December 25, 2018

It is with sadness that we share the passing of longtime MBL community member Margaret Armstrong, who died on December 25, 2018. An obituary written by her family is below.

Margaret Armstrong was born in Niagara Falls, New York in 1939 and died in Springfield, Massachusetts on December 25, 2018. Margaret attended the public schools in Niagara Falls and received her Bachelor of Science degree from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts in 1961. In the summer of 1961, Margaret enrolled in the Invertebrate Zoology course at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, where she met her future husband, Peter Armstrong. They married in 1962 and Margaret conducted research on the genetics of Neurospora as a research associate at Goucher College while Peter pursued the PhD degree in Biology at The Johns Hopkins University. The couple moved to Davis, California in 1966, where Peter assumed the position of Assistant Professor of Zoology at the University of California, Davis. Margaret took an extended sabbatical from the lab bench when their three children were small. She reentered the world of laboratory research working as Peter’s research associate in 1971 when their youngest child entered nursery school, investigating problems of embryonic morphogenesis. The couple spent periods away from Davis during sabbaticals for research in the laboratories of other biologists, including two years in England, and laboratories in Denmark, and various laboratories in the United States. In 1975 Peter and Margaret began spending their summers in Woods Hole, where they continued their collaborative research at the Marine Biological Laboratory, identifying and characterizing evolutionarily conserved immune effector systems of long-lived animals. Margaret retired from laboratory work in 2015.

Margaret is survived by her husband, Peter, her sister, Florence Stivers, three children, Katharine, Elisabeth, and Philip, and four grandchildren. Margaret was a lovely person, loving and fiercely loyal. We miss her sense of humor and generosity of spirit every day.

A reception to celebrate Margaret’s life will be held this summer at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Massachusetts.