Margaret Wheat Austin, 100 years old,
a resident of Argilla Road, Ipswich, who spent much of her adult
life in Argentina, died on August 3, 2009 in her home.
Mrs. Austin was raised in Virginia’s
Shenandoah Valley and moved to New York as a young adult. She worked
for some years at the Fiduciary Trust Company, where she was one of
the few women of that time to make significant advances along the
management track. In 1936 she left this promising career to travel
to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she was married to Allen Austin, a
young manager with the First National Bank of Boston. The couple
soon moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where they lived for nearly
30 years and raised three children.
In 1964, Mr. and Mrs. Austin moved
back to the United States and settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts.
While living in Argentina, Mrs. Austin had developed a keen interest
in gardening, and in Ipswich, she had the opportunity to pursue that
interest and became an accomplished gardener. She surrounded her
home with plants and flowers carefully chosen for their foliage and
color. Mrs. Austin was especially interested in “old roses” and
worked with the Historical Society and Gardening Clubs of Ipswich to
restore some of the gardens of historic homes in Ipswich to their
original splendor. An old rose garden at the Whipple House in
Ipswich has been named in her honor.
Mrs. Austin had a special interest in
advancing the welfare of young people. She greatly enjoyed the time
that she spent with her own grandchildren, resident in Virginia and
in Glasgow, Scotland; and, for many years, she provided support to
indigent children living in impoverished regions of Central and
Mrs. Austin is survived by her
daughters Elizabeth and Susan, by her son John, by granddaughters
Judith and Claire and four great-grandchildren in Scotland; and by
granddaughters Jennifer, Elisabeth and Laura and four
great-grandchildren in New Jersey, Philadelphia and Virginia.
A Memorial Service will be held Friday
August 7, 2009 at 3 pm in the Ascension Memorial Church, 31 County
St., Ipswich. Family and friends are respectfully welcomed.
Arrangements under the direction of
the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home of Ipswich.