Fulton County Centenarian, Margaret J. Kistler, 100 years and twelve days, was surrounded by her loving family when she passed away at Woodlawn Hospital at 12:55 a.m. Friday, June 29, 2012.
Margaret, the Queen Mom of the Kistler clan, ascended to the the century plateau less than two weeks ago. She embraced this awesome accomplishment by savoring a wonderful birthday party, celebrating the milestone she aspired to achieve, hosted by her family for friends and community associates. All who knew Margaret, knew she was a marvelous lady who wore her 100 years well, illustrating that age is only a number.
An eternal optimist, Margaret greeted all she met with warm, radiant smile and a twinkle in her blue eyes. Her demeanor was easy going and she always exhibited a positive attitude key elements in achieving her coveted milestone. Tickling the ivories with authority, Margaret provided musical joy and comfort to her many friends over the years at Hickory Creek, the Senior Center and until a couple of weeks ago Wynnfield residents. In June, Margaret shared a ride on the Purdue Fire truck with Parade Grand Marshalls Dick and Suzanne Belcher leading the Round Barn Festival parade. Family and treasured friends were the recipients of her custom creations the Brillo pad style scrubbing devices, a necessity for the kitchen.
Margaret Juanita Foster Kistler was born in Tiosa on June 17, 1912, the daughter of William and Margaret Dudgeon Foster. As one of eleven children, growing up she shared her childhood with five brothers and five sisters. Margaret was a proud member of the Rochester High School class of 1930 the oldest living Zebra grad until her passing.
On May 6, 1934, Margaret married her best friend, Wayne “Toad” Kistler, in Rochester’s 1st Presbyterian Church. Their union spanned 48 years and produced a daughter and three sons. The family tree continued to grow with the added blessings of nine grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.
Paramount in Margaret's life was her family. As a farmer’s wife she tended to the domestic chores around their home, maintained a beautiful vegetable garden and provided tender loving care for her children and husband. When time allowed she helped on the farm. She also found time after the children were raised to work as a seamstress at Harts-Schaffner-Marx for 18 years retiring in 1975.
Volunteerism was one of Margaret’s forte’s … she was a charter member of the “Gray Ladies,” now known as the Woodlawn Auxiliary serving visitors of Woodlawn Hospital for more than 40 years. She donated countless hours helping others or entertaining them with her musical accompaniment at the Council on Aging Senior Center and Hickory Creek. She was a 50 plus year member of the Evergreen Rebekah Lodge, active in Fulton County 4-H while raising her children and the Indiana Farm Bureau.
More recent accolades include recognition of her dedication to Lady Zebra Sports being touted as one of the top Zebra Girls fans in 2004. In 2007, Margaret was Fulton County’s Senior Queen. Another royal appointment was being Wynnfield’s Miss Valentine of 2012. She was also know for her tenacious ability to play euchre and bridge. Grandma Margaret was her grandchildren’s No. 1 fan. She took great joy in following their music concerts and athletic activities. As an avid sports enthusiast, Margaret loved I.U. and the Pacers. She also owned a unique collection of stuffed animals.
Margaret is lovingly remembered by her daughter, Marcia “Sue” Bick of Rochester; three sons Milton “Sock” Kistler and wife Dottie of Mt. Herman, Ky., Mark W. Kistler and wife Jeannie of Twelve Mile, M. “Kip” Kistler and wife Vivian of Indianapolis; nine grandchildren Debbie Bick Groves, Tracy Bick Dawson, Lori Beth Kistler, Lisa M. Kalinke, Amy L. Krier, Scott Kistler, David Kistler, Jason Kistler, Kiera Dubach; eight great-grandchildren, a great-great-granddaughter; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Welcoming Margaret as she entered into Heaven was her parents, husband Toad entering on May 31, 1982, a daughter Martha “Mitzi” Mantos in 1961; two grandsons, Dennis Bick and Jeffrey Town; five sisters, Ruth Branstrator, Ethel Kirkpatrick, Mabel Drew, Kate Moore, Jean Kent and five brothers Ora, Charlie, Herb, George and Louis Foster.
A celebration of the life of Margaret J. Kistler will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Good Family Funeral Home, 1200 West 18th St., Rochester, with the Rev. Maurice Grindle officiating. Friends may visit with the family from 4 to 8 p.m. today and one hour prior to the service in the funeral home.
Margaret will be laid to eternal rest next to her beloved husband Toad at Rochester IOOF Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Grace United Methodist Church, Hope Hospice of Fulton County or the charity of the donors choice. You may choose to sign her guestbook or light a candle to honor her memory at www.goodfamilyfh.com.