Margaret Marie Andrews was born on August 1, 1931, the only child of Alva and Marie Cowgill Andrews in Lincoln, NE. Her mother passed away three days later and her father when she was three years old. Margaret was raised in Central City, NE by her grandparents, Pearl and Laura Ross Cowgill and a loving extended family comprised of Ross, Andrews, and Cowgill kin. Later she lived with her aunt Caroline Andrews Roblee and graduated from Riverside (CA) Polytechnic High School.
Margaret went on to study at Pomona College in Claremont, CA, where on the first night of school she met her future husband, Samuel Schiff. They were married in July, 1951 and for sixty years remained the couple longest married to each other in the Pomona Class of 1953. She earned a BA in Psychology from Pomona and decades later a Bachelor of Library Science from Boise State University.
Sam and Margaret had four children in four different locales. Ellen was born in Fairbanks, AK while Sam completed his military service and Marilee was born in Stanford, CA where Sam completed his MBA. Mark was born in Seattle, WA and John in Portland, OR. Eventually Sam’s career took the family to Boise, ID. Margaret was a dedicated mother, community member, and friend to many during these years, but she always felt called to follow her own path. That path led her ultimately to become the Library Director of the Garden City (ID) Library. She gave herself to that role whole-heartedly for eighteen years.
Margaret enjoyed membership in a number of organizations that connected her with like-minded women engaged in lifelong service and learning; Questers, American Association of University Women, PEO, and United Methodist Women, among others. Her interests included books, travel, friends, music, and antiques. She was passionate about her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and her beloved dogs.
In 2021, fifty revelers joined Margaret for a lively open house and delicious luncheon in celebration of her 90th birthday at her condo. Family attending enjoyed the chance to visit with the friends and colleagues who had been the center of her life during nearly six decades in Boise. A year ago, Margaret moved to the Terraces of Boise, where she continued to build new friendships. As was her wish, she passed away peacefully at home on April 4, 2023 having lived a long, full, and accomplished life.
Margaret is survived by her children and spouses; daughters Ellen Conner of Wenatchee, WA and Marilee Schiff (Karl Schweinfurth) of Walla Walla, WA, and sons Mark Schiff of Salt Lake City, UT and John (Van Tran) Schiff of Boise, ID. Grandchildren include Ross (Erin) Town of Seattle, WA, Anne (Brian) Berry of Walla Walla, WA, Sam (Mattie) Town of Mountlake Terrace, WA and Chrisjohn Conner of Pasadena, CA. She is also survived by three great-grandchildren, Margaret, Willa, and Andrew. She was preceded in death by her husband, Sam, and a full complement of friends and relatives who are no doubt welcoming her home.
Margaret’s family will be installing a Little Free Library in her honor. Those who would like to donate a used book may send it to Margaret’s Library, care of Marilee Schiff, 305 Bryant Avenue, Walla Walla WA 99362. Memorial contributions may be made to the Garden City Library Foundation, 6015 Greenwood Street, Garden City, ID 83714 or Children of Vinh Son Orphanage www.vinhsonorphanage.org .