POTOMAC — Margaret I. Gernand, of Potomac, passed peacefully from this life at 12:23 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana after a lengthy illness.
She was born May 4, 1929, at her family’s farm in Allerton, Edgar County. She was the third child of Esther (Alley) and Frank P. Reed. Margaret attended schools in Allerton and Newman and also in Dana, Ind. In April 1946, her family moved from Dana, Ind., to their Potomac farm. Because it was her senior year of high school, Margaret was able to attend the last month of school at Potomac High School but graduate from Dana High School as the salutatorian of the Class of 1946.
In her youth, Margaret was active in 4-H where she participated in track and won awards for the broad jump and 100-yard dash. She was very athletic, and many times she would compete against the boys.
While she was helping on her dad’s farm in Potomac, she met her future husband, Peter “Ted” Gernand Sr. They were married on Dec. 4, 1951, in Chicago. They were blessed with two children, Shirley Jean and Peter “Larry” Gernand Jr.
Margaret enjoyed all aspects of the farm. She showed that she was an active partner of the family farm as she helped her husband from spring planting through fall harvest as well as keeping the farm records throughout the year. In 2003, Gernand Farms was chosen as one of the hosts for the 50th Farm Progress Show. The event was held at their farm near Henning. Margaret was always very proud of being a farm wife.
An avid gardener, Margaret enjoyed canning the produce she raised. To the delight of her family, she baked homemade angel food and German chocolate cakes for their birthdays. For many years, Margaret was an active member of the Potomac Civic Woman’s Club.
One of her favorite hobbies was collecting. She was always looking for unique salt and pepper shakers, spoons, dishes, postcards and dolls. For many years, Margaret and Ted enjoyed traveling with their grandsons to the Dakotas where the boys learned to appreciate the country. After Margaret became very ill, she still enjoyed watching the original “Dallas” television series with her caregivers, Rachel, Heather, Carolyn and Jeannie.
Margaret always enjoyed spending time with her family. She is survived by her husband of nearly 62 years, Ted; and children, Jean (Ed) Perkins of Urbana and Larry (Dianna) Gernand of Potomac; her grandchildren, Scott (Lisa) Perkins of St. Joseph, Andy (Emily) Gernand of Potomac, Todd (Natalie) Perkins of Champaign, Katie (Daniel) Bretscher of Mount Vernon, Iowa, Ashley Gernand of Effingham and Luke Gernand of Potomac; great-grandchildren, Mara, Miranda, Marissa and Ava Perkins and Macey, Evan, and Drew Gernand; her sisters, Dorothy Ellis of Rossville and Marilyn (Bill) Boen of Oakwood; her brothers Harold (Sue) Reed of Homer, Frank (Sharon) Reed of Normal, Ralph (Diana) Reed of Danville; brother-in-law Bill (Phyllis) Gernand of Alvin; sisters-in-law, Virginia VanBurk of Danville and Susan Reed of Indianapolis; as well as several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; a stepmother, Rosalind Reed; brothers Joe, Albert and Kenneth Reed, brothers-in-law Louis VanBurk and Bob Ellis; and a granddaughter, Emily Jane Gernand.
A celebration of Margaret’s life will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, at Wolfe-Blurton Funeral Home in Potomac, with Pastor Pete Wiedman and Mike Reed officiating. Burial will follow the service in the Potomac Cemetery. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.
Memorials may be sent in Margaret’s name to the Middlefork United Methodist Church in Potomac or to the Carle Foundation. The family has entrusted the Wolfe-Blurton Funeral Home in Potomac to assist them in honoring Margaret’s life. Condolences may be sent to the family at: www.wolfeblurtonfuneralhome.com.