Thursday, July 28, 2011

100th birthday party awaits Linfield grad Margaret Lever Dement of Madras, Ore.

MADRAS, Ore. – When Margaret Lever Dement was growing up poor with eight siblings, birthday parties were so rare she doesn't remember any for herself.

However, soon she will have a birthday she is sure to recall, her 100th.

Margaret turns 100 on Aug. 12, 2011. Her open-to-the-public 100th birthday party will be 1:30-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, at the Jefferson Co. Senior Center. 860 SW Madison St.

The second of Marguerite and
Henry Lever’s nine children, she is one of four still living. She was born in 1911 in Dixon in the Missouri Ozarks.

Her mother was an accomplished musician. The background of her father – who later became a real estate broker and agent in Madras – included coaching and serving as athletic director at Linfield College in McMinnville.

Margaret graduated from Oregon’s Myrtle Point High School in 1930 and from Linfield in 1934.

Linfield officials say Margaret is one of the college’s oldest living alumna. College records show she earned a bachelor of arts degree in English. Margaret says she minored in music and journalism, too.

Her first job out of college was teaching English and music at Glendale High School in Oregon. She also taught full time at high schools in Oakridge, Vernonia and Myrtle Point. She has been a substitute teacher at Madras High School.

A former manager of the Jefferson County Historical Society Museum in Madras, she used to be a news correspondent for the Oregon Journal and Oregonian daily newspapers of Portland.

She has been organist at St. Mark's Episcopal Church here, played piano at the Jefferson Co. Senior Center and Mountain View Living Center in Madras, edited the center’s newsletter and was secretary for the Seniors of Jefferson County.

Margaret and Karl Dement, who died in 1979 at age 65, had three children. Daughter Marian and her husband, Jon Granby, live in Madras.

Son Thomas Dement lives in Spokane. Son Erik died at age 2 in a tragic drowning.

The Granbys and Thomas Dement are hosts of the party.

Wildcatville photo from April 2009