Margaret Elizabeth Askren, age 89 of Niles, Michigan, wife, mother, grandmother, typist, and volunteer died peacefully at 2:10 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at Spectrum Lakeland Hospital in Niles following an extended illness.
She was born on July 13, 1930 in Palmer, Kansas (increasing Palmer’s population to 187) to Walter A. and Ollie May (Kidd) Helm. She was graduated from high school in Kansas, and came to the Michiana area in 1962. She was first employed in the office of the Painters, Decorators, and Paperhangers of America Union Local #1118 in South Bend, Indiana, leaving that job to work as a typist at the South Bend Tribune taking dictation over the telephone of newspaper articles from satellite reporters. In 1986, she came to Niles and worked at the Niles Daily Star typing the police report, stock prices, and obituaries. She always enjoyed working in the newsroom.
Margaret was an active member of Summit Church in Niles, volunteering with various programs there. She also volunteered with the former Pregnancy Care Center (now LifePlan). When not at work or church she enjoyed walking and reading novels from the Niles District Library. Her greatest joy was her family.
On February 26, 1949 in Atchison, Kansas she married Donald Eugene Askren with whom she celebrated the forty-seventh anniversary of their wedding prior to his death on June 13, 1996. She was also preceded in death by their son, Corey Eugene Askren on June 13, 2013, and by Margaret’s sister, Betty Stackowicz and brother, Walter “Bob” Helm.
Surviving family includes her children, Cynthia (& Dick) Harrelson of Dayton, Ohio, David (& Patty) Askren of Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Kelly (& Ruth) Askren of Vandalia, Michigan; twelve grandchildren, thirty-five great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild; and several nieces and nephews.
The memorial service for Margaret Askren will be at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, 2020 at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles with Pastor Chuck Zook of Summit Church officiating. Committal will be private, later, at Mission Hills.
Contributions in memory of Margaret may be made to the Niles District Library, 620 East Main Street, Niles, Michigan, 49120; http://www.nileslibrary.com/#. Online condolences may be left at:
Margaret enjoyed life, beginning in the small, quiet rural town, moving to the busy, noisy city; quickly typing the latest news and seeing her efforts in publication; volunteering to help the church grow and caring for young mothers; or entertaining – and counting – her generations of grandchildren; she completed it all with a smile, hope, and satisfaction.
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Niles District Library
620 East Main Street, Niles MI 49120