On August 18, 2021, after more than 100 years, Margaret Shearer returned home to her Lord. She closed her eyes for the last time on earth and opened them to the loving embrace of God, an embrace she had felt throughout her entire life. She made this journey on the same day, 32 years apart, as her beloved husband Donald. Waiting to do so until after her latest great grandchild could be born, a blessing that occurred on her 100th birthday. Don, along with her nine siblings and so many other family and friends who preceded her on this journey home, undoubtedly rejoiced to be reunited with her.
She passed as she lived, with gratitude for the blessings she had known, the people who she loved and who loved her, and with a heart overflowing with compassion and kindness for others. Always thoughtful, her final years on earth, right up to her last breath, were filled with words of appreciation and encouragement for her family, friends, and caregivers.
By most societal standards, her life was unspectacular. She, however, did not measure herself or her life by those standards. Her requirements were simple: to do justice, to love goodness, and to walk humbly with God. All of which she did in a manner that never failed to touch the hearts of those she encountered.
Every interaction with her began with the warmth of her smile and ended with your heart being refreshed. She knew that we, all humanity, belong to one another. That gave her and us peace. Hers was not a life sprinkled with grand accomplishments. Hers was a life in which each encounter was an opportunity for kindness, one she never failed to embrace. Hers was a life in which every minute, every gesture, was filled with endless love.
It was the amount of love she poured into whatever she was doing and then generously gave to whomever was present that is her enduring legacy. Loving was not isolated acts for her but rather a way of being present in the world. It was her lesson, as well as her gift, to us.
Born on February 12, 1921, the daughter of Slovak immigrants, she grew up within a large family dwelling in a small steel mill town in Ohio. It was there that she first learned many of the virtues - Hard Work, Compassion, Trust, Simplicity, Gratitude, Hospitality, and most of all Faith in God - that would be hallmarks of her life. It was there that she learned to cherish family, to care for neighbors, and to honor the dignity of others. During World War II she moved to Washington, D.C. to work for the Department of Navy. After the war, while living in a women’s boarding house in the city, she met a young man living in a men’s boarding house across the street. He had served in the Navy. They courted, fell in love, and married one snowy day in January surrounded by family and friends in the church of her childhood. She loved him in sickness and in health. When he became disabled at a young age, and with three young children, she returned to working for the federal government. It was a career path she followed until her retirement. During his frequent hospital stays she would visit not only him but many of the young men who lined the Veterans Hospital. She loved and supported her community at St. Camillus Parish. Her husband would often bring home a person or at times a family in need of physical, emotional, and spiritual nourishment. He did so with the knowledge that she would provide all three and with a joyful heart she always did.
She simply was the best mom. It would take volumes of books to illustrate how loving she was in that role. Nothing made us, her children, happier than bringing her joy or sadder than when we caused her any pain, even though we always knew forgiveness was awaiting.
Later in life, she became “baba” or what others may call grandmother, then a great grandmother. This role, by all appearances, was written specifically for her. She made her grandchildren and great grandchildren laugh and offered them the simple yet priceless wisdom that only comes with a life well lived. She understood the gift of presence better than most and even when her eyesight diminished and her legs weakened, she still attended dance recitals, ball games and the countless other events. Even if it was hard for her to see them at times, she realized that they would know she was there and that her presence was gift enough. It was.
Not surprisingly she did not remain just our baba. She became baba to her children’s and grandchildren’s friends. She was baba to her friends and caregivers at Lighthouse Senior Living. It seemed it only took a few minutes for a new acquaintance to have a baba. Our hearts smiled every time we heard someone call her by that endearing title because it was clear to us that they knew of her unconditional love just as we did.
Left here on earth to continue to spread her light are her children, Donald K. Shearer and his wife Carrie; Elaine Cox and her husband Ed; Kevin Shearer and his wife Carolyn. Her spirit continues to shine also in her cherished grandchildren and great grandchildren: Lucas, Sarah, and Caroline; Caitlin, Charles, Ellie, Paisley, Colton, and Silas; Jesse; Jamie, Aaron, James, Makynlee, Kaleb, and Hallie; Courtney; Bradley, Abigail, Tristan and Hunter; Nathan; Brian.
Contribution in honor of Margaret Shearer can be made to The National Kidney Foundation www.kindney.org or Feeding America www.feedingamerica.org
Friends and relatives are invited to visit the family of Mrs. Shearer on Wednesday, August 25, 2021 from 10:30 A.M. until 12:00 p.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Fulton, MD. 8300 Old Columbia Road, Fulton, MD. 20759. where a Catholic Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 12:00 noon. Interment Gate of Heaven, 13801 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD. 20906.
Face Masks are required for attendance indoors.
To send flowers to Margaret's family, please visit our floral store.