- Margot Elizabeth Anderson was born December 1, 1932 in Rumford, Maine, the third child of John Wallace and Margaret (Whalen) McCarthy. Seven siblings, and many more Maine places would follow for her family, including Jay, Bangor, Sorrento, Franklin, Augusta, and Naples. She often remarked she moved every year of her life, which well describes the feeling if not the fact, of her girlhood.
Though a quiet child -- she did not speak until she was four years old - Margot was early possessed of a quick mind and a brave heart, as revealed in the true story of rescuing her little brother from their burning house by ducking under the arms of firefighters, running upstairs under the smoke, and pulling Dennis out from under the bed by his hair. She put a pillow over his face to carry him out, which she always credited to their mother reading aloud "Black Beauty" at the time. Margot certainly retained a lifelong love of books, instilling that love in hundreds of school children she would read to aloud in her career as a teacher.
She attended Cony High School for three and a half years, playing on the varsity field hockey team as a freshman and winning the state championship the following year. She continued as an athlete and scholar at the University of Maine at Orono where she was a member of Chi Omega sorority, a Sophomore Eagle and All Maine Women. She graduated in 1954 and began her teaching career at The Calvert School in Baltimore. She spent two years teaching on U.S. military bases in Paris and Bordeaux, France. Until she was married, she returned every summer to Naples, Maine, to help in the family restaurant, McCarthy's Fine Foods.
Margot was teaching on another U.S. base in Puerto Rico when she met her husband, Peter Fritz Anderson, an American newspaperman working at the San Juan Star. Their courtship was brief, only five weeks, and their honeymoon long -- two months traveling Europe in the summer of 1964. Peter remarked that he knew the moment he first saw Margot walk into the room. He loved her for her practicality and good nature, and relied on her strength until the very end.
They returned to the states when their son George Bernard was born in 1966, with daughter Mary Elizabeth Veronica following in 1969. Margot would teach almost 20 years in the Hanover, Massachusetts, school system. She was the kind, fun, creative, and much beloved third grade teacher to hundreds of children, some of whom still send cards at Christmastime.
Margot was an active member of the Democratic Party and held the courage of her convictions. She served as strike captain in her small town when her teacher's union voted for action. She practiced her Catholic faith with constancy and devotion, but not by rote. She pursued her education, receiving a Master's Degree from Eastern Nazarene College taking courses at night and on the weekends. She came home every night, put an apron over her school clothes and made dinner from scratch, without apparent effort. She packed up the kids, along with her nephew, Andy, and took them to Maine every summer, letting the children roam the island by day and teaching them to play card games at night by the fire.
Margot made friends easily wherever she went and was a faithful correspondent, exchanging letters almost daily with people she knew from every time and place in her life.
When her husband died too soon after they retired to the foothills of western South Carolina, Margot made a life for herself there working in the local food co-op, staying active with the Democrats, at church, and with her Bible study and knitting groups. She continued to travel in winter to Anna Maria Island, Florida, a place she and Peter also loved well for too short a time. Her family will always be grateful for the kindness Margot received from the good friends and neighbors at Keowee Key.
As throughout her life, Margot came home to Maine, spending her last years living with her son on Swan's Island or her daughter in Sullivan, taking her daily walks and stopping to pick wild flowers or talk to the people she met -- always and forever making friends, all along the way.
In addition to her children, Margot is survived by her grandson, Kieran Bernard Anderson; her sister Mary Catherine Hoffman; brothers John, Michael, Kevin and Terrance McCarthy, and 24 nephews and nieces. She was predeceased by sisters Ellen Howe and Veronica Loud, brothers Patrick and Dennis McCarthy and nephew Andrew Charles MacDonald.
Visiting hours will be at the home, 73 Morancy Road, Sullivan, Maine. A funeral Mass will be said Monday, March 13, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Ellsworth, Maine. Burial will follow, beside her husband and beneath a Celtic stone on Rose Hill, Swan's Island.
Published on  March 11, 2017