Margaret E. Philbrick
Margaret E. Philbrick, October 12, 1919 - April 30, 2018 Infinitely precious "Mom, Oma, Grandma, Aunt Margaret, Woody, beloved friend", Margaret set indelible impressions on all our lives. Born into the Woodford family that included Hickman cousins, she graduated from UW and married Warren Philbrick. They, in time, welcomed son Clay, and daughters , Julie (Gorrell) and Martha (Farish). To the three born Philbrick kids came 4 grandchildren, Adam and Emily Farish, Aaron Gorrell, and Ailia Philbrick.
Margaret, now a grandmother, was playing the piano, singing, reading and reciting poems before these grandkids could even talk. Margaret loved being involved in communities where she lived: Seattle, Vashon Island, Orcas Island, and finally in Bellingham. She volunteered and led PTAs and scouts. On Vashon she and other parents started the Island Unitarian Fellowship. With friends and neighbors she performed, taught, and promoted musical events and allied arts expansion. She started the Vashon Ski School. She loved Great Books discussion groups. In 1960 she began working as librarian in island schools and finally in the Vashon Public Library. In 1980, Margaret moved to live on Orcas island where all three of her kids and grandchildren had settled year-round. She quickly became absorbed in music and theatre to promote the dream of a performing arts center. She also became fixed on the island museum to record stories of long-time islanders and photograph them for the archives.She wrote and published her own story of the Orcas community, "A Bit Off Center" to raise community funds and keep the stories of the home where Philbricks now have lived for over 100 years.
In time Margaret became a more experienced needlewoman. Travels furthered a passion in her for conservation and social justice causes. Fascination for her world, constantly reading and studying lasted even into the week before she died! She often admitted to being, unapologetically, a compulsive "book pusher". Her extended family at First Congregational Church of Bellingham provided fertile ground for her "spirited promotions". Memories of Margaret are forever treasured now with loving gratitude.