Friday, July 18, 2008
11:00 AM to 12:30 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
409 South Main Street
Vicksburg, MI 49097
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Vicksburg Historical Society
P.O. box 103
Vicksburg, MI 49097
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Maggie Strome was a woman with an iron will and a heart of gold, an intelligent, independent lady, fun-loving and beloved by all who knew her. She lived a long and full life, a life so full of love and laughter, of family and fond memories. Today, Maggie's love, and her life, lives on in all who knew her.
Maggie’s story began in the little farm town of Pinnebog, Michigan in 1916, though her story really began long before that. Her great-grandfather, Edward Heaton, Sr., arrived in America from his native England in the mid-1800s, ready to find his fortune. A document dated December 5, 1861, detailed Edward’s purchase of 160 acres of land in Huron County, located in Michigan’s Thumb. The land grant was signed by none other than President Abraham Lincoln himself! In a later document, dated June 17, 1868, Edward detailed his renunciation of his allegiance to Great Britain and his declaration of intention to become a citizen of the United States of America.
Edward became one of the pioneer settlers of Chandler Township. He was mentioned in the “Pioneer History of Huron County” under Chandler Township as “through his energy and enterprise had one of the finest stock farms in the county”. Maggie’s great-grandfather also served as supervisor of the township.
A half-century later, Edward’s heirs continued his legacy, and his lineage, on the farm he began. Maggie grew up on that family farm in Pinnebog, Michigan, with her parents Wesley and Novena (Wolfe) Heaton, along with her sisters Norma and Georgine, and brothers Ed and Jerry.
After graduating from high school, Maggie went on to obtain her nursing degree. During this time she met a young man named Cloyce Strome, of Vicksburg, and it wasn’t long before they had fallen in love and were married.
The newlyweds worked together at the Kalamazoo State Hospital, along with Maggie’s brother Ed. Her brother also shared an apartment with them, and got along famously with his new brother-in-law. Maggie admitted that many a night she would storm off to a movie alone, after enduring endless teasing from her husband and brother. One particular irritating tactic was their reference to Fig Newton filling being made from ground up mice! A story that was repeated at many a family gathering.
Cloyce served in the Navy during WWII as a Navy corpsman and stayed in the Navy when the war ended. In the early 1950s, Cloyce was assigned to Cairo, Egypt as part of a small Navy contingent, and Maggie went right along with him. During this assignment the couple developed lifelong friendships with some of the other Navy families, especially the Whitlocks and McLaughlin’s. What bonded these families was the nightly 6 p.m. curfew the Navy imposed. As a result of the curfew, the families created their own evening entertainment by bring their mattresses, alcohol and playing cards to the host’s living quarters to stay the night. This led to many marathon card games, a substantial consumption of alcohol and most importantly cemented lifelong friendships.
After their assignment in Cairo, Maggie and Cloyce settled in Maryland. Maggie worked for the Montgomery County (MD) school department as a school nurse and Cloyce, retired from the Navy, worked for the government as a research entomologist at the Bethesda Naval Hospital. During their leisure time many summers were enjoyed with the Whitlock and McLaughlin families camping and fishing on the shores of the Potomac River, in various parts of Canada, on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and in the Ozark region of Missouri. Although Maggie loved camping, she wasn’t fond of fishing, instead becoming an avid bird watcher, something she enjoyed the rest of her life.
As retirement approached, Maggie and Cloyce decided that they would return to Cloyce’s hometown of Vicksburg, Michigan. Construction of a retirement home on part of the Strome family farm in Vicksburg followed, with many trips back and forth to supervise the project.
Once retired, they remained as busy as ever, tearing down a barn and using all of the old barn boards and beams to finish the basement, planting gardens, undertaking many home improvement projects and constantly hosting many friends and family that came to visit.
Thanksgiving was a very special time with a traditional visit from the Rhode Island Heaton’s for Thanksgiving dinner. There was always lots of laughter and countless card games.
Many a fun time was had at their home over the years, especially when all of her siblings and many nieces and nephews came to play cards. A little alcohol was consumed (mostly by Georgine and Jerry!), and a little money was won (almost always by Jerry and Ed, who let you know it!). However, Maggie had one rule that was never broken no matter whom you were-NO SMOKING IN THE HOUSE!! There were many family reunions and birthdays that were celebrated over the years, especially Maggie’s 80th birthday, which was attended by most of the family.
The couple’s most important retirement activity, however, was serving the Vicksburg community. Maggie became involved in the League of Women Voters, the Vicksburg Library, the Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation and the tax board, too. When Cloyce passed away in 1985, her social network of friends that she had developed during her community service helped Maggie weather that difficult time. She continued to stay active in community service well into her 80’s only stopping when she became unable to drive.
As it became more difficult for Maggie to perform daily household chores a friend and neighbor, Janet Cousins, helped with the myriad tasks that Maggie could no longer do. Because of Janet’s gracious help, Maggie was able to continue to live at home. Especially during the last few years, Janet was an angel for both Maggie and the family taking care of Maggie on a daily basis. Thanks to Janet, along with many visits from Maggie’s network of neighbors and friends, Maggie lived at home until this April.
One activity that Maggie enjoyed up until her last days at home was watching her birds out the front window. A special thanks to Tom Cousins for keeping the bird feeders full and setting up the tree limbs for the birds to perch in front of the window. There even was a microphone and speaker system set up so Maggie could hear the birds from her favorite recliner.
In April Maggie faced a multitude of physical setbacks that necessitated constant medical care. During her stay at Riverview Manor many friends and relatives came from near and far to visit and reminisce with Maggie. She appreciated all who took the time to visit and send cards and letters to her. Maggie was very appreciative of the kindness and care given to her by the staff at Riverview, as well. Quietly and peacefully, and with friends by her side and surely thoughts of all her beloved family and friends, Maggie left us on Sunday, July 13, 2008, at the age of 92. May we always remember Maggie in our thoughts and prayers.
Visit with her family on Friday July 18th from 11:00 to 12:30 p.m. at Life Story Funeral Homes, Vicksburg; 409 S. Main Street where a funeral service will be held on Friday at 12:30 p.m. Members of her family include her brother Jerry Heaton, her sister Norma Hurst, and many loving nieces, nephews and friends. Please visit Maggie’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can share a memory or photo, sign her memory book online or make a memorial donation to the South County Community Services or the Vicksburg Historical Society.