The youngest of 4 girls, she married Jack, the youngest of 6 children and the only son. Jack and Margaret were reminded many times I’m sure, that it would be up to them to carry on the family name. Not wanting to disappoint the family, they had not 1, not 2, but 6 boys! The family name was safe. No more worries. Today, 19 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren later, the Sexton name has certainly been etched in the annals of time. Papa Jack and Grandma Jack, you did good. Your legacy will live on.
How Margaret raised 6 boys all of whom were 2 years apart until #6 arrived 4 years after #5 and kept her sanity is nothing short of a miracle. Feeding, clothing, nurturing the boys AND working a full-time job is mind boggling. Can you imagine the laundry that she did every week or the meals that she prepared every week? There was no such thing as fast food restaurants then so she had to cook. Sandwiches sound better and better when I think of this daunting task. I just can’t imagine…
She and Jack realized the importance of building a solid spiritual foundation for the boys and to church they went every Sunday. It was important that the boys learned about Jesus and the Bible. It was important that they participated in MYF with other young people their age. “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6). Jack and Margaret did just that.
In the blink of an eye, the boys were teenagers and had jobs after school. They were taught the importance of a good work ethic and the importance of making and saving money. They all waited anxiously for the Sears Christmas catalog to come each year so that they could decide what they wanted for Christmas but with one string attached. There was a $20 limit for each boy. Stories that have been told over the years have been quite interesting, Some would stretch their $20 and get multiple things while others would only get one big thing. I imagine that there were times when there was some envy when one brother had more gifts than the other, but they made their own choices and they had to live with it, at least for that holiday season.
Picking up pecans after church, caddying for their dad at the country club, raking leaves, cutting grass…Margaret and Jack taught them the meaning of responsibility.
In addition to raising their 6 boys, she worked as a secretary in a textile plant and in a high school. She loved to sing at church. She was the church pianist at one time. She was a church secretary at one time. Her last job was at the Martha Franks Retirement Center where she had the distinction of being the first employee in the early days of Martha Franks. She ended her career as an administrative assistant at Martha Franks. Working outside the home, she worked in an environment where she could have a positive impact on people of all ages. In her jobs she was able to be a messenger for Christ. She lived her faith and she shared her faith without hesitation, not always with words but often with her actions. Margaret was a kind, gentle person and she treated everyone with respect. Everyone was important.
She was proud of her family. They were her greatest achievements, her greatest blessings. I am certain that never in her wildest dreams would she have imagined that from their 6 boys she would have so many grandchildren and most assuredly she never thought she would have so many great-grandchildren. There was never any doubt, however, that she had enough love to go around. It was obvious that she loved her family very much.
As her health declined she developed a fondness for Wendy’s Frosty and she looked forward to Thursdays when she knew that a frosty would be coming her way. It was the little things that made her happy.
A favorite verse, Micah 6:6-8, defines her. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
You lived that everyday and it showed. People loved you, admired you and respected you but your greatest fans were and will always be your family.
Go rest high on that mountain. Your work on earth is done. You, Jack, Jennifer, Louise and Ed watch over us as we continue life without you. We love you and we will miss you but we know that one day we will all be together again. Until then, God bless you now and forever. “Well done thy good and faithful servant.”
And all of Jack and Margaret’s children said “AMEN”