CEYLON - Margaret Anne (Atwood) Ballanger, 70, of Ceylon, Minn., passed away Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, at the Cedars Memory Care facility in Austin, Minn. She was a two-time cancer survivor and in the latter stages of Alzheimer's Disease when she passed away.
A celebration of her life service will be 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, at St. John's Lutheran Church in Sherburn, with Rev. Steven Wilson officiating. Burial will follow the service in Lakeside Cemetery in Fairmont. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until the time of the service Thursday at St. John's Lutheran Church in Sherburn. Friends and family are welcome to the luncheon that will be served during the visitation at the church prior to the service.
Lakeview Funeral Home of Fairmont is handling the arrangements for the family.
Margaret was born Sept. 17, 1942, in Minneapolis, Minn., to her parents, Rev. Phil and Evelyn Atwood. She was the second of five daughters. At an early age, she began playing the piano and organ at her father's church. From this, she was able to play many hymns from memory throughout her entire life. She graduated from Eyota (Minn.) High School in 1960, and received her nursing diploma from Methodist Kahler in Rochester, Minn., in 1964. She worked as an RN at the Methodist Hospital in Rochester.
On Aug. 7, 1965, she was united in marriage to Albert Otis Ballanger, her loving and devoted husband of 47 years, at the Community Church in Viola, Minn. They moved to Syracuse, N.Y., for one year while Albert obtained his master's degree in teaching. Following that, they returned to the Midwest, where Albert began his teaching career in Wisconsin. During this time, they were blessed with two children - their daughter, Michelle Anne, and their son, David Albert. The family moved several times during the next few years and, in 1981, they came to live permanently in Ceylon, Minn.
Margie loved being a stay-at-home mom and supporting wife. She was an avid reader, and she took pride in her flower and vegetable gardens. She sewed clothing for herself and her family, and she liked to play the piano and organ and stitch needlepoint. She will be remembered for her infectious laughter, especially when her son, David, would amuse her with his humorous antics. Later in her life, she was a volunteer for the Bloodmobile, and she also worked as a teacher for the M.O.P.S. and Early Childhood programs.
She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 2007 and was fortunate to be able to live at home with her husband until the fall of 2011, when she went to live at a memory care facility. She spent the last few months of her life at The Cedars in Austin, Minn., where she happily walked the hallways and helped put out water glasses for meals in the dining room.
Margie is fondly remembered and sorely missed by the members of her family. Survivors include her husband, Albert Ballanger of Ceylon, Minn.; daughter, Michelle (Ballanger) Fraasch and grandchildren, Katie and Alexa Fraasch, Milbank, S.D.; son, David (Susan) Ballanger, and grandchildren, Jocelyn and Jackson Ballanger, Rochester, Minn.; sisters, Marilyn (Rev. James) Pedersen, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and Janet (Brad) Higgins, Rochester, Minn.; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Elsie and David Groth, Austin, Minn.; and many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews; and her beloved dog, Dolly.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Phil and Evelyn Atwood; sisters, Dorothy Atwood and Virginia Jensen; and her husband's parents, Emery and Helen Ballanger.