1920 - 2013
Margaret Evelyn Kibler, 93, passed way after a stroke and short illness on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2013, at the Odd Fellows Home on Boyer Avenue in Walla Walla.
She was born in Kansas City, Mo., on Jan. 18, 1920. She was the daughter of Jessemon Add Rolland Wyke and Annie Evelyn McLean. She was raised on the family farm near Davenport, Neb., with her brother Lyndon. The year after graduating from high school, she traveled by train to Walla Walla, to live with her Aunt Allie and Uncle Will McLean, prominent Clyde-area wheat ranchers. She worked for McLeans in their home and on the farm in exchange for tuition to Walla Walla Business College.
While working as a bookkeeper for the Model Grocery, she met Robert Kibler. Before their marriage on April 25, 1943, she worked for the U.S. Army Air Corps at the Walla Walla Airbase in supply inventory control. She became “Sparky”, the spark plug expert. After her daughters were older, she worked seasonally for the County Fair Exhibitors’ Office and the Walla Walla County Weed Board.
Bob and Margaret raised their three daughters at the ranch on Spring Creek Road. It remains an active wheat, dry peas and cattle ranch today. The farm was designated as a Centennial Farm in 1989 and the family barn was listed on the Heritage Barn Register in 2007 and was included on the Smithsonian Museum’s Barn Again Tour in 1997. Washington Historical Trust also toured the barn in 2010.
She actively supported many community organizations, including 4-H, Walla Walla Wagonettes and Order of Rainbow for Girls where she was the Mother Advisor. She was a life member of Alki Chapter 25-Order of Eastern Star and was treasurer for more than 50 years. She was also active in the Daughters of the Nile, PEO-Chapter GO, Blue Mountain Riders and Walla Walla Cowbelles where she was also involved at the regional and national levels. In earlier years, she was active in the Dixie Homemakers and The Bridgettes Club. Along with Bob, she was a member of the Square D-Swingsters Square Dance Club, Skyline Snowmobile Club and Idle Roamers RV Club. They both volunteered at Ft. Walla Walla Museum. As an active farmer’s wife she kept the farm books and records, was a member of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers, Washington Farm Bureau and Northwest Grain Growers Association.
Margaret is survived by her three daughters and a son-in-law, Geraldine and W.A. “Jerry” Cramer of Pasco, Pauline Winters of Walla Walla, and Sandra Shaub of Portland; four grandchildren, Frank Winters of Walla Walla, Brian Cramer of West Richland, Dustin (Jaime) Shaub of Sandy, Ore., and Megan Shaub of Portland; and two great-grandsons, Cole and Bryce Cramer. She was preceded in death by husband, Robert; and brother, Lyndon Wyke.
Viewing and visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22, at the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla. The funeral will be Saturday, February 23, at 10 a.m. at Herring Groseclose Funeral Home with the Rev. Steve Morris officiating. Interment will follow at Mountain View Cemetery, 2120 S. Second Ave. A light lunch will follow. Memorial contributions may be made to Shriner’s Hospital for Crippled Children-Spokane unit, Fort Walla Walla Museum or charity of your choice through the funeral home. Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.herringgroseclose.com.