Margaret Mary, nee Robinson, Loftus, age 90, was born November 1, 1931, in Chicago. She joined big brother John to complete the family of John and Catherine “Kitty” Robinson. Margaret was such a happy and pleasant child that doctors worried that her lack of crying would stunt development of her lungs. Her lungs developed just fine, and her sunny disposition stayed with her throughout her entire long, happy and remarkable life.
At just 16 years old, Margaret graduated from Austin High School and left her Chicago home to attend Culver-Stockton College in Missouri. While she loved her years at Culver-Stockton she wrote about the culture (or lack of it) shock, and the sheltered views of the school community, particularly concerning minorities. After graduating with an English Education degree at 20 years old, she taught high school English in East Peoria for 2 years and then moved back to Chicago. One day she was picking up her brother, John, from law school and he introduced her to one of his law school classmates, Bud Loftus. A whirlwind romance followed, and they were married a short time later. Margaret began a new chapter of Life, welcoming 9 children over the next 11 years, all before she was 35 years old. In 1958 Margaret and Bud moved their growing family to Addison, first on Lincoln Avenue and in 1966 they became the first family to move into the new Friars Cove neighborhood.
Margaret stayed a teacher at heart and spent countless hours volunteering in groups focused on kids. At the local school she served as a “Picture Lady”, sharing famous works of art with students. She was active in the PTA and was a Brownie and Girl Scout Leader. She started a preschool for her Friars Cove neighborhood when her youngest children were ready. Years later her church, St. Philip the Apostle, put out a call for CCD teachers and Margaret took on a 5th grade class for several years.
Volunteering and giving back to the community were second nature to Margaret. We couldn’t possibly list all of the groups she volunteered for but a few are DARE, Addison Historical Society, Addison Community Theater, Addison Center for the Arts and St. Philip the Apostle Nostalgia. Margaret was tasked with chairing the Addison Centennial Commission, planning year-long events to celebrate 100 years of Addison in 1984. She was so busy with activities that year that her children remember with laughter having to turn on the local cable channel to see where she was on some days. Chairing the Centennial Commission gave Margaret one of the many unique experiences of her life - throwing out the first pitch at a Chicago White Sox Game, to Carlton Fisk.
Another highlight of Margaret’s remarkable life was serving as hostess to President Jimmy Carter in her Friars Cove home. On October 6, 1980, the President held a town hall meeting in the backyard of the Loftus home. Prior to that Margaret and Bud had attended President Carter’s Inauguration and a State Dinner at the White House.
Margaret never considered herself too old to learn something new. She took classes in such varied areas as painting, stained glass making, microwave cooking and completed a program to be qualified as a travel agent. She was an avid reader and particularly enjoyed reading books that gave her a new perspective on common thoughts and beliefs. Even after she was diagnosed with dementia, she still enjoyed paging through books, magazines and newspapers.
Of all the roles Margaret held, the one of Mom was her proudest, until she took on the title of Grammy. To raise 9 children and have them each feel totally loved, supported and special could not have been easy. In addition to her own children Margaret offered support to extended family and friends of her children, often welcoming them to stay at the family home when it seemed the best situation for them. Once her grandchildren started arriving, she delighted in each one’s unique personality and talents. She attended countless school plays, programs, concerts and sporting events. She took joy in their happiness, pride in their accomplishments and enthusiastically supported their dreams and journeys.
Margaret was preceded in death by her loving husband, Hubert J. “Bud” Loftus; parents John and Kitty Robinson; brother John Robinson and his wife Dodie, whom Margaret considered a sister; grandson Kevin Garrity; infant granddaughters Sarah and Emily Loftus; son-in-law John Costabile; and many friends and loved ones.
Margaret is survived by her loving children: Kathy Garrity, Carol (Charles) Kett, Patrick (Nancy) Loftus, Valerie Loftus, Marilyn (James) Hayes, Hubert (Susan) Loftus, Mary Lou (the late John) Costabile, Elizabeth (Michael) Bryers and Timothy Loftus; her cherished grandchildren: Patrick Garrity, Louis Costabile, John (Jennifer) Hayes, Annie Costabile, Tim Loftus, Kelly Loftus, Jeanine Costabile, Katie Hayes, Michael Loftus, Joe Loftus, Shannon Kett, Peter Bryers, Johnny Costabile, Kimmy Hayes, Billy Bryers, Matthew Loftus, Brian Hayes and William Loftus; her precious great-grandson Thomas Hayes; and countless special friends and extended family.
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