The third child of Loretta (Mahoney) and James Martin Dixon, Margaret came into this world May 16, 1918. Over the years she would be Margie, Mag, Midge and Aunt Midge. When she was 8 years old, tragedy struck the family and within six months their father and two younger brothers, Frances “Buddy” and Eugene, died. This left a deep impression on Midge, prompting her to forever persevere in being there for her mother, her siblings — Myron, Rita and Dorothy — and three generations of nieces and nephews.Two years of high school led her to earning a business certificate from the Academy in Southold. The Bureau of Fisheries in Riverhead was among her first jobs. During World War II, Midge worked the original IBM machines, which consisted of numerous wires that had to be manually moved in order to calculate payroll figures for the Greenport Basin Company’s PT boat builders. Navy officers commended her for her excellent work. After World War II, she clerked at her brother Myron’s grocery store. For many years she was a fixture in Terp’s Pharmacy, retiring at age 85 due to a heart attack. Customers still miss her soda fountain egg creams!
In 1951, marriage to Stanley “Ritz” Domaleski found her living on a farm bordering Long Island Sound. On her day off, she would pile nieces and nephews into her old gray Plymouth for swimming and fun at the Sound. Through family celebrations, sacramental receptions, sickness and death, Aunt Midge was there, lending her joy, comfort and abiding love. If there was music, she would be on the dance floor doing the Lindy with her sister Dot or great-nephews! Matriarch to 11 nieces and nephews, 36 “greats” and 52 “great-greats,” she was overjoyed to know number 53 will arrive in April 2019.
In 1964, she married widower Fred Marcell, a Southold policeman and owner of Southold Patrol Security after retirement. Midge altered patrol uniforms and kept the books. During their marriage she would take up golf and enjoy vacations to Canada, Nova Scotia and Europe.
While volunteering, despite long hours on her feet at regular work, she sorted at the Opportunity Shop and outreach, was a 2,000-hour pin recipient of Eastern Long Island Hospital volunteers, an active member of Stirling Columbiettes, the St. Patrick Rosary Altar Society and Southold Senior Citizens. Midge was a “giver” in the true sense of community.
At age 85, with her heart attack behind her, the next challenge was losing her sight, but she was determined to live on her own and she mastered the use of a programmed cellphone, TV remote, microwave and Lifeline. As carpal tunnel and arthritis robbed her fingers and hands of sensation, it became time for a helper in 2013 and life adjustments were made. Whomever came in to help found a person truly interested in their lives and a comforter who sincerely prayed for their needs. Her nieces and nephews teased that her nightly prayer was therefore a “litany” of extreme length as she prayed for each one of them by name as well!
Throughout her life, Midge’s faith sustained her. She applied her hearing to participate in the Eucharist every Sunday via Channel 29 at 11 a.m. without fail. St. Patrick Parish Eucharistic ministers brought her communion during the week to her great joy and theirs, as she was a great storyteller.
Beloved cats and dogs enhanced her life, including her first, Jetty, and Katie, who mourns her today, and animals in the forest. She captured the famous white deer fawn in the leaves at her home and took time to savor God’s creation, such as snow on trees or sunsets at the Sound.
In May of 2018, while celebrating her 100th birthday gathered with family and lifelong friends, in a clear, loud voice for all to hear, Midge stated, “I love you all!” On Dec. 22, 2018, Midge passed into God’s arms at ELIH, with nurses holding her hands and praying with her.
She was laid to rest Dec. 29 at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Cutchogue following the Liturgy of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Mattituck, officiated by Monsignor Joseph Staudt. DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home served the family.
Donations in her memory may be made to East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978 or North Fork Animal Welfare League Inc., P.O. Box 297, Southold, NY 11971.
This is a paid notice.