Margaret Marshie Thompson Brooks

June 14, 1918 - December 20, 2007

Born in a Boone County, WV, mining town called Maxine, Margaret Thompson had a vibrant personality and an indomitable spirit. She was the second of William and Rachel Thompson's four surviving children, joining older brother John and followed by younger brothers Jim and Carl.

As a child at home, she learned from her mother to cook and sew, and at school she devoured history, filling notebooks with page after page of American and West Virginia history. But Margaret's favorite thing was music. She loved to sing and listen to good music--mountain music and gospel tunes--and she filled notebooks also with lyrics from songs she enjoyed.

Margaret met Ray Brooks on April 21, 1936. Because her father did not allow her to see boys, she met him in secret at 10am every morning on her friend Ida Holston's front porch. Margaret was not yet 18, and Ray was three years her senior, but the couple was determined, and Willey Thompson gave in on the 4th of July. Ray and Margaret were married September 22nd, 1936, by Rev. C. D. Taylor in the Nazarene church parsonage in Kanawha City, WV. Wava Bird and Edna Green served as witnesses.

Their first home together was Margaret's childhood home in Coalburg, which they moved into on November 8, 1936. Their first son was born in Coalburg, October 14, 1937. In March of 1939, they moved into what Margaret called the "old house on the hill" in Cabin Creek, WV, where the last two of their three children were born. Ray purchased the house in March of 1941, and the family lived there until December 26, 1962, when they began renting the Tom Coleman house in Cabin Creek in preparation for their later move to Ohio. The modest 51-acre farm in Meigs County Ohio was their dream. They purchased it in 1956 but stayed on in Cabin Creek until they were finally able to move on July 15, 1964.

After their move to Ohio, Margaret went to work as a clerk in the Carpenter Post Office. Two years later, in 1966, she became a cook at the Columbia school, and in 1968 she moved to the kitchen at Albany Elementary, ultimately retiring in 1979 at the age of 61.

Ray and Margaret worked and lived on the farm until Ray moved into a long-term care facility in 2002, followed by Margaret in 2005.

Margaret died Thursday, December 20, 2007, at the age of 89 and was laid to rest in Montgomery Memorial Park, London, WV. At the time of her death, she was survived by her three children, nine grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and three great-great grandchildren.

In her own words...

Margaret spent much of her time in her later years writing poetry and compiling a family history. Below are some things she wrote about herself.

Favorite Things: music, reading, antiques, cooking, cleaning house, making jelly, quilting, travel, country music, good gospel music, church, family, friends, poetry, flowers--roses, lilacs, WV pink honeysucke bush

Childhood Work: [I] worked for a lady named Sche--r at Chesapeake, WVa. She had a new baby and a little boy. I rode the old streetcar for a nickle down there and spent the week, came home week ends. Also I worked at Amoret Belcher's in the A.E.P. Village for $3 a week (both places). I laced Mrs. Belcher's corset every morning, and I got her son & nephew off to school. Kept the house, did the cleaning & wash and fixed lunch for Red her husband. I was 15 years old.

Smallpox: We were in the small pox epidemic 1918-1919. Dad (Willey Crack Thompson) had small pox so bad his eyes swelled shut and he walked on a cane. John & I both had them. But wise old mom went and took the little known small pox shot and never had them. When I was in 4th grade at Coalburg, WVa grade school, there was a health nurse came a couple times a year to give shots and check us over. Once she came with small pox serum. John and I both told her we had already had small pox. No one believed us. I fought like a wild cat, but they held me down and gave me the shot. Nothing ever happened. I never got sore or had a scab on my arm.

Vital Statistics: 18 yrs old -- Height: 5'2" -- Weight: 110-115 -- Hair Color: Auburn -- Color of Eyes: Brown -- Dress Size: 10-12 -- Shoe Size: 4-1/2

Color Preference: Green, Blue, Black, Yellow, White, Brown, Purple & Lavender