Margaret Lewis: The Children Are Her Legacy
Margaret Lewis directly influenced more than 2,500 children during a career at Wilder that spanned almost three decades. By including Wilder in her estate plan, Margaret could now influence thousands more. Margaret, who passed away at 96 in December 2017, created a charitable bequest that will become the Margaret E. Lewis Fund for Children.
Margaret began her career at Wilder as a substitute teacher in the 1950s. She later became a teacher and then director of the Marshall day nursery program at Wilder, one of three child care centers that were eventually combined into the current Wilder Child Development Center. During Margaret’s years at Wilder, she helped develop plans for a new building at 650 Marshall Avenue—now home to the Wilder Community Center for Aging.
Upon Margaret’s retirement in 1980, Marilyn Lee, the director of the Wilder Children’s Division, reflected on Margaret’s humor, wisdom, ability to adapt to change, and dedication to the children at Wilder’s day care centers. “For staff, families and the Foundation, she has always been someone on whom you could count, who has always been willing to give her best,” the director said.
Recently, the trustee of the estate found Margaret’s legacy alive and well when she toured the Wilder Child Development Center, which focuses on kindergarten readiness, social and emotional learning, and other skills and family supports that children need to thrive in school and throughout their lives. “I know that Margaret is looking down with approval and pride at the way the programs have evolved,” she wrote afterward.