“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” ~Tenneva Jordan
Margaret Murphy Eutsler, devoted mother extraordinaire, died on May 21, 2021 at the age of 100. The cause is believed to have been old age.
Margaret, or Maggie as she was known to her friends, was born on July 3, 1920 in Clayton, New Mexico. The youngest of eight children, she was the only one born in a hospital. She survived all of her siblings (Florence Szabo, Mildred Roberts, Agnes Wick, Marie Murphy, Marcella Bailey, Cecelia Brookreson, and Patrick Murphy). She lived in New Mexico all her life. She met Bernard C. “Jack” Eutsler in Las Vegas, New Mexico. They married in 1949, and they moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico in 1951. They divorced in 1974, but remained close until his death in 2002.
Maggie was a product of the Great Depression, and her early experiences informed her life. She was a prolific saver-of-things (just in case you need a pretty glass jar, a piece of bubble wrap, or any of the letters she ever received!). She was a conservationist before conservation was a thing, recycling and composting all her life. Her abundant compost enriched her beloved organic garden, where she and her green thumbs never failed to grow abundant crops of veggies, raspberries, and tree fruit.
She loved cooking, baking, and canning the bounty from her garden. There are many fond memories of watching her toil in the kitchen and eating her delicious creations from the 1953 Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, including plate-lickingly delicious fruit pies.
She attended college at Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico and worked throughout her life, starting as a young office assistant at the National Youth Administration during the 1940s. She worked hard raising her five children, and then enjoyed a long career at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, where she was the favorite administrative assistant of every physicist in the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility (LAMPF).
After retirement, she enjoyed traveling with her former husband Jack. They loved education traveling, taking numerous trips with Elder Hostel groups. They visited every continent except Antarctica. And if there had been an Elder Hostel there, they would’ve gone. A couple highlights were when they met Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, helping build houses for Habitat for Humanity in Georgia, and visiting Germany, where they toured the sites that Jack had helped bomb during WWII.
Maggie was funny as heck and smart as a whip. You would not want to compete with her in a crossword puzzle or cryptogram competition, never mind Scrabble. Words? She knew words! And until her dying days, Maggie was the consummate learner. You could be sitting with her quietly sipping a cup of tea and she would suddenly ask, “I wonder how television works?” or any number of linguistics questions.
She was an avid reader, devouring books of all genres. Even when she lost her eyesight to macular degeneration, she continued to voraciously “read” books on tape.
Maggie leaves behind her five children, their partners, and their children: Peggy Durbin (Michele Vochosky), Beth Eutsler, Bobbie Simpson (Jack Simpson), Charles Eutsler (Jerry Petree), Karen Little, and her dear friend and former son-in-law Allan Lockridge. She leaves behind grandchildren Kevin Little, Annette Little, Xian Eutsler, Xin Eutsler, Mei Eutsler, and great-granddaughter Kira Little, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Margaret was laid to rest in Guaje Pines Cemetery, Los Alamos New Mexico. A memorial mass will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Los Alamos on her 101st birthday, July 3, 2021 at 10:30 am. A gathering to celebrate Maggie’s life will follow.
The family has entrusted Margaret’s care to Rivera Family Funeral Home of Los Alamos. Please share any condolences, pictures, and stories at http://www.riverafamilyfuneralhome.com
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Maggie’s favorite charities: The Nature Conservancy, St. Jude Hospital, or the National Federation of the Blind.
Margaret was the most generous person who ever walked the Earth. She was kind to all she met. She didn’t have a competitive or selfish bone in her body; her mission in life seemed to be to make everyone around her comfortable and content. A finer person never lived. Margaret was smart, funny, generous, honest, honorable, and caring. She will be sorely missed and happily remembered.