Margie Maxine (Brown) Talbert

Margie Maxine (Brown) Talbert, age 88, passed into Gods hands on February 13, 2013 at Marigold Rehab Center in Galesburg.  

She was born in Prophetstown, Illinois on June 29, 1924 daughter of Henry Earl and Lila (Ewing) Brown.

While growing up on family farms in Whiteside County, she attended elementary and high schools in Prophetstown, Hooppole and Walnut Illinois.                                       

During WWII, she worked manufacturing explosives at Green River Ordinance in Amboy, Illinois as one of the many unsung women heroes contributing to the war effort from home. Her daily job involved producing rocket-propelled bazooka ammunition, artillery shells, naval shells, bombs, rifle grenades, as well as fuses and rockets for use in the War in both the European and Pacific theatres. Like so many from the “Greatest Generation,” she rarely talked of her experiences, but had witnessed the death of several co-workers when TNT exploded near the encased area where she worked.

Following the war she worked for her father’s business, Brown Implement Company, the International Harvester dealership in Toulon, Illinois; managing the companies perpetual machinery parts inventory.                                                                                                          

While living in Toulon, she met Lester W. Talbert (Sr.) and together moved to Freeport, Illinois to begin their family.  While in Freeport, they both worked as laborers at Micro Switch Corporation.

In 1955, while expecting their fifth child, Lester died of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (a disease that at that time had no cure) and Margie suddenly became a lifelong single parent in an era when it was not so common.  At this time, Margie returned to Toulon to raise her family.

Committed to offering her children every opportunity in life she could possibly provide, including post-high school educations, Margie frequently held two and three jobs at any given time.  Such jobs included housekeeper, cheese-maker, waitress, and nurse’s aide.

Always desiring to advance her own education and known for her compassion to others, Margie graduated from Carl Sandburg College in 1972 as a Licensed Practical Nurse and again became employed at Galesburg Mental Health Center where she had previously been a nurse’s aide. She continued this role until her health related retirement in 1985.                                                                     

Having attended church much of her life, a defining moment for her was in 1963 when she accepted Jesus Christ as her Personal Savior at a Revival Meeting held in the cafeteria of Toulon Grade School and sponsored by Faith Baptist Church of Toulon.  From that point forward, she was determined to spend her entire life living for Christ.



When able, she attended Baptist Church in Galesburg.   Even after her failing health forced her to become a nursing home resident, she continued to attend on-site church services and to assist in caring for the emotional and physical needs of the friends she met there.

While at the nursing home, Margie served as a consumer member of the patient advocacy committee in an effort to ensure all received the respectful care they deserve in such a setting. 

Margie also continued to share her love for storytelling, writing, humor and poetry by contributing her writings to the nursing home newsletter; even receiving an award at the age of 80 for an essay written to the Galesburg Register Mail.

Mrs. Talbert was a long-term member of the Eastern Star and will be remembered as a nurturer–always caring and funny– and a loyal friend and neighbor to people, regardless of culture and background.

One also could not mistake Margie for her big heart—big grin– and positive attitude– always compassionate and often giving of herself beyond her means.

She loved gardening, travel, watching TV, garage sales, reading, visiting with friends, and playing cards; but most of all she enjoyed spending time with her children and grand children who will miss her dearly.

       Margie is survived by one daughter and four sons: Trudie (and Bob) Friedly of Waterloo, Iowa, Lester W. Jr. (and Katherine) of Stockton, Illinois, Terry (and Amanda) of East Galesburg, Illinois, Tom (and Janet) of Raytown, Missouri, and Kevin (and Laurie) of Galesburg, Illinois.  

She is also survived by two grand-children: Andrew Talbert of Raytown, Missouri and Erin (and Josh) Coleman of Kansas City, Missouri and sister-in-law,  Carol Brown of Dixon, Illinois and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, sister Margaret Brown, brothers Elmer and Gene Brown, grandson Christopher Maxwell Talbert and granddaughter Amy Louise Talbert.     

A celebration of her life will be held at Hinchliff-Pearson-West Galesburg Chapel Saturday at 10:00 AM.  Visitation will be Friday from 5 to 7 PM at the Chapel is in charge of arrangements.  Rev. Rick Smith and Rev. Mike Blake will officiate.

Internment will be at 3PM at  Hooppole Cemetery, Hooppole, Illinois.

Memorials may be made to the Christopher Maxwell Talbert Scholarship at Galesburg Christian School or to Alzheimer’s research.

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