Submitted by Diane Cassidy.
Margaret Catherine Mattes Brown
6-25-1925 to 1-25-2019
Margaret was born in Mt. Vernon, WA to immigrant parents Joseph and Rosa (Walzer) Mattes, along with her older brothers Frank and Joe. Her father was a long-time Mt. Vernon business owner. She was a cheerful child who loved to accompany her father on tailoring fitting calls throughout Skagit County, and she knew that she was the apple of her father’s eye. In high school, nicknamed Mugs, she was a baton twirler for Hugo Helmer’s Marching Accordion Band.
She met her husband Victor Brown at Mt. Vernon (Union) High School and married him on VE Day – May 8, 1945, when he was home from Coast Guard duty. When asked about her early marriage, she later simply said: “There was a war on” and that explained it enough.
Margaret and Vic settled in Lakewood, WA in 1949 where he was a teacher and coach and Margaret was a mother, sports fan, and a 25 year employee of Clover Park School District. She worked primarily as the student accounts secretary at Lochburn Junior High.
Later in life Margaret and Vic travelled extensively through Elder Hostel trips and organized group trips around Europe, the US, and Canada. A highlight pilgrimage she made was to the French gravesite of her older brother Frank, who was shot down and died during WWII. She was a bridge player, a Jazzercise participant, and a regular visitor to Reno. Her last trip was to Catalina Island when she was 90, with her daughter-in-law Diane. Margaret volunteered regularly and extensively with the League of Women Voters and Pierce County Libraries. Her favorite things were her grandchildren and desserts.
Margaret was always curious and interested in a wide variety of things. These ranged from her grandchildren’s accomplishments, to current events and politics, to populations of places she had lived or visited. We all lost a loyal New-Deal Democrat who never missed voting in an election, including voting for Obama, marijuana deregulation, and marriage equality. She proudly cast her last presidential ballot for the first woman from the Democratic Party who was on the ballot. With aggravation she later referred to Clinton’s opponent as “such an ick” and his party as “those dimbulbs”.
Margaret leaves her children and spouses Sandy (Harvey) Tucker, Nancy Brown, Charles Bates (Diane Cassidy) and Margaret (Frank) Gleason. Her grandchildren Michael and David Tucker, Matt and Sara Bates, and Patrick Gleason grew up knowing her love, shown primarily via tables of plentiful food, delicious desserts, learning blackjack and birding from her, and the comfort of her loving presence. Margaret leaves one great grandchild Eric Bates. She also leaves her grandchildren’s fiancées Zenia Zaveri and Joshua Sovell, and spouses Laura Donahoe and Jeremy Schwartz.
Margaret was a healthy bustling woman for almost all of her life. While her “memory problems” were difficult for her, she never forgot her love for her family. Her good cheer and ability to always look forward and never back, kept her life free of grudges. When hospice asked if she had a religious affiliation, “baseball” was our best reply. When recently asked if she thought there was a heaven, she stated “Oh, I hope so.” As she neared the end, she blew kisses, said I love you often, and always ended visits with: “thank you, thank you, thank you.” Family will gather in the summer to scatter her ashes in Bowman Bay where her husband Vic has rested since 2011.