Margaret M. Thayil
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1933 - 2019
Margaret Mary Thayil, of New Market, MD, died on March 30, 2019 at Lorien Nursing Home in Mt. Airy, Maryland. Margaret who was 86, passed away peacefully in her sleep; and was welcomed into the arms of our Lord, and reunited with her husband Ernie. She was the wife of Rev. Ernest Thayil, and they were married just shy of 63 years after meeting at Youth for Christ in India. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband Ernest Thayil, her brother Gordon John Elisha, sister-in-law Leena Elisha, daughter-in-law Dominique Thayil; and granddaughter Athena Thayil.
Margaret was born on January 13, 1933 in Bombay, India; she was the daughter of the late Arthur Frank Elisha (of Bombay, India), and Mary Helena Kelman (of Aberdeen, Scotland). She was the daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter of missionaries. Her grandparents, Brigadier Elisha Raj and Brigadier Namrita Elisha Raj were recognized as pioneers in spreading the Gospel in India with the Salvation Army.
In High School she was a prefect, and Vice-Captain. Margaret was heavily involved in athletics, specifically track and field, and qualified for the Olympic trials in the 50 yard and 100 yard dash. While in high school, Margaret played the French horn in the Salvation Army Band. After graduation she attended Business College where she became certified in shorthand, typing, and book-keeping. She worked at a Mission Station as a secretary and accountant: as the secretary for the Director of Youth for Christ in India. She also worked as an accountant for the political officer at the American Consulate in Bombay.
She came to the US as a student in 1958 with her 18 month-old daughter, and attended Seattle Pacific College, working her way through school as a secretary for the Director of Public Relations. She graduated in 1963 with a B.A. in Sociology, and was recognized as the first Indian woman to graduate from Seattle Pacific College.
As a member of the United Methodist Church, she taught Sunday school for 30 years, sang in the choir, and served as a youth counselor with the church youth group. In 1988 she accompanied the youth group on a mission trip to Puerto Rico, where they helped to build a Sunday school wing on a church in Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico. She served as a Vice President for the United Methodist Women, for which she received a special recognition for her years of service. Margaret was one of only three women chosen from the Western US to attend a United Methodist Women’s Conference in New York. The conference was for international student wives held at the Church Center for the United Nations in October of 1964. She also volunteered with the Baltimore City Public Schools for many years.
Margaret stayed at home to raise her family and still managed to coordinate her children’s activities, take her kids to doctor appointments, be active in her church, and volunteer at her children’s schools; doing all this without ever having obtained a driver’s license. Every summer she taught her children life skills, including cooking, sewing, and laundry; she also gave them school-work to get them ready for the next year. She faithfully served with her husband Ernie as he pastored at Mt. Zion UMC, Deerfield UMC, Marvin Chapel UMC, Prospect UMC, Pleasant Grove UMC, Catoctin UMC, Johnsville UMC, Ijamsville UMC, Flint Hill UMC, and Bethesda Sykesville UMC.
Margaret loved her family and made sure to call and send cards to extended family on birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and other special days. She always kept the family connected, and many times was the first phone call when someone was sick, upset, or was just having a bad day; Margaret was always willing to lend an ear and offer support. She kept track of all the dates and made sure that her family celebrated special days in one way or another. She especially loved her grandchildren and enjoyed spending as much time as she could with them. Margaret was a life long learner and avid reader. She is survived by her loving family: four children, Kathleen Thayil, Amy Bartholomee and her husband Wayne, Jonathan Thayil, and Jason Thayil. Seven grandchildren and one great granddaughter, Brenden Riley, Allyson Gilberto, and her husband Anthony; Stacy Bartholomee, and her daughter Ava, Julian Bartholomee, and Philippe Bartholomee; Emma Thayil, and Kelman Thayil. She is also survived by many loving nephews, nieces, and brothers and sisters in law.
A Celebration of Life will be held for both Margaret and Rev. Ernest Thayil on May 4th 2019 at 2:00 p.m., at Jackson Chapel United Methodist Church, in Frederick, MD. The Rev. Terri Rae Chattin will officiate.
Donations may be made to the Salvation Army or the Dean Foundation. The Dean Foundation, located in Chennai, India, is dedicated to the care of people living with terminal, incurable diseases to alleviate suffering and make meaningful the human experience of living and dying.