Margaret Van Houten Walker, 99, a resident of Wesbury Retirement Community, Meadville, PA, died on February 28, 2021. Margaret was born December 4, 1921, in Erie, PA. She grew up in Edinboro, where her father, Lyman Henry Van Houten, served as president of Edinboro College. After graduating from high school, Margaret attended Penn State, graduating with a B.S. in 1942 and an M.S. in 1945. She was a life member of the Beta Mu Chapter of Phi Mu at Penn State.
Margaret met her husband, the late Col. John Walker, while they were students at Penn State. John graduated in May 1941, and entered the U.S. Army as the country poised on the edge of war. John was stationed in California. In December 1942, Margaret and her mother, Olive Blanche Henderson Van Houten, took the train to California so that the couple could be married. Hilariously, this young, excited bride boarded the train only to discover that in her excitement, she had packed only a single, ironed handkerchief. They were married on December 28, 1942, in Hollywood, CA, and enjoyed sixty-eight years together.
Margaret and John raised three children, John, Bill, and Maggie while traveling the world. During John?s thirty-year Army career, they moved thirty-two times. After retiring in 1982, Margaret and John returned to this area and built their dream home on Old Plank Road in Cambridge Springs.
Margaret was a race walker and enjoyed competing in races for many years. She was a member of the Erie Runner?s Club and North Coast Striders. She completed her last Turkey Trot at the age of 90.
Sadly, Margaret was preceded in death by her three children: John Walker, Bill Walker, and Maggie Backenstose. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Col. John Walker, and her sister, Olive Spratt.
Margaret is survived by her grandchildren: Brian Walker and his wife, Tanya, their children, Devin and Zachary; Jim Walker and his children, Daniel and Carlyle; John Walker and his wife, Lisa, and their daughter, Molly; Bill Walker and his wife, Sharon, and their children, Harrison and Jocelyn’Liz Walker; Alison Harroun and her husband, Kevin, and their children, Sam, Toby, Gabriel, Aurora; Paige Backenstose and Lauren Backenstose. She is also survived by her daughters-in-law Anne Walker and Kyra Krombein and several nieces and nephews.
A private family service will be held on Thursday, March 4, at the Van Matre Funeral Home , Cambridge Springs with interment to follow at Cambridge Springs Cemetery. You may remember Margaret by sharing your love with anyone less fortunate than you.