Margaret Thesier Lashbrook
Margaret Eugina Thesier Lashbrook (know as Aunt Margaret to the family), was born September 7, 1895. She married Leland Clarence Lashbrook October 12, 1914 at the age of 19. She had 3 children, Clarence David Lashbrook born July 11, 1915 in Gouverneur New York, Doris Helena Lashbrook born August 28, 1918 in Gouverneur New York, and Lewis Eugene Lashbrook born August 14, 1925 in Gouverneur.
Margaret studied nursing and became a Practical Nurse. She gave up nursing after the Great Depression when she and Leland moved to Syracuse, New York where they opened and operated a family restaurant. Clarence married in 1938 and Doris in 1939. They operated the restaurant until WWII when Lewis went into the Army as did Leland. Leland served as a cook at an Army base in New York and Margaret went back to nursing. They then moved to Buffalo New York with Clarence and his family in 1945. Lewis had married just after the war and moved to Miami, Florida. Margaret obtained her Practical Nursing License for the State of New York in 1950. Leland went to work for Dairyman’s League Milk Company, and Margaret practiced nursing. She knew how to drive a car and would take Leland to work and drive herself to work.
Clarence and Ruth had 6 children by 1948, and Margaret felt the need to be close by to assist Ruth in any way she could. So she and Leland went together with Clarence and bought a duplex home made available to war veterans from the government in Tonawanda New York where they lived next door to each other until Leland retired in 1960.
All the while they lived next door, Margaret was a magnificent neighborhood nurse and immeasurable help to Ruth with the children. She helped care for them, and being able to drive, she drove Ruth and the children everywhere.
Although money was tight, Margaret was able to go to the refrigerator where there was practically nothing in it, and put together a full meal for all 10 people. I can never remember going to bed hungry and I owe it all to my grandmother. She was always there for us. No matter what the problem. When anyone needed help she was always willing to lend whatever assistance she could. She was an intelligent woman and made Leland to be a very content husband.
When they retired and moved to Labelle, Florida, they lived on a 3 acre lot their son Lewis purchased for them, and gave them a 99 year lease on. Margaret became very active with the woman’s club of Labelle. She held rummage sales to help raise money for their charitable causes, and although she was not licensed to practice nursing in Florida, she taught many of her senior citizen friends how to take care of themselves.
In 1970 when Clarence had to leave New York for health reasons, as he and Ruth
developed emphysema. They sold their home and moved to Labelle with their last two children they had at home. Margaret was very pleased to have them nearby again. She was now able to be Grandma again. After almost raising 6 other grand children with Ruth back in Tonawanda, she was thrilled to help her with her last 2. She was again a tremendous help to Ruth as Ruth still had not learned to drive.
Margaret was a very kind and loving person. She would do whatever she could for anyone. Her single most talent I can remember was her canning ability. She could can just about anything. Also she had so many home remedies for whatever ailed you. A lot she learned from her childhood. She would tell me things her mother taught her as a little girl. She could take the sting out of a bee sting, the itch out of a mosquito bite, the itch out of poison ivy, and I swear she probably could take the poison out of a snake bite. She was the kind of Grandma every child should have.
She was a strong woman. She and Leland lost their son Lewis to heart failure on April 23, 1975. I remember her telling me she hopes I never have to bury one of my children. That is the most difficult thing any parent can do. It is as if a part of you dies also, she said. Then in January of 1979 she lost Leland after 65 years of marriage. The night before he died he said, “Margaret I’m not feeling well, and I’m tired, so I am going to go to bed.” He kissed her goodnight, and he went to bed. The next morning Margaret went into his room to see why he was not up and around as yet, as he was always up with the birds in the morning. She touched him, and knew he had passed away in his sleep. She immediately called Clarence and the ambulance. However they confirmed he had passed away. As I said, she was a strong woman, and came through that tragedy as well as could be expected.
Clarence then had her mobile home moved over to his 4 acre lot, and set up next to him. The next year, in 1980- Christmas day, Ruth passed away from complications of emphysema and heart problems. Margaret helped Clarence with raising his last son Timothy, who was now 20 years old and still living with his dad.
Margaret passed away on December 15, 1981. The thought of going through a
Christmas without Leland or Ruth was just too much for her heart to take and she passed away in her sleep as did Leland.
This story about Aunt Margaret was written by her grandson, Blaine Lashbrook.