Margaret Littlejohn

Margaret Littlejohn Obit Pic

Margaret Ann Littlejohn, 66, passed away Tuesday, March 17, 2015 in Moscow. Margaret was born July 22, 1948 in Newton-Stewart, Scotland to Quintin and Ruby Littlejohn. She immigrated to the United States as an infant with her parents and became a US citizen at the age of 4 1/2 years old.  Margaret held a strong connection to her Scottish heritage and maintained close relationships with her family members in Scotland.

Margaret grew up in Ballico, California on her family almond farm. She graduated from Livingston High School in Livingston, California and continued her education at the University of California, Davis where she received her bachelors degree in biological sciences in 1971. After graduating, she began what became her lifelong career with the National Park Service. Margaret served for many years as a park ranger and was stationed in some of the country’s most beautiful and cherished national parks. In 1988 Margaret’s career brought her to Moscow, Idaho where she served as the Western Coordinator for NPS Visitor Services Project for the Cooperative Park Studies Unit at the University of Idaho. Her work eventually expanded to the entire national park system, and she remained in this unit until her retirement in 2012. Margaret’s career with the National Park Service allowed her to fulfill several of her greatest passions in life, her love of nature and all its splendor, her work on behalf of the natural environment, and her love of travel. She was deeply grateful for the opportunity to work among so many others who shared her passion for the natural world, and she made many wonderful and enduring friends as a result of her career.

Margaret was a highly engaged citizen of her Moscow community and greater Latah County; she looked for every opportunity to make a difference. Margaret was a member of the First Presbyterian Church where she served as an elder. She committed time, energy and personal resources to support environmental education, natural recreation, and responding to social needs. Margaret was active in and supported organizations and causes, such as the League of Women Voters, the Latah Trail Foundation, the Paradise Path Task Force, the Moscow Tree Committee, Phillips Farm Advisory Committee and Board, and the Health and Environment Commission. Margaret recently received the Moscow Mayor’s Award for Service to Commissions.Margaret Littlejohn Folder Back Pic

Margaret enjoyed many interests, including gardening, participation in her book club, world travel, sharing time with her friends and family, and of course walking with her beloved canine companions over the years.

Margaret was preceded in death by her parents and is survived by her two brothers and their spouses, David Littlejohn (Lisa), Oakland, California and Andrew Littlejohn (Lyn), Ballico, California as well as two nieces, Monica Donathan, Sanford, North Carolina and Windie Butera, Mt. Airy, N. Carolina, and numerous grand and great nieces and nephews.

A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at 2:00, Saturday, March 21 at the First Presbyterian Church in Moscow, Idaho.

Memorial donations may be made in Margret’s honor to the Moscow Animal Shelter, Habitat for Humanity and the Latah trail Foundation.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Short’s Funeral Chapel of Moscow and online condolences may be left at www.shortsfuneralchapel.com

12 Responses to Margaret Littlejohn

  1. Elva Ramos Diaz says:

    My deepest condolences to the Littlejohn family. Margaret and I were co-workers at Big Bend NP and I was very blessed with her friendship and honored when she agreed to be a part of my wedding party. May she rest in peace.

  2. Mr. Dana Dolsen says:

    Margaret was both a colleague and friend from the first day we met upon her arrival at the U.S. NPS Cooperative Park Studies Unit on the University of Idaho campus at the College of Forestry, Wildlife & Range Sciences here in Moscow. She was such a dedicated public servant that I always followed her lead as she undertook a dramatic career change with grace, hard work, and humor to transition here to mostly an office job from her prior duty station Bryce Canyon NP in Utah. Margaret was a very private person, but also known to be a caring one in many ways and places in the brief time I worked beside her from 1988-1991. Thereafter, we exchanged the typical Christmas letters/cards and I always found time to drop by her office when visiting my Moscow in-laws every summer, when she would make time to reconnect, reminisce, and speak of our lives as they unfolded. Margaret cared deeply about her brothers and their families, and was devoted to her dog(s). I will always treasure knowing her as she was a gem and will always have a place in my heart. My only regret was that upon my return to the Palouse a year and a half ago we never did quite have the opportunity to engage in each other’s lives once more. Margaret was a joy to know and I hope that her family is able to recall her with the love and laughter she bestowed upon me.

