Margaret Calhoun Vandergrift died peacefully surrounded by her children at 2:36pm on Friday, June 5, 2015 at the Health Central Park end-of-life care facility in Winter Garden Florida. She was 87.
Margaret was born Margaret Louise Calhoun on August 28, 1927 on the family farm outside Gadsden, Alabama to Lester and Ruth Calhoun.
She was the third of five children: Woody, Ted, Margaret, Martha, and Bill.
Margaret began her education at the John Jones School in Gadsden and was a graduate of Etowah County High School in 1945. However, in 1944 the family moved to Ocoee where, as a junior, she attended Ocoee High School. It was there that she met Donald Vandergrift. The two were married on December 29, 1946 in Gadsden, Alabama following Donald's discharge from the Navy.
Donald and Margaret moved to Gainesville, Florida where Donald attended the University of Florida. Margaret worked as an administrative assistant in the College of Agriculture. While in Gainesville, Don Jr. (Donnie) was born in 1949, followed by Janice in 1950.
After graduation Donald joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Soil Conservation Service and the couple eventually returned to reside in Ocoee, Florida. There Steve was born in 1953, Peggy in 1954, and Paul in 1958. While raising a family, Margaret also volunteered as a "Gray Lady" (school nurse) at Ocoee Elementary School. The Family attended Ocoee Christian Church.
In 1960 the Vandergrifts moved to Ft. Myers Florida for Donald to set up a soil conservation district in Lee County. Margaret continued to raise the family and worked selling real estate in the newly developing community of Tropic Isles. Margaret and Donald and family were charter members of the newly formed First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Fort Myers.
In 1965, the family relocated to Palm Beach County, Florida where, again, Donald was called to organize a conservation district that included Palm Beach and Broward counties. As mother and wife, Margaret continued to raise the five children in their home in Lantana. In 1970, Margaret and Donald became grandparents for the first time welcoming grandson Ron after the marriage of daughter Janice to Michael Saxton.
In the mid seventies, Margaret became active in the Palm Beach Democratic Party and helped to elect Jimmy Carter as the 39th President in 1976. For her service, Carter invited her to the White House.
Margaret continued to volunteer in her church and community over years and helped to raise her ten grandchildren. In 2001, following the death of her husband, Donald, Margaret returned to Ocoee where she resided with daughter Peggy and her children, Megan and Matt. She continued to be active in church and community.
Margaret was preceded in death by her husband Donald (2001), parents Lester Madison Calhoun (1980) and Alma Ruth Downs Calhoun (1984), brothers Robert Woodrow Calhoun (2001) and James Ted Calhoun (2013), and sister Martha Ruth Calhoun Peacock (2012). She is survived by her brother William Lester (Bill) Calhoun (Hazel Scroggins) of Ocoee, Florida, and her five children, ten