1922 – 2013
The celebration of the life of Margaret Mary Wickham began on April 3, 1922, in Washington, D.C., where she was born to her parents, George Ransom Wickham and Jennie Cevesta Balschweid. After a brief illness, she went to heaven on April 13, 2013.
Margaret’s father George was involved in politics most of his life and his family lived in Los Angeles, where he took up his law practice and worked with his half-brother Eldon as a land attorney. By 1921 he had been appointed Commissioner of the General Land Office and his family had moved to Washington, D.C., where Margaret was born. By 1925 the family had moved back to California to Redondo Beach and then to Glendale, Calif., where Margaret’s sister, Mildred was born in 1926.
Margaret attended Herbert Hoover High School in Glendale and then went to L.A. City College, where she received a degree in Recreational Leadership. She transferred to UC Berkeley where she and her sister graduated in 1948. She spent several years teaching in Sierra Madre, eventually moving to Northern California, where she spent the bulk of her teaching career. She had great compassion for special needs children and taught at several schools in El Dorado County. She retired in the mid-1970s to pursue two of her favorite sporting activities — tennis and golf — and even produced “Lady Swingers,” an instructional film for women golfers.
Margaret was passionate about the game of tennis. During her high school years she played at the Boys Tennis Club, as there were no women’s sports at that time, and she managed to beat all of the boys on the club team. A gifted athlete, she played competitive tennis until her 80s, winning the USTA National Women’s Grass Court Championship in 2002 for her age division. With her senior doubles partner Donna Moore she won the bronze medal in the 80s division hard courts championships in La Jolla, Calif., that same year. Music was the love of her life. She was an accomplished pianist, composed original music and recorded many of her works, including “Piano Poetry” and “Piano Poetry Encore,” which were eventually released as CDs.
Margaret’s love of travel took her to Canada, Europe and her beloved Lake Tahoe, where she was an avid skier for much of her early life. In 2010 she moved to Ventura to be closer to her family. She will always be remembered for her great love of family and friends, who supported her all her life. Special thanks to the wonderful staff and friends she made at Cypress Place, her Ventura home, who were like family to her.
Margaret is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Mildred and Don Walker of Ventura; and cousin, Nancy (Richard) Williams. She is also survived by her beloved nephews and nieces and their families: Russell (Jeanine) Walker and children, Brendan and Patrick Walker; Elinor (Alan) Dikes and daughters, Kristin (Kellen) Atkins and Kelly (Dennis) Koopman; John (Cathy) Walker; Alan (Rose) Walker; Ann (John) Pettit and children, Carolyn, Heidi and Ryan Pettit; Margaret Walker and children, Melissa, Coleen and Katelyn Mead; Judy Lask; Linda Hedman; and Gary Wickham.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that contributions be made to your favorite charity. A memorial service will be held on Friday, April 19, 4 p.m., at Ted Mayr Funeral Home, 3150 Loma Vista Road in Ventura. Burial will be private. Condolences may be left at TedMayrFuneralHome.com.