Cover photo for Margaret Helen (McQuary) MacLaughlin's Obituary
Margaret Helen (McQuary) MacLaughlin Profile Photo
1921 Margaret 2023

Margaret Helen (McQuary) MacLaughlin

March 21, 1921 — January 27, 2023

Littleton, MA

Margaret Helen (McQuary) MacLaughlin died peacefully in her home in Littleton, MA on January 27, 2023, surrounded by her loving family.  She was 101 years old.

Margaret was born March 21, 1921, the daughter of the late Rodney and Helen Maurine (Longman) McQuary.  She was predeceased by Don, her husband of 53 years, her sister Jean Klopfer, brother Rod McQuary, and daughter Donna MacLaughlin.


The daughter of a Presbyterian minister, Margaret grew up in Indiana, Kentucky and Minnesota, the oldest of three children.   She attended the University of Minnesota and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, graduating Summa Cum Laude.   After graduation she traveled to New York City to work in publishing.   It was here that she met and married her husband, Don, then a freelance artist and graduate of Pratt Institute.   Soon afterward, Margaret and Don moved to California to begin their new life together.  They worked hard, raised their family, made friends, and lived happily for fifty years.  In 1989 they retired to Prescott, AZ, where they made new friends and became active in the community of Southwest artists.  Later, in 1999, Margaret and Don traveled to Massachusetts to live closer to family.


Margaret was an independent and courageous woman, with a kind and generous heart and a wonderful dry sense of humor.   As a mother, she was always available to listen and give her support and counsel.  She gave her children countless examples to live by, including moving through challenges with grace.  She became legally blind in 2018 and still focused on the positive; her mind remained sharp and inquisitive throughout her life.  She loved traveling to new places, enjoyed writing, reading books (later with Audible), and learning new things.  She often said she felt fortunate that she and Don were able to have so many opportunities to visit other countries during his years working at Disney.


Margaret loved her family wholeheartedly, and they always knew that and felt it deeply.

She is survived by her daughters:  Jeanie Colony (Jim Colony) of Harvard, MA; Barbara Wightman (David Wightman) of Chessy, France; grandchildren:  Alison Wightman, Matt Colony, and Dan Colony; and great-grandchild Diego Valdez, as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins. 


The family will hold a Celebration of Life for Margaret in June in Connecticut, where she will be buried next to her husband Don.   We will miss her dearly, and are grateful that we were blessed to have her in our lives for so many years.


Arrangements are under the care of Badger Funeral Home, Groton. To share a memory or offer a condolence, visit

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The family will hold a Celebration of Life for Margaret in June in Connecticut.

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