Margaret Ann Lewis Haddix

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Margaret Ann Lewis Haddix, 92, died in The Woodlands, Texas, Sept. 13, 2015. She was born at home in Schell City, Mo., Dec. 24, 1922, the eldest child of Marion Matlock and Anna Bell Stewart Lewis. Margaret Ann was baptized at the Schell City (Cumberland) Presbyterian Church. She remained a communicant until that church closed circa 1955. She joined the Schell City United Methodist Church and has been a member for almost 60 years, during which time she taught Sunday School, helped with programs, services, meals and events, attended and led United Methodist Women, and worked at the UMC Rummage House.

Margaret Ann graduated from Schell City High School in 1939. She matriculated at the University of Missouri that autumn, aged 16, in Home Economics. She excelled in science, chemistry and mathematics.

In May 1940, she eloped with and married her childhood sweetheart, Warren O. Haddix, in St. Charles, Mo. Warren left the University and enlisted in the Missouri National Guard. Margaret Ann continued at the University (the marriage kept secret) until she told her parents she was going to Texas where her husband was stationed.

When Warren deployed, Margaret Ann returned to Schell City and began her teaching career in 1942 (for $80/month). She also worked at the family businesses, Lewis & Son Hardware and Funeral Home, founded by her Great Grandfather John Lewis.

After the war, she and Warren returned to the University. They were in the audience at Fulton, Mo., for Winston Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech. Four months later, in July 1946, their son was born in the University hospital. They all went home. Warren bought a pool hall with a short-order restaurant and began a radio repair business. Margaret Ann did not delight in the pool hall, but baked pies for the restaurant, encouraged the radio business, helped with bookkeeping, and continued to work at Lewis & Son. She didn't teach in those years.

In 1951, their daughter was born. Warren worked in Kansas City. Margaret Ann remained with the children in Schell City. On December 23, 1954, Margaret Ann's father, sister Mae Frances, and younger brother Lute were killed in an automobile accident. After the accident, Margaret Ann became a full partner in Lewis & Son with her brother John George and their Mother. She performed the duties of an owner and business bookkeeper. Later when she taught again, she went every day from school to hardware store to work. She was a licensed funeral director and certified as an Emergency Medical Technician.

In 1952, she returned to teaching in Schell City. She taught her daughter, nieces and the boy who would become her son-in-law. Her career (mostly first grade) spanned over three decades. She was a teaching elementary principal for a time. She loved her students and was proud of their accomplishments. In summer months, she often provided children (including her own) with classic literature to read. At Halloween she gave children's magazines as treats (with a dollar bill stuck in to make up for lack of candy). She received her bachelor's degree in education from Kansas State University, Pittsburg, and completed most credits for her master's degree at Southwest Missouri State University just before retirement. She was a member of the ADK Sorority for educators. She was the oldest living member of the Schell City High School Alumni Association, celebrating her 75th anniversary in 2014, her last visit home.

Margaret Ann was active in Modern Mothers, the Parent Teacher Association, the White Shrine of Jerusalem, and the Order of the Eastern Star; in the latter two she held high office. She helped write and publish two histories of Schell City. In 2009, she was the Grand Marshall of the Schell City Fall Festival Parade, an honor from her fellow citizens that she treasured.

Margaret Ann was predeceased by her husband and all her siblings. She is survived by her son, James (and Fay-Ellen) Haddix; her daughters, Judith (and John) Gwyn, and Teresa Fagan (and John) Curtis; grandchildren, Eric Haddix, Kimber McKay (and David Regan), Rachel Gwyn Thornton, Keturah (and Richard) Tetrev, Marc (and Katie) Gwyn, Evan Haddix, Kelsey Haddix, and Ellison Haddix; great-grandchildren, Willem and Mila McKay, Owen Gwyn, Emma and Brant Thornton, Kaija, Henry, and Anja Tetrev; her sister-in-law, Frances Lewis; her niece, Ava (and LeRoy) Murrell; her cousins Jean (and Warren) O'Brien, and Lois Richter; and many other relatives and friends that time has spared and affection has held.

Margaret Ann traveled extensively and lived a long, full and rewarding life. She was happiest at home and among her own people in the community that shaped her and which she helped to shape. "I am a Schell City girl," is how she put it; a cup of coffee with her neighbors at Madalyn's Kitchen is one of the ways she lived it out.

Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the Lewis-Hoagland Funeral Home, Schell City. Visiting hours at the Funeral Home were Friday, Sept. 18, 5 to 7 p.m., with a funeral service at the Schell City United Methodist Church, Saturday, Sept. 19, at 10:30 a.m. Burial followed at Green Lawn Cemetery.

Memorial gifts may be made to Northeast Vernon County (NEVC) Elementary School, Technology Department or to the Schell City Community Building Fund. Please mail gifts in care of Lewis-Hoagland Funeral Home, 216 West 2nd Street, Schell City, MO 64783.