  3. Gordon Noble says:

    Very deepest condolences to all Margaret’s close family and friends in the USA, on her sad passing – from all her extended family back in Scotland. Margaret was an inspiration to all who met her and a true and hard-working devotee to the cause of the National Park Service, which allowed her to travel throughout the USA. Her annual newsletters filled with stories of where she’d been and what she’d done in the preceding 12 months were always eagerly awaited. Through her desire and interest to maintain close links with her heritage and Scottish roots, we were all graced by her many visits back Scotland, when she stayed with Auntie Lala. These visits were filled with laughter and reminiscences of times past with her cousins, aunties and uncles, during her earlier visits. She will be sadly missed.

  4. Pam Edens says:

    I met Margaret in 1970, and we have been friends ever since. We never lived close to each other but we never lost touch. She sent me postcards from the numerous national parks and monuments she was surveying. When we got together she would tell me her experiences and the wonders she had seen.
    Margaret was the most conscientious environmentalist I have ever known. She lived what she believed. She recycled long before it became convenient or popular. She even recycled her unused bathwater! She lived a good life, never hurt anyone or anything, she was a friend to many and devoted to her local community.

    Margaret loved Mexican food – a passion I shared with her. One of my fondest memories of her comes from our days at Lava Beds National Monument. We both loved Taco Bell food and every time we went to Klamath Falls, we had to eat there. It was always the same thing – taco, tostado, burrito with hot sauce. As soon as we took our first bite the hot sauce would permeate our mouths and our eyes would start to water. We’d look at each other, tears streaming down, and laugh! It was delightful.
    Margaret’s devoted companions over the years were her dogs. She loved them and they loved her. She gave several dogs a very good home over the years – there was Tula, Kelly, Tess, Willow, Maya. She always took care of their needs before her own. I will miss Margaret very much. I have a vision of her, alive and well in heaven, surrounded by dogs.

  5. Bernie Rathbun says:

    My condolences to all of her family and close friends .
    Margaret was a customer at the U.S. Postal office at the Uof I and a familiar face . Always friendly, bright , smiling and pleasant to see her even after I retired for many years . It was an honor to have known her and been in her presence .What a great spirit , her family can be proud , she left this world much too soon and will will be missed .

  6. Janie Fraser says:

    Margaret Littlejohn
    To David, Andy and their families
    My thoughts are with you at this sad and difficult time. I was so sorry to hear of Margaret’s death. Having just retired, with the prospect of lots of exciting travel ahead of her, it seems so hard for her life to have ended.
    Margaret was so kind to my mother, her aunt, visiting her when in Scotland, calling her regularly and listening to her stories of the past, when she and her sister, Margaret’s mother, were girls in Fraserburgh. In turn, Margaret shared her love of the outdoors with the marvellous photographs she took there. A favourite one of Bryce Canyon stayed on my mother’s wall as a reminder of her visit to Margaret in Moscow.
    Please accept my sincere condolences.
    Janie

  7. Peter Cowe says:

    I have early memories of Margaret when she would accompany her parents and elder brother David on visits back to Scotland. Then when I moved to New York we had a few family reunions Stateside when my mother came over for a visit. More recently, we were in contact by card and would catch up during her annual or biannual trips to Fraserburgh.

    I have always been struck by how attuned to nature she was, getting up with the larks and spending the evening wrapped up in a good book. I also valued her devotion to ecology. She enjoyed her position in the national parks service and was an able spokesperson and advocate for all they do. It was always interesting hearing her latest from various locations she’d been to conduct visitor surveys. She lived an enormously fulfilled life, often finding great pleasure in what might seem the ordinary or everyday. I was pleased that she took the opportunity to travel to different parts of Europe during her retirement years.

