Margaret Sahlke was born on July 9, 1929, in Staten Island, New York, to Rudolf, a baker, and Lillian, a schoolteacher. Margaret and her younger brother, Rudy, both worked in the bakery as they grew up.
Margaret graduated from New Dorp High School in 1947 and a few years later met the love of her life, Bertel Ahlqvist, who had recently moved to the United States from Finland.
“He took me to a dance one night and we were pretty much inseparable after that,’’ Margaret relayed to her children shortly before her death.
The pair enjoyed 51 years of marriage and partnership before Bert’s death in 2004.
The family moved from Staten Island to Laurens, New York, in 1975 and Bert and Margaret moved to Mt. Vision in 1985. Margaret was a homemaker for many years, and landlord after the move upstate. She also was an Administrative Assistant at Hartwick College.
Margaret was a voracious reader and, later in life, Tuesday night competitive Canasta games with her family. She was a longtime member of St. Matthews in Laurens and then the Lutheran Church of the Atonement. She had a green thumb and loved to give gifts of plants to her family.
She is survived by 4 children, eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Besides her parents, Margaret was predeceased by her brother Rudy, whom she adored. She also had a special place in her heart for Rudy’s daughter, Tina.
The family is grateful for Margaret’s last month at home, sharing memories, looking at old photo albums and videos, and getting a chance to say goodbye to a life well lived. Her grace and dignity in her final days were an inspiration to us all.
Donations may be made in Margaret’s name to the Lutheran Church of the Atonement in Oneonta or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
A service will be held Saturday, May 22, at 10 AM, at the Lutheran Church of the Atonement with burial and reception to follow.