The night after my mother passed I woke, sat up in bed and began singing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.”

I sang it over and over in the dark, wondering why I was doing it as I am not a good singer and I certainly never wake up singing in the night! In the morning, I realized that this song is my mother!

We will be playing this recorded version at at her service and I have asked my daughter Summer to also sing the song, in her own way.

Margaret McWhorter, age 20


As beautiful as a movie star and as unaffected as a flower, our Mother, Margaret Jane Woods-Lange McWhorter died Tuesday evening, Nov 16th, at the age of 88 after having well-lived ten years with lung cancer. When sometimes asked how she stood the pain and fear of cancer she said, “I just make it neutral.” She also told us she had made friends with her cancer.

Born Sept 5, 1922, in Long Beach, California, Margaret grew up in the Antelope Valley, California where she was briefly a classmate of Judy Garland. She graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Drama.

She met our father at a party just as my father shipped off with the Army during WWII. They wrote letters for five years, but never had a date before they married in 1944.  Daddy liked to tell how when he stepped off the train and grabbed her for their first long awaited kiss, they banged teeth.

In 1952, our parents moved from the Mohave Desert to Highland Valley Rd., Ramona, California, with the first three of their six children. In 1962, they moved to “The Big White Farmhouse” at the corner of Dye and Highland Valley Road.

Margaret McWhorter, age 88

On Highland Valley Rd., our folks raised turkeys and lost their shirts.

Later, they both became Farm and Land Brokers and we all lived rich sometimes, penniless at others. Mother mentioned once that they had had to sell all the furniture in the house to feed us kids one week. We kids never noticed. Mother never cared for clothes, makeup, beautiful houses or things. She didn’t much care for cooking, either. Along with having 6 kids, here is some of what she did care about:

For a while she had a radio show for children called Margaret’s Magic Carpet. She also taught 4-H, was President of the local American Field Service, was certified as a Touch for Health Instructor with Palomar College, was an acupuncturist, gardened, practiced yoga and tai chi, belly danced, started and owned a publishing company (Ransom Hill Press), wrote books, was an avid reader of books of all kinds (but mainly how to’s and spiritual books) and she very effectively and positively read palms and tea leaves. She went to school at night and learned New Math when it came out, because her kids needed her help with it and she continued graduate studies at UCSD earning a certificate as a Farm and Land Broker, similar to a Masters. She learned pattern making and sewing, did beautiful calligraphy, and followed the nutritionist Adele Davis’s line of thinking.

We kids drank a lot of Adele’s ‘Tiger’s Milk’ nutritional drink (Brewers yeast, powdered milk, black strap molasses, dried liver, calcium powder and banana) to make sure we stayed away from doctors and hospitals. She spent a lot of time chasing our youngest sister around the property, trying to get her to drink the stuff.

Mom also had the first Macintosh computer and laser printer and could run circles around computer professionals with her technical knowledge. At one time, Mom owned seven computers and she used all of them. She was offered a MENSA membership, but didn’t seem to have an interest.

However, what Mother did best was love everyone. She never said mean or jealous words about people.  And, for the incredibly physically beautiful woman she was, we can’t think of anyone who was ever jealous of her or said anything unkind about her! How could they? She loved them.

Our mother was predeceased by our father James H. McWhorter (Old Jim) and her grandson Michael Lange Meyers. Left to miss her forever are her children, Venus Catherine Andrecht, Polly Jane Meyers (Dr. Ron) Barbara Raifsneider (John) James Lange McWhorter (Cynthia) Arthur Allen McWhorter (Mary Ellen) and Candy Ann Smiley (Steve), and grandchildren: Summer Andrecht McStravick (Charles), Josh Meyers (Kelli), Calixte and Arend Raifsneider, Jordan McWhorter and John and Kristopher McWhorter, Niole Boyer (Russ) and Trenton Smiley (Emily). She also leaves eleven great grandchildren.

Besides missing Margaret, her family and friends will greatly miss her Annual Christmas Letter where she, with all good will, unintentionally managed to embarrass and outrage various family members each year by truthfully recounting our ups and downs.

All of us and our Mother welcome her friends and all those who love her to her memorial service, Sunday Nov. 28, 11 AM at her son, Jim’s, Third Street Grill, at the corner of Third and Main, Ramona, CA 92065.

Mom tried to live long enough to be at Jim’s restaurant opening, and we feel she will bless his fortunes with her party.

We now reluctantly and sadly say good-bye and Godspeed to a beautiful being.

Instead of flowers, hospice donations in her name would be gratefully accepted by Avalon Hospice at 3914 Murphy Cyn Rd, #A226, San Diego, Ca 92123

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26 Responses to “MY MOTHER’S OBITUARY”

  1. Sandy says:

    That was a really beautiful obituary, Venus. My prayers and loving-kindness go out to you and yours. Sandy

  2. Venus, Summer and Margaret’s Family,
    Thank you for sharing this lovely obituary with us. I see your mother was a wonderful, multi-dimensional and loving person. I will adopt your family in spirit and wish you the best in the process of grief.

    Love to you all,
    Shelley Overton
    Orlando, Florida

  3. Percilla Stoeckley says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this with your FB friends! What a wonderful woman!

  4. Diane says:

    What a beautiful heart felt obituary. Your Mother was truly a beautiful being. Love and Hugs to you and your family.

