Margaret Ann Merrick Scheffelin, 1928-2009

Passed away on June 15, 2009, after a valiant two-year battle with cancer, surrounded by her family. Margaret was born on April 12, 1928, in Oskaloosa, Iowa. She grew up in Western Springs, Illinois, and was the 111th Quiz Kid, making 45 radio appearances between 1942 and 1944. Margaret married Edward (Scheff) Joseph Scheffelin on August 16, 1947, in LaGrange, Illinois.

Margaret earned her PhD from the University of Illinois in 1964 and worked as a Consultant with the California State Department of Education from 1969 to 1990. In 1980, as a Fulbright Scholar, she studied the employability of deaf-blind adults in West Germany. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, she completed a longitudinal study on the effects of changes in philosophy and education in the former East Germany. She served on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Armed Services (DACOWITS) making more than 150 base visits between 1982 and 1984.

Margaret was a role model, teacher, and a brilliant researcher and analyst. She overcame great physical obstacles by never giving up. She had a quiet inner strength. She fought for the rights of all, particularly the disabled. She not only balanced family and career, but also achieved a great deal in an era where women were not encouraged to do so. She was well loved and will be greatly missed.

Margaret is survived by her husband of 62 years, Scheff; her eight children, Susan, Catherine, Andrea, Marianna, Joseph, Thomas, Julia, and Paul; thirteen grandchildren, Elke, Till, Robb, Michelle, Timothy, Joanna, Joshua, Daniel, Richard, Matthew, Keiko, Christopher, and Alexander; two great-grandchildren, Simon and David. She has two brothers, Phil and John, and had a sister, Susan.