Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Fond Farewell to Margaret (Maggie) Elliot Drew


Margaret (Maggie) Elliot Drew passed away peacefully at the family home Dec. 26th, 2012.


Born May 17th, 1919 in Alma, MI, to Therese and Moses C. Elliot, she attended school and college in her home town (Alma College, class of 1940).  
The "Secret Silly Six" - Maggie's gang at Alma College.  Maggie is far left.   

Maggie's nickname in the WACs was "Red."

She came of age at the eve of World War II and joined the WACs.  As a trained teacher, she was sent to Karachi, India to teach instrument flying to pilots who only knew how to fly “by the seat of their pants.”  She taught them to use radar so they could fly over the mountains when it was cloudy.

Mom and Dad at Crystal MI on their honeymoon.
She married Bruce A. Drew in 1948 while both were attending Wayne State University in Detroit on the GI Bill; they raised 6 children together.

   Nancy, Mary Jo, Jeni, Jon, Chris (not pictured: Timmy)and Prancer (or Dancer) in Nancy's lap.

      Maggie was known for many things; most prominently her deep commitment to world peace.  She worked at the American Friends Service Committee during the Vietnam era, assisting young men to obtain Conscientious Objector status.   She was a member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and edited their Metro Newsletter for many years.  As a member of WILPF, she organized Mothers’ Day protests of ELF transmitter facilities in Wisconsin, where she had the courage to be arrested three times, and twice went to jail for her beliefs.  

Maggie at an ELF protest in Wisconsin.
  She was a founding member, with her husband Bruce, of the Linden Hills Co-op in Mpls.

Bruce and Maggie at the Co-op on 43rd Ave. So in Linden Hills
In later years, she was a member of Veterans for Peace.

Many thanks to the unknown journalist who took this picture of Bruce & Maggie.
"Constant Vigilance"
Maggie and Bruce taught their children to love each other, to laugh out loud, and to play a mean game of cards.  Maggie's rule was “constant vigilance” and her preferred strategy was to win every hand.  After becoming legally blind, she held the cards an inch from her eyes to play.  When you heard her say, “Heh, heh,” you knew it was all over.

Maggie was preceded in death by her parents; 3 siblings: Gertrude (Becker) Estes, Josephine Wright, and Charles Bernard (Bud) Elliot; also two sons: Timothy in 1965, and Christopher in 2012.  

She is survived by Bruce, her husband of 64 years, at the family home; her children: Nancy Drew (Jim Erickson) of Clifford, ND, Jeni Dawson (Rob) of Fort Nelson, BC;, Jon Drew (E) of Minnetonka, Mary Drew Powers (Brian) of Missoula, MT, and daughter-in-law Deb Drew of Chicago; three grandchildren: Ben Darrow (Amanda), Paul Darrow (Liz), and Christy Blankenship; and by three great-grandchildren: Dresdon Darrow, Bijou Margaret Darrow, and Ruby Jo Darrow; by her closest nephew Mike Wright (Michael Knock), and nephews and nieces, friends and neighbors too numerous to mention.

Thanksgiving 2011
    Maggie donated her body to the University of Minnesota; a memorial is planned for later in the year.
    In lieu of flowers, please donate in Maggie’s name to the local branch of the Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom:  Minnesota Metro Branch WILPF, PO Box 14752, Minneapolis MN 55414-0752 or you may email the treasurer, Leslie Rendl, at alteravista@usfamily.net.

We love you, Mom.
Do you have a story or memory of Maggie?  Feel free to add it to the comment section.