Margaret Newton was born on July 9, 1932 in Frederick, Okla. to Leon A. Dickey and Mary Steeds. Margaret's grandfather, William A. Steeds, with his family had left Somerset County, England in the 1850's and sailed a stormy March Atlantic to bring his red-haired brood to a new world of opportunity, first as a landholder in Michigan, then Texas then Oklahoma.
Steed's daughter married Leon Allen Dickey. The Dickey family had traveled west during the Great Depression settling in Casa, Grande Ariz. where Margaret graduated from high school.
Moving back east to live in Missouri, Margaret earned a bachelor of science degree in Latin and Spanish at Southwest Missouri State University, followed by an masters in English. Forty years in the teaching profession led through 15 years in as a teacher for public schools, 10 years for Springfield Catholic, one year for a Jewish boy's school in New Jersey and eight years in an international school in Seoul, Korea.
She also taught as adjunct faculty for the Foreign Language and English departments at SMSU and English at OTC and also taught the military for the University of Maryland and Oklahoma State while in Korea.
Margaret followed her family tradition, producing large families of red-haired children: Linda Susan Coatney, who preceded her in death; Terri Patrice Layton, Vanessa Joan Gorman, Megan Ellen Combs, Sean Patrick Coatney, James Jason Coatney and Joseph Jeremy Coatney. The children presented her with 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
In her later years, Margaret traveled the world leading students to travel through Europe and then moving to live and teach in Korea and to explore Asia.
As a child, Margaret had first traveled in book, her favorite being the "Arabian Nights," and had the joy of buying an unabridged copy of that book in a dusty shop in a small town in Pakistan.
Second only in devotion to her family and students, books were the center of her life. Ultimately, added to a busy life of dairy farming and teaching, she researched and interviewed her way to writing her own book, "SHAD: A Biography of Shad Lloyd Heller."
There will be a service for family at this time a "Celebration of Life" is scheduled for the spring.