Margaret Mary Cunningham Porter 1939-2021 • Paso Robles Press
Margaret Mary Cunningham Porter, 82, died on Friday, September 10, 2021, after a long battle with dementia and complications from a stroke. She passed away peacefully at home, with her family by her side.
Margaret was born on June 29, 1939 in Edinburgh, Scotland, to William Cunningham and Elizabeth Connelly. She was the first born, later becoming the big sister to her brother Bill and sister Veronica. Raised in a Catholic home, Margaret was a force to be reckoned with, especially as a teenager, while still giving her parents a disturbing moment but with the utmost respect intact. After graduation, she worked in the office of her grandfather’s coal company, “Cunningham Coal”, in Portobello, Scotland.
Margaret had big plans to come to America! Unfortunately, her parents did not want her to leave, so she had to wait until she was of legal age at 23. In 1962, Margaret immigrated to the United States on her own in a large jet plane, leaving her family and Scotland behind. The first stop was California and the second stop was New York. She never reached her second stop.
Margaret arranged to work as a nanny (or “slave,” as she put it) for a family in Southern California. Margaret eventually moved into her own accommodation in the Van Nuys area and accepted a job in accounting. Finally, meeting new friends, she also met her future husband, James (Jim) Allen Porter. Margaret married Jim in January 1965 in Edinburgh, Scotland, at St. John’s Church. In 1966, they welcomed their daughter Veronica, followed by a son, William (Bill), in 1969. Margaret and Jim built a wonderful home and life for their children in Newbury Park, California. Margaret and Jim later divorced in 1982 and Jim passed away in 1992. Margaret eventually became a US citizen; it was a happy day for her!
Margaret was always in her children’s classrooms and cheering on the sidelines (or coach) for every sport her children participated in. After the divorce, she raised her children as a single parent while working as a bartender at a local restaurant in Thousand Oaks, California. . Margaret met the second love of her life, Fred Wylie, during her tenure as a bartender. They left Newbury Park in 1989 and moved to what will be his last resting place, the small town of Templeton, California. Margaret and Fred spent 30 years together until her death in 2010.
Margaret’s son, Bill, died unexpectedly in 2009. She lost the two most important men in her life in less than a year; it was quite a devastating loss for Margaret. However, her grandson Austin (born 1995) and daughter Veronica provided an outlet for the spark and passion she left behind. Margaret helped her daughter Veronica raise Austin into a wonderful young man. Sadly, the last years of Margaret’s life were swept away by dementia. Margaret’s daughter, Veronica, became her babysitter and stayed by her side until the end.
Margaret had a love of gardening like no other. In the rose garden, she was the happiest. Margaret loved to read books (often finishing an entire novel in a day). She loved her Mexican food and never refused a bowl of cold ice cream!
Margaret is survived by her beloved daughter, Veronica Porter (Templeton); his beloved grandson, Austin McIntyre (Paso Robles); his brother, William Cunningham (Scotland); his sister Veronica Stuart (New Zealand); her favorite nieces Jo Stuart (England), Elizabeth Stuart (New Zealand) and Paula Cunningham-Ford (Scotland); nephew Stephen Cunningham (Scotland) and his 60 year old best friend Mary Ann Tuck (Paso Robles). She was predeceased by her mother, Elizabeth Connelly (1967); Father William Cunningham (1984); and his beloved son William Allen Porter (2009).
There will be a “Celebration of Life” on Sunday, October 24 from 11 am to 3 pm in Templeton, California. This restaurant is located at 624 S. Main Street, Suite 101. Please contact daughter Veronica with any questions or concerns at 805-712-6295 (text / call) or email [email protected] Flowers can be sent to Margaret Porter c / o Veronica Porter, 15 River Run Road, Templeton, CA 93465.
Final interment will be held at Templeton Cemetery in Templeton, California, attended by family members only.