Margaret McConnaughay passed away Aug. 30, 2016. She was born in Milwaukee on July 4, 1924, to Harris and Adel (Puls) Schowalter. She was raised and schooled in Milwaukee. Margaret acquired her love for education from her father, who earned his masterís degree at Northwestern University and was a principal for many years with the Milwaukee Public Schools. In 1942, Margaret left home to attend the University of Iowa in Iowa City. There she met and married Dr. Alfred Steitz Jr. in 1944. The couple moved to Elizabeth, New Jersey, where Al started his illustrious career with Standard Oil as a research chemist in the petrochemical industry and they started their family.
In 1947, Margaret and Al moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma. After her two children were born, Margaret went back to college. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Tulsa University in 1957 with a double major in education and home economics. Margaret then began her long career as an elementary school teacher. In addition to her teaching, Margaret developed a love for gardening and birding. She and her family traveled extensively through the national parks in the U.S. as well as Mexico, Europe and Canada. In 1960, Margaret and her family moved to Flossmore, Illinois, where she continued her teaching career. In both Tulsa and Flossmore, Margaret won many awards for her outstanding teaching abilities. In 1968, Margaret relocated again, this time to Batavia, Illinois, where she continued her teaching and again won numerous distinguished teaching awards. When Al died in 1971, Margaret continued with her teaching and at the same time earned her masterís degree from Northern Illinois University in 1973. That same year she became the first director of instruction for Batavia Public Schools.
In 1974, Margaret met James (Mac) McConnaughay and they married in 1975. Margaret quickly adjusted to having a second family with the addition of Macís four children. Margaret retired from teaching and educational administration in 1978. She and Mac loved to travel and they became snowbirds with summers at Macís cottage in Oxford, Wisconsin, and winters in West Palm, Florida. Mac died in 2004.
Margaret loved plants and gardening, as well as antiques and antiquing. She enjoyed living and had a good sense of humor. She was a warm and generous person. She is preceded in death by her brother, the Rev. Curtis T. Schowalter (Marjorie). She is survived by a brother, Richard Schowalter (Lynn); six children, Dr. Jean A. Steitz, William A. Steitz, Phil McConnaughay (Janet), Sue Frank (Larry), Jane Yanagida (John) and Tom McConnaughay (Kelly); and 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.