Margaret Bos was born March 1, 1932, in Sunnyside, Washington, the 11th and youngest child of David Bos and Jacoba (Den Boer) Bos. She died on Saturday, February 11, 2023, at Sunnyside Assisted Living, exactly one year and six months after the death of her beloved husband Wilbur.
Margaret grew up on the family farm located at the corner of Maple Grove Road and Van Belle Road. She had a happy childhood, surrounded by her parents, older siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins, and friends and neighbors. She attended school in Sunnyside and Outlook and graduated with honors from Sunnyside High School in 1950.
Margaret met Wilbur Duim when they were teenagers. One of their first dates was a fund-raiser pie social with the Young People’s Society at the Sunnyside Christian Reformed Church. The boys purchased pies made by the girls, and Wilbur bought Margaret’s pie. They sat down to eat it and it was so terrible they went down into the church basement and threw the pie into the furnace. Despite Margaret’s lack of culinary skills, Wilbur proposed, and they were married at her parent’s home in Sunnyside on August 3, 1951. They honeymooned in Yellowstone Park, the first of many adventures during their 70 years of marriage.
Wilbur was drafted into the Army and stationed at Fort Lewis for 2 years, during which time they lived in a small apartment in Tacoma, and Margaret worked at Old National Bank as a bookkeeper. After Wilbur received his honorable discharge, they returned to Sunnyside and took over the Duim family farm on Maple Grove Road, where that they raised their three children Deanne, Dale, and Larry.
Margaret gave generously of her time and energy, doing lots of volunteer work for both the Sunnyside Christian School and the Sunnyside Christian Reformed Church. She led a 4-H sewing club for several years, and many girls (and a few boys) benefited from her expertise as a seamstress. She sewed clothing for the whole family, and later in life she made many beautiful quilts, giving many of them away as gifts to family members. Wilbur grew a lot of asparagus, and she had the privilege(?) of overseeing the asparagus crews, which at that time consisted of teenagers cutting asparagus before school. She spent a lot of time running the mint still on Fordyce Road built by Wilbur and his brother Garrett. She grew beautiful roses and very productive vegetable gardens. Margaret would get tired of weeding the gardens sometime in July and would just let the weeds grow along with the vegetables, justifying this by saying that the vegetables needed shade during the heat of the summer. Sometimes it took a while to locate the vegetables, but there was always a bounty of produce.
In 1977, Margaret began working as a substitute mail carrier for the US Postal Service, and then took a fulltime position at the post office in 1986. She greatly enjoyed her job as a rural mail carrier, especially the camaraderie with her fellow employees in the back room as they sorted mail and gave each other a hard time. She retired from her post office job in 1994.
In 1992, Wilbur and Margaret sold the farm on Maple Grove Road and moved to a home on 8 acres off Lester Road. They enjoyed their new home and with its large porch and lovely yard, hosting many parties, reunions, celebrations, and anniversaries throughout the years, including a very well-attended celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary in 2001.
Margaret loved to travel, and Wilbur went along for the ride. In 1981 they took an epic road trip to Alaska with their son Larry in their lime green Volkswagen van. Margaret often joked that the photo album from that trip should have been entitled “Wilbur and Larry go to Alaska”, since she was always behind the camera, and there is only one photo of her, standing beneath the “Welcome to Alaska” sign. They took many other trips through the years, including but certainly not limited to: a cruise through the Panama Canal, a trip to Florida with their good friends Hermina and Leonard Vander Lugt, a couple of trips to Hawaii, a week with Elderhostel in the Grand Canyon, and many trips to the Oregon Coast. They replaced their lime green VW with a blue Westfalia VW and traveled extensively throughout the United States in their fancy new digs, visiting many National Parks and also a lot of presidential libraries, which Margaret found particularly fascinating. She also took vacations without Wilbur, most notably a cruise from New York City down the St Lawrence River with her good friend Myrtis Lang, and a trip to Dordt College for Dutch lessons with her sister Lucille and a couple of cousins. She left the western hemisphere once in her life, when she traveled to Spain with her daughter Deanne to visit grandson Alex. She was not initially excited about crossing the pond, but ended up enjoying this trip immensely.
Margaret was an extrovert and loved people. She was a lot of fun, and enjoyed playing board games and card games, especially pinochle. She loved a good joke, both hearing it and telling it later. She was very proud of her driving record, having never had an accident, got a speeding ticket, or even been stopped by a cop! Hiking in the mountains was a favorite activity, but most of all, Margaret loved to go fishing, especially deep-sea fishing. In 1965, she and other family members were on a charter boat at Westport, waiting to go out to sea, when movie star and country singer Roy Rogers and his wife Dale Evans got onto the boat. Roy put his pole in a holder, and Margaret and her sister Anne immediately claimed the holders on either side of Roy. They spent the day fishing with Roy, and Dale Evans was virtually ignored.
Huckleberry picking over Labor Day at Mount Adams was a family tradition. Many extended family members would gather every year for this truly monumental event, which included lots and lots of food, horseshoes, hiking, hanging out around the campfire, going to the Trout Lake yard sale, and a little huckleberry picking. Margaret was in charge of “Old Black”, the ancient metal percolator coffee pot covered in soot that sat over the fire every morning and was only used for this event. It was never washed (on the outside) and lived in a large paper sack the other 51 weeks of the year.
After retirement, Margaret and Wilbur worked extensively with World Renew Disaster Response Services, traveling to many locations throughout the country to help with rebuilding and repairing homes after earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes. Margaret was also very involved in the Coffee Break program at church and led many Bible study sessions. Her knowledge of the Bible was impressive, and she was known to have caught a couple of errors made by a pastor giving a Sunday sermon.
Margaret’s life changed dramatically after Wilbur passed away in August 2021. She moved to Sunnyside Assisted Living in March 2022, and had settled into her new life there, making friends with both the residents and staff. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last September but kept her positive attitude until the end. She repeatedly said “I cannot complain. God has been good to us and given us so many blessings!”.
Margaret was preceded in death by her husband Wilbur and her son Dale; parents David and Jacoba; all ten of her siblings Lydia, Alice, Bob, Earl, Anne, Lucille, Marie, Bill, Fred, and Harry; and Wilbur’s siblings Alberta, Garrett, Florence, Doris, and Art. She is survived by brothers-in-law Alfred Duim (Louise) and Dennis Duim (Linda) and sisters-in-law Marie Duim and Lynn Bos; daughter Deanne, daughter-in-law Wanda, and son Larry (Paulina); grandchildren Dusty, Casey (Brandon), Jessica, Mitch, Alex (Mandy), and Hannah; great-grandchildren Caitlin, Hunter, Asher, Caleb, Emilia, and Cecily; and many many nieces and nephews. She loved her family and friends very much, and she will be greatly missed.
Viewing & Visitation will be on Friday, February 17 from 4-7 PM at Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside. The Graveside Service will be on Saturday, February 18 at 10 AM at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens in Sunnyside, followed by the Memorial Service at 11 AM at the Sunnyside Christian Reformed Church. Memorials can be made to World Renew Disaster Response Services.
Those wishing to sign Margaret’s online memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com
Smith Funeral Home is in care of arrangements.
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