A woman who threw herself into volunteering as well as bringing up a family and working, has died at the age of 91.
Born at Edenhall, Margaret Argile was the youngest child of William and Olivia Brunskill.
She attended Brunswick Road Girls’ School, in Penrith, where she was head girl.
For seven years she was employed at West Brownrigg Farm, Plumpton, until her marriage to Peter in 1950 at Plumpton Church.
Following their marriage, Margaret and Peter lived on a smallholding in Dalston, where they grew fresh produce and kept a cow, poultry and pigs.
Their two daughters, Christine and Valerie, were born during this time, before they moved to live and work in West Cumbria.
Peter was employed at St Bees School and Margaret led an active life in paid work, volunteering and bringing up their two daughters.
She worked as a welfare care assistant in both a residential and day school for pupils with learning difficulties, where she was dedicated to supporting pupils within her care.
The couple remained in St Bees until retirement, when Margaret and Peter decided to return “home” to Penrith.
Almost immediately Margaret immersed herself in different community groups and expanded her involvement in other passions.
She was a lifelong member of the Cumbria Federation of the Women’s Institutes, more recently belonging to Melmerby and then Penrith groups.
She had previously been president of the WI branch in St Bees and had organised many outings over the years as secretary of the social committee.
In the WI she was involved in handicrafts, baking, drama and gardening activities at a county level and always enjoyed meeting up with friends new and old at different meetings.
She volunteered to represent Penrith WI with Penrith Hospital League of Friends.
Gradually working for them became one of Margaret’s main interests and she was actively involved in many fundraising events for this organisation becoming assistant treasurer, a role she continued until she left Penrith.
She was good at raising awareness and enlisting support for a range of their projects. She realised the value of a local community hospital and was grateful for the care and support Peter received there during worsening health, prior to his death.
As a devoted Christian, Margaret attended and volunteered at Christ Church and St Andrew’s Church in Penrith.
Roles she undertook included three years as a church warden, secretary of the social committee, raising significant funds for projects for alterations within the church, and as a member of the Tuesday Club committee.
Many of her reports about meetings featured in the Cumberland & Westmorland Herald, often accompanied by a photograph and she was often recognised on the street from them.
Margaret was driven to improve the lives of others and when living at Merlin Court, she and some of the other residents campaigned for the installation of the zebra crossing on Friargate, opposite the M&S store.
She was also relentless in raising concerns about the dangerous road surface in the car park, near The Coach House launderette and was delighted when this work was finally completed.
In recognition of her many volunteering roles, she received an invitation to meet the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Carlisle Castle as part of the millennium celebrations.
This was a very proud moment for her.
She was a warm, friendly, generous hearted and hard-working person, loved by her family and friends alike and respected by many for her pragmatic, positive outlook and boundless energy in helping others.
While restricted mobility impacted on her later life, she still sought ways to offer help and be involved in her favourite charity work and activities.
She was renowned for her good sense of humour and sociability — she always met someone that she knew when she was out and about.
At Margaret’s request, a private cremation was held at Durham crematorium. When possible her family intends to hold a service of thanksgiving at St Andrew’s Church with notification being publicised in the Herald.
Donations in her memory have been shared between the Parish of Penrith and Penrith Community Hospital League of Friends.
She is survived by her daughters, Christine and Val, their husbands, three grandchildren and three great-granddaughters.
Margaret was devoted to her family and will be sorely missed by them all.