Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Meet the Family: Margaret Mickey Sampey (1925-2009)

Margaret Mickey Sampey
b. 29 Sep 1925 German Township, Fayette, Pennsylvania
d. 08 Aug 2009 Spokane, Spokane, Washington

This was my beautiful and beloved Mom.  I thought it appropriate to start my Meet the Family feature with her. 

Margaret was the youngest of the ten children of George and Teresa Dacko Mika.  She was born on her parents' farm in German Township, Pennsylvania.  Her eldest sister, Mary Mika, helped deliver her and named her. 

Margaret grew up, as did her five brothers and four sisters, helping her parents on the farm.  Since she was the youngest, she was also the last to leave home, so many of the duties that had previously been shared among the siblings fell to her.  Mom told us that one of these "duties" involved a custom her mother had brought with her from the old country.  This custom required a  young virgin, and went something like this...

One cold winter morning every year (she did not recall the season), she was awakened by her mother, told to undress, and handed a broom.  Her mother then directed her to go through all the rooms of the house, sweeping out the bad spirits, while her mother recited prayers.  This ritual was intended to purify the house in preparation for a holy day, possibly Christmas.  The family followed the Eastern Catholic rite church and the prayers were likely from the church, but the ritual itself sounds more pagan to me.  What do you think?  Have you heard of any similar traditions?

Margaret Mickey standing in front of her parents' farm house, German Township, PA, ca 1940

Margaret graduated from German Township High School at age 17.  At 19, she married my dad, Glenn R. Sampey, on 18 December 1944 at the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in New Salem, Fayette, Pennsylvania.  Glenn was a U.S. Army Air Corps veteran who served in the South Pacific in World War II. 
Margaret and Glenn Sampey
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, circa 1948
(special thanks to my cousin Marie Hvezda for the photo)

They lived in Philadelphia early in their marriage, where Margaret worked for Curtis Publishing Company.

Curtis Building on Independence Mall, Philadelphia from

Glenn and Margaret out for an evening with friends in Philadelphia, PA, ca 1946

Not long after I was born, Margaret and Glenn separated.  We lived for a time with her sister, Helen Mickey Novak, in Uniontown, PA, then moved in 1960 to Los Angeles, CA where another of her sisters, Sue Mickey Mason, lived.

Margaret worked at National Cash Register in Hawthorne, CA and Rancho Bernardo, CA until her retirement.  During her time in Rancho Bernardo, she owned a home in Poway, CA.

She lived with me and my husband for the last years of her life, first in Las Vegas, NV and then in Washington State.  She died at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, WA of complications after surgery to clear a blocked artery in her leg.

She was a woman of great warmth, humor and intelligence.  She remained interested in current events, family and friends (of which she had many) until her death.    Her loss left a large hole in our lives.

1 comment:

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Welcome to the GeneaBloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

Dr. Bill ;-)
Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories" and family saga novels:
"Back to the Homeplace" and "The Homeplace Revisited"