Margaret Enger was born in Luverne, MN, in May of 1960. She was the third of four daughters born to Kermit Enger and Luella Funck Enger of Hardwick, MN. Margaret was baptized and confirmed at Blue Mound Lutheran Church.
Prior to Margaret’s 4th birthday the family moved to a farm west of Hardwick where Margaret was the first (and only) family member to see a cow smile. On the farm, Margaret enjoyed having pets, which included dogs, cats, rabbits, and a chicken named Henrietta. Margaret attended Hardwick Grade School and Luverne Junior-Senior High School. While in school, Margaret developed her musical gifts by taking piano and guitar lessons, playing percussion in the band, and singing in the choir.
Margaret attended the University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse and Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD, before completing her studies and receiving a Bachelor’s of Science of Business degree from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.
After graduating, Margaret worked for the University of Minnesota. She continued to pursue her love of music by taking private voice lessons, performing recitals, and singing at weddings.
Margaret moved to Chicago in 1989 where she spent thirty-two years in the healthcare field working for Total Renal Care and DaVita Kidney Care. Here she also became a faithful Jehovah’s Witness and a beloved member of the community.
To the delight of her family and perhaps others, Margaret had a way with common idioms, transforming “nooks and crannies” to “crooks and nannies” and “wrapped around her little finger” to “twisting and turning her little finger”. While others may have “skeletons in the closet”, Margaret had “ghosts”.
Margaret’s love of animals was lifelong. As an adult, she adopted two pairs of cats. First, she adopted litter mates Desta and Seshi when they were six weeks old. Following their deaths, she adopted adult cats Sydra and Izzie.
Margaret was a lover of nature. She travelled to Alaska and several national parks to enjoy their splendor and beauty.
She became an avid birder and a handy resource for others with questions related to birds. In recent years, Margaret would take two weeks of vacation in the spring to observe the warbler migration over Lake Michigan. Throughout the year, she could be found at Montrose Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary several times a week where she watched, fed, and befriended birds. She made trips to Wisconsin and Nebraska to learn more about cranes and observe the sandhill crane migration.
She was also fascinated by the night sky and shared this interest with her friends and family by sending links about upcoming celestial events. She travelled to Headlands International Dark Sky Park for the specific purpose of watching a meteor shower. This past year, she was learning to set up a telescope so she could better observe planets and stars.
Margaret’s interest in nature was complemented by her interest in photography. She took photography classes and learned to develop film. As technology changed, she switched to the camera on her cell phone and captured many beautiful photos of the things that interested her in nature – birds, butterflies and other insects, snowflakes and raindrops, flowers and plants, fungi and tree bark, and sunrises and sunsets.
Margaret and her aunt Myrna gave their extended family a lasting legacy by spearheading a project to publish the Funck Family Favorites Cookbook – handling communications, collectiing and editing recipes, and working with the publisher.
Margaret enjoyed having her friends over for home cooked meals. She was also a gracious host when her family members came to Chicago either individually or en masse.
Margaret had the misfortune of contending with chronic health conditions throughout most of her adult life. Although she could have become bitter or wallowed in self-pity, she showed great strength of character and graciousness by finding joy in the activities and interests that suited her and sharing these with others. Almost everyone who knew her would agree that her most distinguishing characteristics were her big smile and infectious laugh.
Margaret passed away at the age of 61 succumbing to cancer. Her memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 2, via Zoom.
Margaret is survived by sisters Karoline Enger, San Bruno, CA; Lauri Enger, Edina, MN; sister Joy and brother-in-law John Lindgren, niece Krista and nephew Erik Lindgren, Bloomington, MN; aunts and uncles Myrna Spease, Hills, MN; Gordon & Mary Funck, Asheville, NC; Linda & Stan Halverson, Alexandria, MN, and numerous cousins and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to the following organizations are suggested: Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, Montrose Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Chicago.
Arrangements were provided by Caring Cremations, Chicago, IL.