent student and graduated from Nevada High School in 1950. During her high school years, she was a member of the Tigerettes, the drama club, and was a homecoming princess (she was known as quite a beauty). Margaret loved to dance and spent many hours dancing the jitterbug and drinking Coca-Colas with friends (especially her two best friends, Delores Cherry and Glenna Morris) at the Nevada lake pavilion. After graduating from high school, Margaret began working as a certified dental assistant for Dr. R. W. Pottorff. In the 1970s, she worked as a dental assistant for Dr. Richard L. Spencer in Fort Scott and for a short time as a typist at Bruce Marble and Granite Works.
In November 1950, Margaret accompanied friends to a dance at the Bright Spot outside Fort Scott. There, she met Bud, the love of her life and future husband. They had their first date the next week and were together for the next 57 years. Margaret and Bud were married on March 23, 1952, in Nevada. Their honeymoon consisted of a daytrip to Chanute, Kan., where they ate hamburgers and french fries, and watched the monkeys at Monkey Island. They lived their entire married life in Fort Scott. They had one daughter. Margaret and Bud treasured each other and loved being together no matter what they were doing. Each described the other as "the best thing that ever happened to me." Bud drew Margaret a rose (with soap) on the bathroom mirror every morning. He drew roses on her grocery lists. He often embarrassed Margaret by giving her a quick kiss whenever and wherever he had the notion. They laughed often and were always teasing each other or recounting funny stories from the past. They enjoyed long drives on Sunday afternoons and in the evenings, working outside, cleaning the house, gardening, shopping, and going out to eat, especially at McDonald's, Aunt Toadies, Chicken Mary's, the Mall Deli, and the Chinese Chef. They celebrated every anniversary by eating a hamburger and french fries because "that's what we did on our wedding day." Margaret and Bud loved to shop -- for anything. They were always ready to go to Joplin to "find a good sale."
Margaret and Bud loved their daughter with all their hearts. They always made a point to tell their daughter how precious she was to them and how important it was for her to "be a good girl" and "always do your best." Margaret always wanted to go to college to be a nurse. She emphasized the importance of a college education on a daily (almost hourly) basis. Margaret always joked that she wanted her daughter to go to college but that she didn't intend for her to "be in college her whole life!"
Margaret retired in 1976 to be home with her teenage daughter. Margaret was an excellent cook and loved to bake. She made the most wonderful noodles, doughnuts, french fries, and fudge. She prepared a delicious, hot lunch for her husband and daughter everyday. Many evenings, she prepared dinner for her daughter and son-in-law so they could "have a good, hot meal" before going to night class at PSU. Margaret had a great sense of humor and dry wit. She was an immaculate housekeeper. She was a talented seamstress and made many of her daughter's clothes. She enjoyed embroidery, crochet, and home décor. In younger years, she painted the inside of the entire house every summer. The home was immaculate, stylish, warm, loving, and "homey." She had a soft spot in her heart for animals. Margaret was a ferocious advocate for her family.
Margaret is survived by her daughter, Dr. Jo Ellen Branstetter and beloved puppy, Molly, of Ozark, Mo.; two sisters-in-law, Hazel A. Hall, of Fort Scott and Ruth Standley, of Billings, Mont.; one step-brother, Leo Scott, of Wichita, Kan.; several nieces and nephews; and many friends including the "beauty shop ladies" at the Scottview salon. She will be missed terribly everyday by her daughter and puppy Molly.
Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 9, at the U.S. National Cemetery in Fort Scott. The family will receive friends on Tuesday from 10 a.m. until leaving for the cemetery at 10:45 a.m., at the Cheney Witt Chapel.
Memorials may be made to the ASPCA and left in care of the Cheney-Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Fort Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at www.cheneywitt.com.