She was born on April 25, 1923, in Port Allegany, Pennsylvania, one of three children of Andrew and Sara Olson. After graduating from Port Allegany High School in 1941, Margaret attended Penn State University in State College, Pennsylvania, where she obtained a bachelor's degree in home economics in 1945.
Right after the end of World War II, Margaret married the love of her life, Walter Bright, on May 19, 1946, in Port Allegany, Pennsylvania. While Walter attended the University of Michigan, Margaret taught in the Willow Run school district.
Margaret first came to Grand Haven in 1953. In 1955, she and Walter left for Capac, Michigan, and then Escanaba, Michigan, before returning to Grand Haven in 1964. Margaret started teaching in the Grand Haven Area Public Schools in 1966 at Rosy Mound Elementary School and soon thereafter moved to Mary A. White Elementary School, retiring from teaching in 1986.
Margaret was predeceased by her loving husband of almost 72 ½ years, Walter, who died on October 7, 2018; her parents, Andrew and Sara Olson; and her brother, Eric Olson.
Margaret is survived by her brother, Andrew Olson, of Saranac, Michigan; her 4 children, Joan of Blue Grass, Iowa, Bruce of Grand Ledge, Michigan, Scott (Kathy) of Washington Township, Michigan, and David (Sara) of Lino Lakes, Minnesota; her six grandchildren, April, Sophie, Joshua, Laura, Caitlin and Kyle; and her nine great grandchildren, Orion, Cassie, Jackson, Henry, Julian, Adeline, Eloise, Callum and Finn. Other extended family members include Julia Bright, and Brodrick and Ashley Wheat and their children, Sabriel and Zekiel.
Margaret loved her family, was proud of their accomplishments, enjoyed spending time with them, and always had time to entertain her grandchildren. She was a strong woman and took exceptional care of her husband, Walter, for many years. Margaret was an excellent cook and wonderful hostess. She made great meals for innumerable family gatherings, and she would many times be found taking a meal or a dessert to someone confined to their home. Margaret loved music (played the piano and sang in Tuesday Musicale), and she was always attending her children’s numerous and various musical events. Margaret played tennis (she and Walter first met on the Port Allegany tennis courts), and she loved the outdoors (she was very familiar with the different kinds of wildflowers and birds). Margaret and Walter loved to travel and it would not be unusual for them to stop and visit a friend or acquaintance if that person was within 100 miles of their intended route. Also, Margaret was known for being able to attend an event where she did not really know anyone and come out knowing more about some of your friends than you did, or she had found a connection with someone or someplace in her past. A trip to Meijer, Panera or the farmers’ market was not a good trip unless she ran into someone she knew. Margaret was interested in world affairs, she liked the British Royals, she loved weddings, and she was proud of her time in Port Allegany and her Swedish heritage.
The family will honor the memory of Margaret and celebrate her life at a memorial service to be held at the Sytsema Funeral Home, VanZantwick Chapel, 620 Washington Avenue, Grand Haven, Michigan. At the request of Margaret, there will be no viewing, but there will be a time for visiting and sharing memories with the family at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 15, 2018, followed by a memorial service at 11 a.m., with Mr. Mark Hill officiating. A luncheon will immediately follow the memorial service. A private burial will be at the Lake Forest Cemetery in Grand Haven.
The family thanks the entire staff at Grand Pines Assisted Living Facility and Kindred Hospice for all of the excellent care, comfort and love given and shown to Margaret.
In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that donations be given in memory of Margaret Sophia Bright to the Grand Haven Schools Foundation, P.O. Box 272, Grand Haven, MI 49417; Edgewood Lutheran Church, 2525 E. Pontaluna Road, Fruitport, MI 49415; or Kindred Hospice, 625 Kenmoor Avenue SE, Suite 115, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Please sign the family’s online guestbook at www.sytsemafh.com.