Margaret was born on Dec. 16, 1923, to Dave and Jeanette Blanksma. She grew up on a farm near Melba. As the youngest of four children, she learned the life skills of a typical farm family. One fond memory involved a trip to town when her mother lost control of the buggy they were riding in when their horse was startled, fortunately, the eggs in a basket were the only things broken. While attending high school, she served as class president and enjoyed playing on the women's basketball, softball and volleyball teams. In 1942, she graduated from Melba High School as the class salutatorian.
At the urging of her high school principal, Margaret immediately went to start teacher training at Albion State Normal School. With the demands of World War II, there was a teacher shortage, so classes were taught without a summer break. Margaret graduated in the late summer of 1943. She began teaching sixth grade in Glenns Ferry and coaching the girls' basketball team. During the fall of her second year of teaching, through her friends Ina Pasborg and Evelyn Walker, she met and began dating Bill Walker. On March 30, 1945, they were married at the Pasborg residence in Glenns Ferry. She finished teaching that school year, along with driving the school bus from the Walker Ranch. Margaret and Bill were married nearly 66 years.
Four daughters were born into their marriage. During the years when Margaret and Bill were raising their family, Margaret worked diligently cooking delicious meals, sewing clothes and growing a large garden. In 1957, she was busy helping Bill with construction in doubling the size of their home. Desiring to acquire a practical skill, she decided to take a bookkeeping class. In 1976, the couple took on a new adventure when they moved their operation to Rye Grass Ranch and continued to improve and expand their ranching operation that is now operated by the fourth and fifth generations.
In 1967, she decided to add a new chapter to her life. The local elementary principal, Cecil Watson, asked her to return to teaching. In order to resume teaching, Margaret attended BSU, taking a full course load during the summer. In 1980, Margaret graduated from BSU with a bachelor's degree in education. She truly enjoyed teaching third and fifth grades, always trying to instill the values of hard work, perseverance and a sense of fairness in her students. One of her greatest joys was seeing the success of her students years later.
Margaret was active in and served as treasurer of the Glenns Ferry United Methodist Church and was president of the Purple Sage Cowbelles.
For over 20 years, one of her greatest pleasures was spending time with her quilting friends and creating precise, beautiful quilts, wall hangings and heirlooms that each of her children and grandchildren now cherish.
Margaret had a humble servant's heart and spent much of her life quietly doing kindnesses for others. She was a woman of diverse talents who would make an extra effort to learn new things, such as bookkeeping, grafting trees and piecing quilts. We will miss her common sense guidance and acts of unselfish devotion. She will be greatly missed and forever loved.
Margaret is survived by four daughters, Betty Ann (Nick) Nettleton, Janet (Mike) Mahler, Joan (Dave) Barak, and Sandra (Dean) Dryden, and eight grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, William H. Walker, two sisters, Irene Chastain and Anna Young, and a brother, Pete Blanksma.
The family suggests memorial contributions for the Glenns Ferry United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 276, Glenns Ferry 83623, or the Boise Rescue Mission, P.O. Box 1494, Boise 83701-1494.