Margaret (Malm) Berry was bom January 28, 1928 in Kimball, Nebraska and died June 22, 2023 in Cheyenne Wyoming. Margaret was the seventh child of Carl and Florence Malm. With her siblings Gene, Glen, Louise, Bud, Gertie and Jerry, she grew up on the family ranch east of Albin, Wyoming. The family lost their mother when Margaret was only four years old. Times were challenging with the Depression and a house full of children without a mother. Sister Louise looked after Margaret. One housekeeper, Mrs. Jeffard wrote a poem entitled "The Seven" in which she describes Margaret:
Bonnie Margaret is the youngest
But I would not call her small
Neither is she fat nor skinny
And-she's not short or tall
Shining eyes defy description
Straight bobbed hair that's almost white
Just two words tell all about her
She's what I call "Just Right"
She is ruler of the household
Reigning there like a small queen
She'll be "keeping house for daddy"
By the time she's turned sixteen
As the youngest she was doted on by her siblings; but brother Glen, the family tease, would be known to tell her dad to "Hit her daddy, hit her on the head!" Margaret mused that she would stay awake nights trying to figure out how to get back at Glen. The younger girls raised turkeys to earn money for college. To hear the stories of herding turkeys, it was clear that this was more of a character building experience than a money making endeavor! Through it all, the seven developed strong ties that held them together.
Margaret attended school in Albin and graduated. Following graduation she moved to California to attend Pepperdine University, then Biola University where she took a class in Old Testament from J. Vernon McGee. She recalled how he made the characters of the Bible come to life. She listened to McGee's radio broadcast Through the Bible for years. During this time she lived with sister Gertie making memories to last a lifetime. She finished a third year at the University of Denver. During that summer she met Marvin. They were married the next summer, June 17, 1949. They enjoyed fifty-two years of marriage and raised three children, Pat, Jay and Janette.
They lived on the ranch northeast of Cheyenne where they raised Hereford cattle. She was known as Margie to friends and family and Marvin was known by his nickname Squid. People who did not know them well were puzzled at the two men in Margie's life: Squid and Marvin. Marvin took care of the cattle and Margaret took care of the rest. She cooked meals for the men when they were haying or working cattle, kept the yard mowed, raised a garden with amazing asparagus, raspberries and strawberries among other things. Her raspberry jam was a special treat as well as the peaches and applesauce she canned every year. Her cinnamon rolls were always a hit with everyone. She transported kids to music lessons, swim lessons, and orthodontist appointments. Hosting the Berry annual bull sale at their place was always a major undertaking for the family. Not only did the house get a thorough cleaning, the barn needed to have the windows washed and sale ring seats cleaned. Food for the sale day lunch required careful planning and preparation. Margaret offered many prayers for sale day weather, buyers and strength to get everything done.
Margaret's faith in God provided the foundation for her life. Even when roads were bad, the entire family was in church. She participated in church activities and Bible studies. Margaret had a heart for the children in the rural community and organized Bible school for the country kids each summer. She shared her faith with those she came in contact with her words and her life.. Over the years she was active in the Home Extension club, Cow Belles and 4-H activities with her children teaching the girls to sew and bake. She was an expert seamstress, taking tailoring classes so she could help with 4-H projects. When Marvin needed a hand she was pressed into service whether it was driving the silage wagon without brakes or trying to keep from running over Marvin as he walked ahead of the truck to find the road in blinding snow. She had a cartoon on the fridge that showed the ranch wife helping her husband. The husband said she was chosen because there was no other choice! After they were empty-nesters, Margaret would take time to visit her three sisters in California. They would all stay at Louise's house reminiscing, laughing, crying, and praying. The visit always included city pleasures like shopping and having lunch out. As much as she treasured these visits, Margaret was always glad to return to her home on the ranch.
God saw her through traumatic life events starting with losing her mother. She and Marvin lost a son Lynn when he was only 14 months old in an accidental drowning. Jay suffered severe burns that put him in the hospital for many weeks. Marvin and Margaret kept the cattle fed in severe winter weather weighed by the concern for his recovery, Marvin suffered a broken back after an accident while he was out delivering bulls. She spent days in the hospital in Denver by his side and nursed him changing bandages after he came home. The biggest shock was Marvin's sudden death as a result of an accident in 2001. She found comfort and strength to carry on trusting that God's grace was sufficient.
A year after Marvin's death she moved to Cheyenne from the ranch and found a new phase of her life opening. She was available for grandkids, family and friends to stop by for a visit, a cup of coffee, a place to spend the night after a school event. Margaret made a point of getting acquainted with her neighbors by giving them caramel popcorn or other baked goods or taking morning walks with her neighbor. She hosted Bible studies for women from church at her house, She developed a close friendship with her granddaughters sharing her wisdom from a life spent walking with God. Margaret showed her family how to hold tight to God's promises to the very end of her life. She left a godly heritage and legacy.
She is preceded in death by her husband Marvin and son Lynn. Margaret is survived by daughter Pat (John Doherty) of Des Moines, NM, son Jay (Janice) of Cheyenne, and daughter Janette (Jack McCahan) of Loveland, CO. She has eleven grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren.
Services will be held Friday June 30 at 2 pm at the Cheyenne Evangelical Free Church 7006 N College. Friends may contribute to Samaritan's Purse (Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607), Cheyenne Evangelical Free Church, or Meals on Wheels.