Obituary for Margaret Mawhinney
Margaret Nodine Mawhinney of Clearwater, Florida passed away on August 5, 2017 in Palm Harbor from complications of a stroke. She was 85. Born Margaret Elizabeth Nodine in Meadville, Pennsylvania on June 16, 1932, she was a long time resident of Clearwater, having moved here with her family in 1934 when she was two. The family settled in a stone house her father had built on North Fort Harrison and she attended North Ward Elementary School. She graduated from Clearwater High School in 1950, along with her future husband Julian Mawhinney. She started her studies at the University of Florida a week after finishing high school, receiving her degree in 3 years. At this point she returned to Clearwater and was delighted to run into Julian outside of the Capitol Theater on Cleveland Street after seeing a movie with her parents. They were married in 1954 and built a home on Main Street near US 19. At the time, this was very far from downtown Clearwater and US 19 was a modest, 2 lane road.
Margaret worked as a buyer for Maas Brothers department stores after college and also worked as a legal secretary. When her children were young, she went back to law office work at a few different firms, soon becoming the legal administrator for the Clearwater law firm Richards, Gilkey, a position she held for 25 years. After retiring from Richards, Gilkey in the early 1990’s, she continued occasional work at a few other firms.
Margaret was an accomplished musician, starting piano at an early age, singing in the Glee Club at Clearwater High and learning to play the pipe organ. She combined her love of music and her faith by serving as an organist at many area churches. She attended Peace Memorial Church in Clearwater during her youth and later was the organist at both Trinity Presbyterian Church in Clearwater and Safety Harbor Presbyterian Church. In the early 1970’s she began 40 years as a member of the First United Methodist Church of Dunedin, serving as Organist, Associate Organist and Substitute Organist. At the time of her passing, she was a member of the Palm Harbor United Methodist Church.
Margaret is survived by two sons, Ted N. Mawhinney of Clearwater, and Robert D. Mawhinney of New York, NY, and a daughter, Nancy Smyth of Bybee, TN. She also leaves behind four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren Margaret was predeceased by her husband of 62 years, Julian, and a daughter, Jean R. Mawhinney.
A funeral service for Margaret will be held on Saturday, August 12, 2017 at 2:00 PM at Palm Harbor United Methodist Church, 1551 Belcher Road, Palm Harbor, FL. In lieu of flowers the family is requesting donations to either Suncoast Hospice or the American Cancer Society.