    Fiercely independent, she was amazingly self-sufficient, taking care of all the household chores, fixing car problems, and generally keeping on top of things. Dedicated and hard-working like her mother, I appreciated the quest she pursued over her last years by regular phone calls to my mother on trying to get a better understanding of what her mother, Ruby, affectionately known as “Bobo” in the family, was like as a young person growing up in Fraserburgh in the interwar years. Working long hours as a nurse, bringing up a family and helping on the farm, she did not have the leisure to introduce her children much into the world and the lifestyle she had left behind. As I mentioned, there was a lot of Ruby in her daughter.

    Deep peace of the running wave be yours!
    (from a Celtic prayer)

  8. Michael D Watson (Retired, National Park Service-Fort Myers, FL) says:

    I hired Margaret to fill the first-ever NPS position for the Visitor Services Project at the University of Idaho. I got to know Margaret early-on while I was a training instructor at the Mather Training Center in Harpers Ferry, WV, and when I had the opportunity to place her in Moscow, I wasted no time in getting her to sign on. She was a role model employee and she pioneered a new relationship between the NPS and academia. I was her NPS supervisor on paper, but she was in Idaho and I was in Washington, DC. We would have a phone call every month or so, and meet face-to-face once every year or so. She was totally dedicated to the program and I never once worried that she wasn’t giving every ounce of her fiber to performing at the highest level of competence. I will miss Margaret immensely and am better for having known her personally and professionally. Godspeed to Margaret and her family members.

  9. Sandra Russell says:

    Margaret was much loved in our yoga group at Moscow Yoga Center. She came to class in sickness and in health, her practice full of grace regardless of her physical condition. Her gentle and kind spirit emanating from her radiant face will be so missed in our yoga class and in the community.

  10. Frank & Gloria Deckert says:

    This note is written directly to you, Margaret, but it is OK if others read it. I’m sorry I did not get back in touch with you after reading your Christmas card. Anyway, just wanted to let you know what a wonderful person you were during your life on this earth, which you loved so dearly. When you came to Big Bend National Park to work you made our little park community a better place—and I’m sure, with your caring personality, you did the same wherever you lived or worked. Several years ago, when I visited your workplace, we had a chance to reminisce about the “good old days”, but you were equally interested in our current lives. You fondly remembered our three children, but were also enthusiastic about learning about our grandchildren. Your wonderful smile and laughter were ever-present as we scrolled through a laptop full of photos. You brought joy to so many lives on this earth, and I’m sure you are continuing those good works in that great National Park above. Hope to see you there someday. We love you.

  11. Frank & Gloria Deckert says:

    This note is written directly to you, Margaret, but it is OK if others read it. I’m sorry I did not get back in touch with you after reading your Christmas card. Anyway, just wanted to let you know what a wonderful person you were during your life on this earth, which you loved so dearly. When you came to Big Bend National Park to work, you made our little park community a better place–and I’m sure, with your caring personality, you did the same wherever you lived or worked. Several years ago, when I visited your workplace, we had a chance to reminisce about the “good old days”, but you were equally interested in our current lives. You fondly remembered our three children, but were also enthusiastic about learning about our grandchildren. Your wonderful smile and laughter were ever-present as we scrolled through a laptop full of photos. You brought joy to so many lives on this earth, and I am sure you are continuing those good works in that great National Park above. Hope to see you there someday. We love you.

  12. Kathleen Moss says:

    Margaret, my cousin, came to stay with us often, on her regular visits to Scotland. She was very proud of her Scottish heritage and family and always keen to visit different places here. Over the years, we took her to the beautiful west coast of Scotland and to the Isle of Skye, as well as local places of interest which included Standing Stones and other ancient sites which were of great interest to her. She also travelled to the islands of Orkney and Shetland from here, both of which, with their vast number of ancient Neolithic sites, really fascinated her.
    We had to “look smart” all the time she was here as she did’t want to waste a minute, getting up at 7 am every morning, ready to go!
    We, and the whole of her Scottish family acknowledge Margaret’s life of hard work, dedication and service to others and will miss her very much.
    We send our condolences and deepest sympathy to David, Andy and their families.
    Kathleen Moss, Scotland.

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