Margaret Mary Cunningham Porter, 82, passed away on Friday, September 10th, 2021, after a long battle with Dementia and complications from a stroke. She passed away peacefully at home, with her family by her side.
Margaret was born on June 29th, 1939, in Edinburgh, Scotland, to William Cunningham and Elizabeth Connelly. She was the firstborn, later becoming a big sister to brother Bill and sister Veronica. Raised in a catholic home, Margaret was a force to be reckoned with, especially as a teenager, all the while giving her parents a worrisome time but with the utmost respect intact. After graduation, she worked in the office for her grandfather’s coal business, “Cunningham Coal,” in Portobello, Scotland.
Margaret had big plans to come to America! Unfortunately, her parents wouldn’t sign for her to go, so she had to wait until she was of legal age at 23. In 1962 Margaret immigrated to America on a big jet plane all by herself, leaving her family and Scotland behind. The first stop was California, and the second stop was New York. She never made it to her second stop.
Margaret arranged to work as a nanny (or “slave,” as she put it) for a family in Southern California. Margaret eventually moved into her own place in the Van Nuys area and took a job in bookkeeping. Finally, meeting new friends, she also met her future husband, James (Jim) Allen Porter. Margaret married Jim in January of 1965 in Edinburgh, Scotland, at St. John’s Church. In 1966 they welcomed their daughter Veronica and then a son, William (Bill), in 1969. Margaret and Jim made a wonderful home and life for their children in Newbury Park, California. Margaret and Jim later divorced in 1982, and Jim passed in 1992. Margaret did eventually become a US citizen; this was a happy day for her!
Margaret was always in her children’s classrooms and cheering on the sidelines (or coaching) for every sport her children participated in. After the divorce, she raised her kids as a single parent while working as a bartender at a local restaurant in Thousand Oaks, California. Margaret met the second love of her life, Fred Wylie, during her bartending tenure. They left Newbury Park in 1989 and moved to which will be her final resting spot, the small town of Templeton, California. Margaret and Fred spent 30 years together until his passing in 2010.
Margaret’s son Bill had previously passed unexpectedly in 2009. She lost the two most important men in her life in less than a year; this was quite a devastating loss for Margaret. However, her grandson Austin (born in 1995) and daughter Veronica provided an outlet for the spark and passion she did have left. Margaret helped her daughter Veronica raise Austin into a wonderful young man. Unfortunately, the final years of Margaret’s life were taken by Dementia. Margaret’s daughter Veronica became her caregiver and stood by her side until the end.
Margaret had a love of gardening like no other. Out in the rose garden, she was her happiest. Margaret loved to read books (often finishing an entire novel in one day). She loved her Mexican food and never turned down a cold bowl of ice cream!
Margaret is survived by her loving daughter, Veronica Porter (Templeton); her beloved grandson, Austin McIntyre (Paso Robles); her brother, William Cunningham (Scotland); her sister Veronica Stuart (New Zealand); her favorite nieces Jo Stuart (England), Elizabeth Stuart (New Zealand) and Paula Cunningham-Ford (Scotland); nephew Stephen Cunningham (Scotland) and her best friend of 60 years Mary Ann Tuck (Paso Robles). She was preceded in death by her mother, Elizabeth Connelly (1967); father William Cunningham (1984); and her beloved son William Allen Porter (2009).
There will be a “Celebration of Life” on Sunday, October 24th at 11 am to be held at 15c in Templeton, California. This restaurant is located at 624 S. Main Street, Suite 101. Please contact her daughter Veronica for questions or concerns at 805-712-6295 (text/call) or email at email@example.com. Flowers can be sent to Margaret Porter c/o Veronica Porter, 15 River Run Road, Templeton, CA 93465.
Final interment will be at Templeton Cemetery in Templeton, California, attended by family members only.