Sunday, March 14, 2004

'Aunt Lib' Stillwell loved family, travel

Chillicothe native was deacon

By Karen Andrew
The Cincinnati Enquirer

CLIFTON - To family and friends, Margaret Elizabeth Francis Stillwell was known as "Aunt Lib," someone who made it a point to make sure everyone stayed in touch.

She died Thursday at home after a brief illness. She was 88.

Mrs. Stillwell was born in 1916 to Bertha M. and Clarence E. Francis of Chillicothe, Ohio. Her grandfather was a founder of the Chillicothe Paper Co., now a part of Mead Westvaco. Her father was an administrator with the B&O Railroad.

She graduated from Chillicothe High School in 1933 and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Cincinnati's College of Engineering and Commerce in 1941.

While attending college, she worked as a co-op student in the office of UC's president, Raymond Walters. She later became Mr. Walters' executive secretary.

In 1943, she married Robert R. Stillwell, also of Chillicothe, while he was on leave from duty in World War II.

They settled in Cincinnati in 1952, when Mr. Stillwell began a lengthy career as an educator with Cincinnati Schools.

Their daughter, Kathryn Stillwell Gibbons of Hyde Park, said her mother was very interested in mathematics and business. She was the statistician for The Statistical Survey of American Colleges and Universities, published in the 1960s and '70s under the direction of UC's Dr. Garland Parker."They sent out survey forms, which were mailed back, and every year our dining-room table became the survey work area," Mrs. Gibbons said. "Everything was done by hand."

Mrs. Gibbons said her mother's devotion to her family and friends was the keystone of her life.

"Our parents gave us the gifts of a loving family and friends, our heritage, and taught us the importance of hard work and of lifelong learning. We traveled all over the United States as children learning history and having fun."

Mrs. Stillwell's memberships included the Theta Eta Chapter of the Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority, the College Club, Pi Kappa Alpha Mothers Club and the Clifton Music Club.

She was an active member and a deacon of the Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Clifton. Until a few years ago, she volunteered with the church's after-school program for children.

After Mr. Stillwell retired in 1971, the couple traveled extensively in the United States, the Caribbean and Europe. She continued to travel after his death in 1990.

In addition to her daughter, she is survived by a son, James R. of Columbus; and four grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. March 25 at the Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3445 Clifton Ave. A graveside service will take place at 1 p.m. March 26 at the Grandview Cemetery in Chillicothe.

Memorials: National Neurofibromatosis Foundation, 95 Pine St., 16th floor, New York, NY 10005.


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