  5. Your mother was clearly a radiant being–and a lot of fun. You are in my prayers as you experience this world without the physical presence of your mother.

  6. LisaB says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Venus, Summer and family. Your obituary is a beautiful, loving account of your mother’s life and passions. She was a woman ahead of her time in so many ways. I’m sending positive, loving wishes your way. ~LisaB in FL

  7. Sarah Brown says:

    What a lovely tribute to your mother! Thanks for sharing it, and much love to you and your family. -Sarah in Sedona

  8. Lorene Lombardi says:

    That was beautiful Venus. I think the pick of your song is perfect. Much love to all of your family

  9. Ken says:

    I really loved your mom. And, you too, Cathy. She was good to me. I cried, a lot… I’m too emotional. You know, you and I are next. ‘Ol Ken

  10. Jennie V. says:

    I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. Thank you for sharing that with us. I always enjoyed your stories about your mom and your obituary further explains the incredible human being she was. What an amazing role model, not just for her family but for all of us too. You all will be in my prayers. God bless you all.

  11. Sharon says:

    Dear Venus. I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your Mom. I think we will all feel her loss as we got to share your Mom through your stories. What a beautiful tribute to her. Sending love and blessings to you, Summer and the rest of your family. Sharon

  12. elizabeth angel louise says:

    dear venus, and summer,and all your family.i thanks god for bring her in to the world,Margaret,.nice photo so pretty.then me it feel like magic has come in to the world.then summer.well my day dreaming means the world to me.i seem dream when am a sleep in my bed venus and summer.,venus ends up in my dreams,as for summer i get my vison back very soon.i been crying.i feel like a angel come down and change the world has send lots of love to summer and venus.and the you all

  13. Dana Tate says:

    (((Love))) to you and yours. You are in my thoughts. Your mama is beautiful. :)

  14. Diane says:

    AsI scrolled down the page reading the obituary I came to your mothers current photo,and it took my breath away. How beautiful she was! God bless and love.

  15. Juliana says:

    What a beautiful woman! She has the most amazing eyes!

    When you tell stories about her, I always wish I could be more like her – so loving, so accepting, so kind, so wise. You and Summer both have those qualities.

    I delight in the stories you tell about her and your family – please keep telling them. Love and hugs to you and yours!

  16. Susan Rubesh says:

    What a wonderful tribute to your Mom, she was an exceptional human being. You all were very lucky to have such a loving, beautiful and smart mother. May your memories help you now.

  17. Pam Desjardine says:

    I’ve truly enjoyed the recanting of stories about your lovely mum. Her birthday was one day and 34 years before me, and I felt truly connected with your descriptions of her. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful mother with us. May you all find love, peace, harmony and blessing in this, just another curve in your road of life. Namaste

  18. Betty says:

    My heart goes out to you Venus and the rest of your family. Your mother was truly a beautiful person and thank you for sharing her with us. I never met her in person but I found her to be a wonderful kindred soul. So talented, kind and loving, she was such an inspiration to me in how she dealt with the slings and arrows of life. Take care, Venus. Good thoughts and good wishes for you.

  19. Diane Cropper says:

    Venus, my prayers and thoughts are with you and your family – what a joy for all of you and those that knew your mother to have such a beautiful person in your life. May all the wonderful memories bring you comfort on the days you may struggle not having her near and may her smile be the hug you want at any time.
    Peace and Blessings to you!

  20. Adrienne Dumas says:

    Awww I just loved read this. She was a truly wonderful, beautiful and inspirational woman and thank you for sharing this.

  21. Julie says:

    Beautiful story for your beautiful mom. May you and all of your family be wrapped in peace and love throughout the days before you.

  22. Grace says:

    My heartfelt saddess and thoughts and prayers at this time is with you and yours. Your Mom sounded like a dream..I read tea leaves too :) My Mom crossed 4/5/2010 I did take of her so I know what it can be like. Please feel free to email me at any time. I know if anyone will be sending signs from the other side your Mom will be:) I have gotten hearts for 7 months straight.
    All my love,

  23. sharon cocanour says:

    Well, this is sad news. I grew so truly fond of your Mom through your stories, Venus. Women like her don’t grow on trees and that’s a fact. I feel inspired to be a more joyous being myself after reading your wonderful obituary of her life. I just so often thought it would be really fun to go sit outside with her with the ratty chairs and boxes of stuff and drink tea and spill my guts and she would laugh. Boy you are lucky to have had such a woman for a mother. God bless your lovely family. And thanks for sharing her with us, your readers. Lovingly, Sharon

  24. Delma says:

    Hadn’t been to your page in a while and gasped when I saw the Obit. I got such joy from reading your stories about her. What a character! What I loved best about her was that nothing was a catastrophe! I lost my mother and daughter in 2009. My mother was born exactly 1 year and 1 day after your mom, Sept 6, 1923. I hope you can smile when you think of her like I will instead of cry.

  25. oh, Venus. I’m so sorry for your loss, for I know it is a great loss for you. I loved reading about your mom’s life (I didn’t know you have roots in the AV) and her strength. Gosh, as I’m writing this, I realize that you lost her a year ago. Hopefully by now you can laugh more and more when you think of her. Much love.

  26. venusand says:

    Hi Debbie, things are better but when I pass my mom’s house I always look to see if her car is there!! xo

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