Margaret Vander Hagen, 83, passed away peacefully at her Rockledge home after a long, full, happy life. She is survived by her daughters, Pamela Lamb (Robert), Laura Baxley (Glen) and Cynthia Parrish (Michael); granddaughters, Melanie Hill (Doug) and Megan McCrea (Richard). She is preceded in death by her husband, Frank Vander Hagen; her parents Henry and Mary Van de Walle; her brother, Thomas Van de Walle (Linda) and her sister, Dorothy Bidlack (Richard).
Margaret was born and raised in Mishawaka, IN and graduated from St. Joseph’s Catholic High School. She was a woman of faith from an early age.
Margaret met the love of her life, Frank when she went to see him play a gig with his band. Within a year, on April 23, 1955, he and Margaret were married. During their first years of marriage, they welcomed their three daughters, Pamela, Laura and Cynthia.
A promotion with Frank’s company was what brought the family to Rockledge, FL in 1966. Though she physically left South Bend, her love of Notre Dame Football remained.
She always joked that her college education came from watching Jeopardy and her sharp mind made her an excellent bridge player and master of the daily crosswords. Marge also enjoyed playing Bingo, trips to the casino, bowling, and just spending time with her family and friends, many of whom she met as neighbors who became lifelong friends. She was a huge Atlanta Braves fan and loved watching sports of all kinds.
She was a devout Catholic and member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church for more than 50 years where she served as an active parishioner and helped in the religious articles store. Most recently she was involved with St. John’s Catholic Church, attending mass and weekly rosary sessions at Town Square Assisted Living Facility.
Above all else, Margaret, was a wife, mother, grandmother and soon to be great grandmother. Pam, Laurie and Cindy were always the light of her life and she played a crucial role in the lives of her granddaughters, Melanie and Megan. To the family, she was “Nan” or “Nanny.” It was evident to anyone that knew the family that they all shared a special bond.
During the last four years, Margaret resided at Town Square Assisted Living in Viera. She enjoyed meeting new friends, the staff, and partaking in their activities, especially Bingo. Her Town Square family, along with her caregivers have shown an immeasurable amount of care and compassion to which she and the family will be forever grateful.
Margaret was the ultimate advice provider, sharer of wisdom, story and joke teller, and will always be remembered for giving the best hugs. Material possessions were never a factor for Margaret however she and Frank both took pride in maintaining their Rockledge home where they provided a loving foundation for their girls. A poem written to Margaret by her granddaughter, Melanie, on her wedding day perfectly describes it more:
“The sweetest gift I ever received never came from a fancy store. It wasn’t wrapped in ribbons but it meant so much more. Unconditional love was the gift you gave to me.”
In her final days, Margaret shared she was ready to be “home” and in Heaven with her love, Frank. They’re now holding hands once again and her remains will be placed with his at the Cape Canaveral National Cemetery.
To the best Wife, Mom, Nan and friend ... may you Rest In Peace. You will forever be in our hearts and the hearts of many.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Mary's Catholic Church, St. John’s Catholic Church, or your local Hospice.
A private service will be held at a later date.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Margaret Ann (Van de Walle) Vander Hagen, please visit our floral store.
St John the Evangelist Catholic Church
5655 Stadium Parkway, Viera FL 32940