Margaret Fenn Borden, 97, formerly of Middlebury
BOZEMAN, Mont. — “A luminous light remains where a beautiful soul has passed.” —Antoine Boyeua
These words capture the essence of Margaret Fenn Borden — Margot, Mom, Grandma — who died peacefully at home, knowing she was greatly loved. At 97 years old her cause of death was contentment in a full life.
Margot was born in Concord, Mass., to Roger and Eleanor Fenn on April 11, 1925. She lived right up until her last breath on Jan. 18, 2023.
She married Walter E. Borden III after graduating from the Concord Academy and Smith College. They had three children: Curt, Laurie and Sally. Her favorite time was as mom, when she could greet their children as they came home from school or play, watch them toss their belongings in disarray, always ready and rapt for their stories of the day. Everyone knew she made the best chocolate chip cookies.
In retirement, she and Walt, who died suddenly in 2006, explored the world in search of birds, beauty, and breath-taking moments. Her favorite quote, by Robert Herrick, was “gather ye rosebuds while ye may.” But she gathered simply to give away. She touched each person she met with a smile, humor, and grace — spreading good will in all her travels. Her postcards were coveted.
She was witty with words, delightful with doggerels and crazy for crosswords. Her connections and correspondence with family and friends were impeccable. Her secret to a long, good life was “keep moving.” She and Walt volunteered of themselves wherever they landed — The Red Cross, League of Women Voters, Libraries, Audubon, Recycling Programs. She was a patterner with children, French tutor, scout leader, Sunday school teacher, lighthouse docent and hostess extraordinaire.
Margot was a life-long Unitarian — but often found church on a family canoe ride or picnic. She loved all the people in the several congregations she joined, most recently Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society in Middlebury, Vt. She lived in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia, Vermont and Montana — finding adventures in every home. She painted all the nooks and crannies of every place she dwelled with kindness.
Margot is predeceased by her parents, Roger and Eleanor Fenn; her brother, Abbott Fenn; her sister, Edith Hanly; and her husband, Walter Borden.
Margot is survived by her children, Curtis Borden, Laurie Borden (Richard O’Donohue) and Sally Borden; grandchildren, Justin Borden (Angel), Nissa Borden, Colin Ahearn (Marina Kessler), Haley Fenn Ahearn, “Bonus” Tara Filius (Jon), Joseph O’Donohue (Katie), Casey Francis (Tyler), Anna Buteau, and Kelsey Buteau. She will also be missed by many great- and great-great-grandchildren as well as her sister-in-law, Gale Hurd; nieces and nephews, Ethan Fenn, Jack Hanly (the late Pat), Nancy Mandas (Stephen); her brother-in-law, Peter Borden (Carolyn); and so many other family and friends special to her life.
Her last wishes were for us to “be happy and celebrate my life!” So please raise a tall glass of decaf iced coffee and say “Salut, Cheers, Here’s to a woman we will cherish always.” And make sure you dance.
Donations can be made to Palliative/EOLS Department at UVM/Porter, 115 Porter Drive, Middlebury, VT 05753; Homeward Bound, 236 Boardman Street, Middlebury, VT 05753; or Lake Dunmore Fern Lake Association – “ldfla.com”, PO Box 14, Salisbury, VT 05769.
We feel deep gratitude for the compassion shown by Dr. Maureen Sheehan at Bozeman Health; Enhabit Home Health & Hospice and Qualicare Care Givers in Bozeman; as well as for the ongoing support from the Palliative/EOLS Department at PMC in Middlebury
A graveside ceremony will be held at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Mass. — once the sun is warm, the flowers are fragrant and the birds are singing.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com. To share memories, feel free to contact email@example.com.◊
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