Margaret Elizabeth Urner

February 9, 1918 — January 5, 2016

Margaret Elizabeth Urner, known affectionately as “Tootie”, was born February 9, 1918 and passed away peacefully January 5, 2016 of natural causes. She was nearly 98 years of age. Margaret was the first child of David E. and Mildred Ashbaugh Urner. Her father was the founder of Urner’s Appliance Center and she worked with him and other family members at the store for 70 years. Margaret attended local schools and graduated from KCHS (now Bakersfield High) in 1936. She attended Bakersfield College for one year and then took a job in the office of the high school while continuing to work on her A.A., which she completed in 1938. During WW II Margaret felt a calling to join the Waves – the Navy program for women. She went to Hunter College in NY for training, followed by the University of Oklahoma and was then stationed at the Oakland Naval Supply Station, the point where supplies were sent to the Pacific fleet and around the world. She completed her service in 1947 and returned to Bakersfield and to employment in the business office at Urner’s until 2008, retiring on her 90th birthday.

Margaret’s experience in the service heightened her interest in travel. She became a worldwide traveler, spending vacations each year touring countries such as Switzerland, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, England, France, Spain, and within the US visiting Alaska, Hawaii and numerous national parks. She was a talented photographer, recording her adventures in beautiful photos. Margaret also accompanied her brother Dave Urner on a trip to Wakayama, Bakersfield’s Sister City in Japan. In addition to travel, Margaret was deeply interested in classical music. She attended the first concert of the Bakersfield Symphony in 1932 and was present at virtually every performance since its inception, also providing substantial financial support to the organization over the years.

Although Margaret never married she was very committed to her nieces and nephews and their children, setting up a fund that supported the education of 31 great-nieces and great-nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, and her brother Edward E. Urner, and is survived by her beloved siblings, her sister, Barbara Urner Johnson, and brother, David H. Urner, both of whom reside locally at Rosewood Senior Center. Other survivors include 12 nieces and nephews, their aforementioned children and her extensive collection of stuffed animals given to her by the children over the years. Her niece, Pamela Urner, was an integral part of her care team and a tireless companion to her in her life.

A Memorial Service will be held on Tuesday, January 12 at 11:00 a.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church, 1314 Oswell St., Bakersfield, CA 93306. Private burial services for the family will be conducted at Hillcrest Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Margaret E. Urner may be made to the Bakersfield Symphony, 1328 34th Street, Suite A, Bakersfield, CA 93301.
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