A Life Lived: Margaret Hyder had called Cottage Avenue home for over 70 years

Published 2:20 pm Tuesday, December 22, 2020

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Margaret Walker Hyder was 95, when she died Dec. 10. She was the oldest resident living on Cottage Ave., a place she had called home for over 70 years.
Margaret was the widow of Ralph Hyder, and when he was living, the two went together like “soup and sandwich,” as a preacher described the close-knit couple at a memorial service a few weeks ago.
“Whatever Ralph did, she did it also,” said a neighbor and long-time friend, Carol Gladden. “If he raked leaves, she did, too. If he worked in the garden, she did, too. If he sat on the porch, she did, too,” Carol shared.
Both Margaret and Ralph worked at North American Rayon, where they retired. And, usually they worked the same shift. I first met the Hyders several years ago when they were working a local election at the First United Methodist Church precinct, and I was doing an election story.
“They enjoyed being involved in the community,” said Carol, who had known Mrs. Hyder since she was about eight years old. “I met them at church at Roan Street Free Will Baptist, where they were long-time members. I babysit their only daughter, Teresa “Terry,'” she noted.
Margaret grew up on Stoney Creek and graduated from Unaka High School and attended Steed College.
“She never did get over her daughter dying, and then Ralph died, and she felt so alone. Life was not much joy for her after their deaths,” Carol shared.
Margaret enjoyed sitting on her front porch, and that is how I became acquainted with her. When I would walk in the evening, I often would stop and chat with her. She amazed me in that at her age, she could sit in her front-porch swing with her knees drawn up to her chin, something most people her age couldn’t do. She often shared about her daughter and her grandchildren, especially her grandson.
Margaret loved her church at Roan Street Free Will, and her friend, Carol, said that she and her husband were very faithful to the church and “were there every time the doors were open.”
In later years, she had visited other churches and at the time of her death was a member at Caldwell Springs Baptist Church.
While her husband enjoyed gardening, Margaret enjoyed cooking and kept a neat house. In her later years, a sister lived with her. “They didn’t do much cooking as both she and Margaret had health problems. They had Meals on Wheels, and the sister sometimes went out and got them something,” said Carol.
“I will never forget Margaret. I spent many a night in her home, taking care of their daughter when she worked. She treated me like a daughter, and I loved her so much. I will always have special memories of her.”
Carol shared that Margaret was a kind person. “She never made a lot of noise. Her husband took the lead, and she usually followed. She was a good person, a very giving person. She took pride in her home, her work, and her family. Those were the things that were important to her, as well as her church,” said Carol.
“When her daughter and husband died, a part of Margaret died, too. She never had the same zest for living that she did before,” said Carol.
However, Margaret continued to sit on the porch and wave to those who walked past her house up until about a year ago.
She will be missed by friends and neighbors on Cottage Avenue. Many of her former long-time neighbors have already passed. Thus, it is a whole new neighborhood.

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