Margaret Hazel (Whitcher) Keith

FREEPORT – Margaret Hazel (Whitcher) Keith passed away peacefully with her daughters by her side on Sunday, May 15, 2022. She was born in Freeport on August 30, 1926.

One of four children, she was the oldest daughter of Algernon and Hazel (Libby) Whitcher. Margaret grew up loving life on the family farm and worked as hard (and as she liked to tell sometimes harder) than her brothers in the hay field, caring for the animals, and mucking out the barn. She attended grammar school in Pownal and graduated from Freeport High School.

On July 19, 1944, Margaret married Scott Thomas Keith of Pownal. They lived in the house Scott and his father built on Durham Road in Freeport for more than 70 years, raising three daughters there.

Upon graduating from high school, Margaret worked as a secretary at the Brunswick Naval Air Station. After marrying Scott, who was in the Navy at the time, she traveled cross country by train to California where he was stationed. She once again worked as a secretary for the Navy. In 1949 she was hired by the Emery-Waterhouse Company, a wholesale hardware company owned by the Hildreth family. Joining this company would define her professional career for decades.

Margaret’s hard work and commitment to the values of the company led her to rise in the company from bookkeeping machine operator to office manager and other executive positions. She had high expectations for herself and those she managed, earning her the reputation of a tough yet fair boss. Other than when her girls were born, she never missed a day of work (or school), and she had little patience for those who called in sick with a cold! Margaret’s intellect, integrity, and work ethic earned the respect of industry peers – almost entirely male – around the country. She retired in 1991 as Vice President of Systems, after 42 years with the Emery-Waterhouse Company.

In addition to her professional responsibilities, Margaret was the cornerstone of her family. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Whether it was taking daughter Colleen to an annual Red Sox game, a grandson to the Indianapolis Speedway and another to Space Camp in Alabama, or buying a car so the most recently licensed grandchild could receive her “old” one, she did it all with a loving and generous heart. Being a Maine Yankee, Margaret was always practical, rarely frivolous. Her family will fondly remember that Christmas wrapping and tags, along with aluminum foil and Ziplocs, should be carefully saved and reused. A basic Ford Focus, standard shift without air conditioning, will get you where you need to go. She predicted winning the lottery would only ruin your life. Her unassuming manner, coupled with inner strength and wisdom touched all who knew her.

Margaret was predeceased by husband, Scott T. Keith; daughter, Colleen C. Mott; and brothers Daniel A. and William S. Whitcher.

She is survived by daughter, Sharon and her husband Michael Lee of Pownal, and daughter, Rebecca “Becky” Swift of Freeport. She will also be greatly missed by grandchildren Scott and wife Kimberly Lee and great-grandchildren Helen and Eric Lee of Wells; Ryan and wife Alyssa Lee and great-grandsons Michael and Anthony Lee of East Boston, Mass.; Kathryn “Katie” and husband Frank Glover III and great-grandsons Frank IV and Michael Glover of Poland; Daavid Swift of Sparks, Nev., Erinn Swift of Miami, Fla., and McKenzie Swift of Freeport. She is also survived by her sister, Josephine “Jodie” Goss of Pownal” and several nieces and nephews.

Her family would like to thank the staff at Avita of Brunswick for the loving and compassionate care they gave Margaret for the past 11 months.

You may offer your condolences or share your memories at Per Margaret’s wishes, there will be a private burial.

Should you choose, please consider a contribution in her memory to:

Freeport Community Services

P.O. Box 119

Freeport, ME 04032 or


Dementia Society of America

P.O. Box 600,

Doylestown, PA 18901 or


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