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Margaret Lovelace Fessler

Posted By Hall-Wynne On October 4, 2018 @ 8:53 am In Durham,News,Obituaries | 6 Comments

Margaret Lovelace Fessler, age 98, passed away peacefully on September 25, 2018, in Durham NC. Margaret was a proud and dedicated mother, citizen, civil servant, and Kansan. She grew up in the Great Depression, began work early, married, had a daughter, was widowed in her early 40s, and eventually went on to a distinguished career as a secretary in the U.S. Department of State, serving in Geneva, Damascus, London and Beijing.
Margaret was born on November 25, 1919 in Montgomery, Alabama to Thomas Pickens and Nannie Lee (Mims) Lovelace. She took a secretarial training course in the 1930’s, after which she moved to Washington to work for the federal government, serving eventually as a secretary for the Army Air Force (AAF) Weather Wing. While assigned to Asheville NC, she met Max Everett Fessler, meteorologist for the AAF, a PhD candidate in statistics from Columbia Business School and a native Kansan. They were wed June 4, 1949 at Danforth Chapel on the University of Kansas campus where Max was a professor. Their only child Sally was born in May 1954. Max died suddenly of a heart attack in May of 1963 and Margaret raised Sally alone while working in the Chancellor’s Office at the University.
In 1975, Margaret began a new career in the foreign service. She worked for the Department of State for four tours of duty around the world, serving her country with her characteristic attention to detail and exacting, quality work. She traveled extensively, both during her time in the foreign service as well as after retirement. She returned to Lawrence, KS in 1984 and moved to Durham, NC in 2006. In recent years, she was a resident of the Durham Regent, where she made many new friends.
Margaret was an avid reader and engaged citizen, who fondly remembered FDR and watched MSNBC and Rachel Maddow with zeal. During the 2016 election, she was proud to write 240 letters to infrequent women voters in support of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for President. Margaret also had great love for animals, in particular, cats and pet mice.
She is survived by her daughter Sally K. Fessler, son-in-law David A. Kirkpatrick, and granddaughter Grace Y. Kirkpatrick.
Memorial donations may be made to the Max E Fessler Dissertation Award, which provides awards to deserving PhD students in the KU School of Business, P.O. Box 928, Lawrence, KS 66044, or to the the Lawrence Humane Society, 1805 E 19th St, Lawrence KS 66046, for the care and re-homing of companion animals.
A memorial service will be held for Margaret on October 20 at 3 p.m., Hall-Wynne Funeral Service, 1113 W Main St, Durham, NC 27701, with interment of ashes at Pioneer Cemetery at the University of Kansas at a later date.


Condolences for the family of “Margaret Lovelace Fessler”

Condolence from Becky Vollers on October 4th, 2018 9:37 am

Sally I’m so sorry to hear of Margaret’s passing. She was an amazing sweet lady. I am honored to have the memories of her at Durham Regent. My prayers are with you and your family!

Condolence from Amber Micka on October 4th, 2018 10:04 am

My condolences to the family for your loss of Mrs. Fessler. May God strengthen and comfort you with his promise of the resurrection. Acts 24:15

Condolence from Susanne on October 5th, 2018 12:12 pm

Sally,your MOM was a very precious soul. I know she will be missed but I know she and my mama are hugging right right now❗️We loved her so much‼️
Margaret and Myra

Condolence from Therese on October 10th, 2018 11:22 am

Thinking of you Sally! Our sincere condolences to you and your family on the loss of your dear mother.
Love, Therese & Ross

Condolence from Shafonda Davis on October 10th, 2018 5:19 pm

My deepest condolences to the family. Your mother and grandmother was a wonderful woman. Who leaves behind a wonderful legacy.

Condolence from Cynthia Penn Halal on October 10th, 2018 10:58 pm

Sally and Family,

Please accept my condolences on the passing of your mom. I’m sure you are proud of her accomplishments and valuable service to many.

Although I did not meet her, I understand what a remarkable woman she was as she raised you. Many you find peace and comfort in the days ahead.

With deep respect,
Cynthia Penn Halal and WCT

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