Margaret Alice Jackman Kirby Frailey, 95, passed away on Tuesday morning, January 12, 2021, at St. Joseph Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri. She was born on May 19, 1925 in Emmetsburg, IA, to Francis and Eva (Murphy) Jackman and was raised in Sioux City, IA by her aunt and uncle, Thomas and Ann (Jackman) Kirby.
Margaret (or “Peg,” as she was known for most of her life) married Henry “Hank” Francis Frailey, on December 28, 1946 in Sioux City. They were married for 58 years, until Hank’s death on February 27, 2004. Margaret is survived by her daughters, Kathleen (William) Puls of Columbia, MD; Margaret (Steve) Hellrung of Atlanta, GA; Rooney (Tom) Russell of Falmouth, MA; Joann (Ron) Heap of Kansas City, MO; Mary Patricia (Dean) Calland of Pittsburgh, PA; and Anne (Manny) Martinez of Bayside, WI; sons, Dan (Christine) Frailey of Hinsdale, IL, and Michael (GiGi) Frailey of West Hartford, CT; 32 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren and counting; and brother, Richard Jackman of Wayne, PA. Margaret was preceded in death by two sisters, three brothers, and two grandchildren, Sean Puls and Joseph Martinez.
Margaret was the salutatorian of her 1946 graduating class at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame. While attending Saint Mary’s, she met her future husband, a Notre Dame student and junior officer in the United States Navy. On completion of Hank’s military service, they moved East to begin married life, raising their family in Elmira, NY. All eight of their children returned to South Bend for college (four to Saint Mary’s, four to Notre Dame), and in 1983 they, too, returned to Margaret’s beloved Midwest. Their home in Granger, IN, became a gathering place for friends and family (their college-aged grandchildren in particular) for the next 23 years as they shared their passion for campus life, college athletics and above all, family.
Margaret was a lifelong gardener, avid reader and accomplished pianist. Fiercely proud of her Irish heritage (the Jackman’s of Kilkenny County), she enjoyed many trips to Ireland with Hank, family and friends. She was devoted to the Fighting Irish and hosted countless ND football weekend tailgate parties, warmly welcoming guests (and guests of guests) until it was time to go into the stadium. In her lifetime of attendance, she never missed the entrance of the band through the tunnel, and never failed to inform the referees of their misguided calls.
But perhaps Margaret’s happiest pursuit was as grandmother and great-grandmother to the multitudes. No birthday, holiday or milestone went unmarked (always with just the right gift or card/check plus a crisp $5 bill on St. Patrick’s Day). Her Christmas giving was Homeric. Her pride, energy and enthusiasm, boundless. All were beloved, and they knew it.
Above all, Margaret will be remembered for her brilliant wit, her devotion to her Catholic faith and her unconditional love for her husband, Hank, and her family.
The family wishes to express deep gratitude to the wonderful people of Home Instead Senior Care in Kansas City.
The family recognizes the many friends and family who will be with us in spirit and will also have a memorial mass and celebration in Margaret’s honor when the pandemic subsides.
Mass of Christian Burial for Margaret will be celebrated at 11:00am on Friday, January 22, 2021 at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 52553 Fir Road, Granger, IN. Graveside services and burial will follow at Cedar Grove Cemetery on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Friends may visit with the family from 10:00-11:00am on Friday at church. Mass will be livestreamed by the church at www.stpius.net or www.facebook.com/stpiusgranger.
Contributions in memory of Margaret may be donated to the charity of the donor’s choice.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.
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