Margaret (Casey) Pheasant passed away Nov. 28 at St. Joseph Residence in Seattle, Wash. She was born April 11, 1912, at home, in Burke, Wash., to the late Mary Ann McCann Casey and Frank Casey, immigrants from Ireland and Scotland who settled in the Quincy area.
Margaret was the eldest of seven and traveled by buggy with her sisters to attend a country school. She attended school in Quincy and graduated from Holy Names High School in Spokane in 1931. Margaret graduated from St. Anthony’s in Wenatchee in 1934 and accepted her first position in a home hospital in Tonasket.
Margaret’s life evolved around family, nursing and her community. She moved to Seattle and worked at Providence, Swedish and Harborview hospitals. Margaret’s legacy as a nurse are the integrity, perseverance in providing the highest levels of care and skill in resolving challenging situations with her diplomacy and sense of humor. She sought not to be served, but to serve. Between 1943 and 1950, Margaret provided private care for patients and in 1950 she joined St. Martin’s Hospital and worked with the Dominican sisters and later the community hospital (North Valley) as a supervising nurse – a career spanning 50 years. She was a leader in gaining representation for nurses and served as President, District 20 Washington State Nurses Association
On June 22, 1937 she married Earl Pheasant and celebrated 73 years of marriage in 2010. In 1943 they moved from Seattle to Tonasket to join Ralph and Emma Pheasant, pioneers and orchardists in running the family orchards.
Margaret was a natural visual artist and channeled her love of whimsy into creative clothing for her children and dresses and shirts for her and Earl for square dancing. She possessed her childlike sense of wonder and shared it with her husband and children in marvelous ways. A cherished memory of her children was arriving at sun-up in the early 1950’s to watch the elephants setting up the big tent for the nine ring Ringling Brothers circus. That afternoon no expense was spared to have the best seats for the show! She and Earl loved to travel and she was famous for being able to pack a bag in an hour and head out for a road trip in the green Buick!
She was close to her parents, brothers and sisters who visited the farm and loved to help with the chores or harvest. She highly valued her Irish and Scottish heritage. A high point in any day was matching wits with another person possessed of a dry sense of humor.
Margaret was a beloved elder in the Tonasket Community and Holy Rosary Parish and a mentor to many women in health care and community work.
Margaret is survived by two children: Patrick and Maggie; granddaughters: Lynda Feld (James) and Diana Schaan (Nicholas); his daughter-in-law, Marit; great-grandchildren: Jeremy, Gabriel, Penelope and Winston; brother, Jack Casey and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Earl; her son, Gregory; sisters: Alice, Cecilia and Teresa and brothers: Frank and Arthur.
Margaret’s family would like to acknowledge the Sisters of Providence for welcoming Margaret into St. Joseph’s Residence; Providence Hospice, The Kenney in West Seattle and the staff of 9 SW, Swedish Medical Center.
Funeral Mass to be Celebrated Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010 at 11:30 a.m., at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 625 Elliott Avenue, Wenatchee, WA 98801, with Burial at Wenatchee City Cemetery. A dinner will follow at St. Joseph’s Hall.
Her family suggests memorials to Holy Rosary Church, P.O. Box 533, Tonasket, WA 98855 or Our Lady of the Rockies, 3100 Harrison Avenue, Butte, MT 59701.