Margaret Tillapaugh, 74
December 20, 1948 – January 19, 2023
ONEONTA—Margaret Tillapaugh was ushered into Jesus’ presence on January 19, 2023 at the age of 74 after suﬀering a hemorrhagic stroke. She was born on December 20, 1948 to George and Marcia Knight in Hartford, Connecticut. She lived in the Oneonta area ever since arriving in 1967 to attend Hartwick College.
In reality, very few people called her Margaret throughout her years. She was known as Peggy by her sisters, Karen and Judy Sara, and brother Steve. She was called Mom by her four daughters, Evelyn (Nate) Ransil, Laura (Mike) Downie, Sara Tillapaugh and Amy (Tim) Meyers. Gar was the nickname of her favorite grandmother, so she chose that for her own grandmother’s name and has been called Gar approximately 231,962 times over the last 25 years by her 11 grandchildren. Their names, which Gar remembered almost all the time, are Caleb, TJ, Beverly, Lillian, Rebecca, Connor, Muriel, Eleanor, Luci, Annabelle, and Zeke, and one great-grandchild, Olivia.
To many people, she was their friend, Peg. She had a very active social life that revolved around Main Street Baptist Church and her many volunteer positions. She participated in Bible studies, volunteered to wrangle kids for the MOMS program, managed Fox Hospital gift shops, volunteered in Boy Scout Troop 316 in Otego, and so much more. She was always up for an adventure and would help out in whatever way she could.
There’s a good-sized group of former teenagers out there who identified her as Mrs. Tillapaugh! (Yes, including the exclamation point.) They may have been her math students at Oneonta Community Christian School, now Otsego Christian Academy, which she helped launch back in the 90s; a ski clubber from the 2000s; or perhaps one of a couple decades worth of sweaty pedalers on the Main Street bike trip, of which she was the queen and made sure they were all fed breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is possible that some may have even only known her as “The Pink House Lady” during the years she operated a gift store in an unmissable pink Victorian house on Route 7, east of town.
Whatever you called her, she had a place in her heart for you, a laugh to share with you, and an opinion to oﬀer. She was signed up to go back to Israel this spring, to revisit the places Jesus walked 2,000 years ago. Instead, she graduated and is now stepping in Jesus’ footprints from two seconds ago, still sharing a laugh, and likely oﬀering an opinion. We will miss her.
Cremation has taken place through Simple Choices, Inc. The family will be gathering to celebrate her life on February 11 at 2 p.m. at the Main Street Baptist Church, 333 South Main Street, Oneonta, NY 13820. Peg was big on parties, but not a fan of beige, so wear bright colors and bring your stories! And we all know that she loved ﬂowers. (And pretty much everything else in nature.) But we are conﬁdent that she has as many ﬂowers as she needs where she is at, and instead invite you to make a gift to Otsego Christian Academy in her honor. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared with Peggy’s family online at SimpleChoicesCremation.com.