Whitehall-Coplay Press

Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Photo courtesy of Margie Jenkins and Larry OberlySeveral CDs and DVDs are made based off Margie Jenkins’ book, “You Only Die Once.” Photo courtesy of Margie Jenkins and Larry OberlySeveral CDs and DVDs are made based off Margie Jenkins’ book, “You Only Die Once.”

Remembering: Visiting with Margie Jenkins

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Columns

Today, Larry Oberly and this writer are concluding our interview with Susan Jenkins and her mother, Margie, a descendant of Samuel Weaver, whose father founded the village of Weaversville.

Margie is a fascinating lady whose family roots go back to the founding of the United States. Full of determination and energy, at age 51, she applied for graduate school at the University of Houston.

She said, “I was rejected because I was too old. They had to save places for minority students and young people who could make a contribution. At 51, they doubted I could do that. I was disappointed and angry.”

But Margie persisted and finally was called by the admissions office for an interview. They were concerned she could not keep up with the younger students. After a 20-minute interview, Margie was admitted.

She said, “I became their token little white lady in the graduate program in 1974. I respect and am deeply grateful to UH for giving me the opportunity to attend graduate school. That experience changed my life.”

She graduated with a master’s degree in social work and worked as a therapist at a counseling center at a Presbyterian church in Houston. At age 60, she became a newspaper columnist, discussing issues facing older Americans. She opened her own office for marriage and family therapy at age 65.

After years of researching the subject of preparing for the end of life, she wrote the book “You Only Die Once.”

At age 80, full of energy, Margie has made hundreds of presentations across the United States, speaking at churches, universities, conferences, hospitals and retirement communities, FBI groups and hospices. At age 88, she made a number of CDs and DVDs.

Today, she continues a very active and rewarding lifestyle. Margie, a great mother, has been married to husband Robert for 60 years. Bob is a retired executive of ConocoPhillips, and they are proud parents of four children and have four grandchildren. They reside in Houston, Texas.

It was a great honor to speak to Mrs. Jenkins, and we thank Margie for sharing her family heritage and life experiences with us.

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In two weeks, we will be returning to share some of our Weaversville memories.