Margaret Christine Schaffer McIllwain

Margaret Christine Schaffer McIllwain, 102, of Anahuac, Texas, passed away peacefully on the evening of Monday, February 22, 2021, at her home, surrounded by her loving family. She was born on May 31, 1918, in Pollock, South Dakota, to the late August and Wilhemine “Minnie” Schultz Schaffer.

Margaret was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend to many. She was a spry woman, always wanting to hit the road, especially with her daughter Betty as her trusted sidekick. Some of her family would say she had earned the title of Arkansas Traveler. Margaret would wake up and decide she was going to take off somewhere. She never had a driver’s license so she would manage to find a way to the Greyhound bus station or train station and take off. Margaret would pick cotton for just enough money for a train ticket from Arkansas to go visit her mom in Waterloo, Iowa.

In her later years, when she became unable to travel alone, she was always ready to go whenever someone started a vehicle. Margaret could always be found riding alongside Betty in her truck, even if it was just for a quick trip to the store. However, she loved and looked forward to her daily trips to Popeye’s Chicken.

The only permanent job that Margaret ever worked was for only a few short months. In 1970, she worked at Burnett’s Canary in Keeler, Michigan, on the assembly line, processing apples. Margaret was raised a Lutheran and became a member of the Church of God of Prophecy in her late 40’s in Fisher, Arkansas. She took great interest in her role as the Cradle Roll, where she was responsible for maintaining records of newborns and she made sure to acknowledge them on special days.

Margaret was a collector of dolls and when you visited her you were likely to leave with one. She even made her own version of Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. Margaret pursued many interests, some of which included sewing, quilting, and gardening. Her favorite hobby of all was spending quality time with her family and grandchildren. Margaret loved sharing stories about her kids and grandkids. She also treasured sitting around and entertaining everyone while citing riddles and singing. Margaret was a silly, kind, devoted and nurturing woman who will be deeply missed and fondly remembered by all who knew and loved her.

Margaret was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Lawrence E. McIllwain; her sons James, Raymond, and Delmar McIllwain; and her siblings Mary Schaffer, Rose Reams, Pearl Pooler, Andrew Schaffer, and Kenny Schaffer. She leaves behind to cherish her memory, her children Minnie Jean Dixon and husband Eugene of Mountain View, Arkansas, Loyde McIllwain, Sr. and wife Susie of Anahuac, Texas, Wilma Barker and husband Gary of Trumann, Arkansas, and Betty Morris and husband Wayne of Anahuac, Texas; her twenty-seven grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren; and a host of other loving relatives and friends.

Honoring the family by serving as pallbearers will be Chris McIllwain, Kevin McIllwain, Daryl Morris, Troy Dixon, Bill McIllwain, Timmy McIllwain, Brian Keith McIllwain, and Gary Barker. Honorary pallbearers are Loyde McIllwain, Jr., Tony McIllwain, Roger McIllwain, Gary McIllwain, Bradley McIllwain, James Dixon, Wayne Dixon, Steve McIllwain, Don McIllwain, Carl McIllwain, Fred Hall, Billy Reams, and Charles McIllwain.

A graveside service and committal will be held at 1pm, on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Fisher Cemetery, in Fisher, Arkansas, with Gary Barker officiating.

To send flowers to Margaret’s family, please visit our floral store.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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