Margaret Charlotte Philipps (nee Dula) September 15, 1926 - April 17, 2020
In the early morning hours on April 17th, Greek Orthodox Good Friday, we lost a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and dear friend. Margaret Philipps passed away suddenly at Kaiser Hospital in Walnut Creek at age 93 after a long and accomplished life. Margaret, a 58-year Walnut Creek resident, was born in Wilmette, Illinois. At age 3, her family moved to Visalia, California where her parents bought a 90-acre ranch, raising peaches, oranges and walnuts for the next 43 years. Margaret attended Venice grade school, a one-room schoolhouse then attended Exeter high school. She then earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Social Sciences from Fresno State College in 1948 and also played trumpet in the university’s marching band. Margaret then earned a scholarship to U.C. Berkeley and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Social Welfare in 1951. While at Cal, she met her future husband Philipp, an engineering student, while he was working in the kitchen at the “I”-house where they both were staying. Margaret’s first job as a medical social worker came when she returned to Chicago for a short time, working at the University of Chicago. After returning to the bay area, she worked the next 5 years at UCSF medical center. Margaret married Philipp in 1956 at St. Clements Church in Berkeley, followed by a traditional Greek wedding in Long Beach. They spent the next 62 years together until Philipp’s passing in 2018. Just after their 2nd child was born, Margaret and Philipp moved from the inner Sunset in San Francisco to Walnut Creek in 1962 to live and raise their kids in the country. Margaret then received her clinical social work license and worked for California Children Services, providing care for patients with multiple diagnoses, including cerebral palsy. Margaret was a very active volunteer: Kaiser Hospital Walnut Creek’s South Wing assisting in caring for terminally ill patients, taught Sunday school at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension in Oakland, served as a cub scout den mother, spent time with the Walnut Creek and Acalanes school districts and participated in the League of Women Voters. Margaret valued education greatly, having served on the California State PTA Board for 20 years, including acting as liaison to the California State Board of Education. She then served 6 years as commissioner of the Western Accrediting Commission for Schools (WASC). Margaret was a very talented woman and could do almost anything. She built fences, cabinets, planter boxes, made some of her own clothing and costumes for her children and was an exceptional cook – especially Greek dishes despite not being of Greek heritage. She also painted, loved doing craft work, repaired appliances, was an avid gardener on their ½ acre plot and chauffeured her kids and others on school field trips and to countless number of ball games. Margaret also watched out for the welfare of her neighbors. She enjoyed traveling – from camping with her family to taking extensive trips with her husband Philipp across the US, Europe, China, Egypt and especially Cyprus where husband Philipp was born. Margaret was a very devoted wife & mother – from taking care of the family’s financial book-keeping to getting up early on rainy mornings to drive her young sons around to help deliver newspapers to taking care of the family pets. Margaret always loved animals since her early years being raised on a ranch. In her later years, she became a proud grandmother or “Yaya”, wrote stories about her life experiences and was a generous donor to multiple charities. Margaret was as giving and gracious a person as one could be and will be sorely missed by her family and many friends. Margaret is survived by sons Stan and Tim (Pati), grandchildren Kaitlyn, Jacob and Allison, sister June Bauman, niece Carol (Clark), nephew Frank (Angie) and Sissy – her adoring tortishell cat. Margaret was preceded in death by her husband Philipp and parents Carol and Aurelius Dula. Funeral & gravesite services will be held on April 28th. Due to the current pandemic, only immediate family members will attend the 11:00 AM funeral service at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension in Oakland and 1:00 PM gravesite service at Oakmont Memorial Park. The funeral service will be live-streamed at www.ascensioncathedral.com. A memorial service for Margaret will be held on a future date. In Margaret’s memory, donations can be made in her name to one’s favorite charity or The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension in Oakland.
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