Margaret Anne Camara, 86, of Shoreham


SHOREHAM — Margaret Ann Camara, 86, of Shoreham, Vt., passed away on June 10, 2024, following years of a tenacious and valiant fight against multiple health issues.

Born on April 13, 1938, to Edward and Margaret (Carveiro) Camara in Fall River, Mass., Margaret grew up in Mansfield, Mass., graduating from Mansfield High School in 1956. An honor student, Margie won the hearts of her classmates for her kindness, joy and contagious spirit. She married her high school sweetheart, Charles “Pete” Richardson, and soon thereafter, the young couple began raising two children at their home in Rehoboth, Mass.

Following Pete’s premature death in 1967, she eventually married John Zecher, a dairy farmer in Mansfield. Within a few years, the young family moved to East Wallingford, Vt., to successfully establish “The Hearth and Cricket,” a wood stove and accessories shop. In 1973, she and John brought a son, whom Margaret nicknamed her “Running Bear,” into the world. The family later moved to Salisbury, Vt., and opened a new stove and gift shop, “Stove and Things,” which later morphed into “The Country Bear.”

Life’s vagaries played out and Margaret eventually became a successful real estate appraiser. In the mid-90s she met Sanford “Sandy” Witherell, an apple orchardist in Shoreham, Vt. They married in 1999 and lived happily in Shoreham for the balance of Margaret’s life!

Margaret worked her entire life, first clerking and shelf-stocking after school at a five and dime store, then overseeing retail businesses with her inimitable, compartmentalizing mind, and finally, in what she felt was her greatest achievement, as a real estate appraiser. Her Portuguese explorer heritage dictated a strong desire to see the other side of the mountain, a pursuit she fiercely held onto, despite her increasing frailties. That free spirit was embodied in driving a pony cart at full canter, learning to fly and have her own plane, to travel with Sandy in their small RV throughout North America, including a three-month journey to Alaska, as well as a solo auto trip with Molly, her German shepherd, throughout the West.

Her hand-craft skills and superb color sense gave welcoming warmth to her homes. Her whole life was filled with a menagerie of pets, meriting her monikers: “MomCat” and “GrandmaCat,” such being celebrated in the title of a Boston musical stage production directed by her daughter Elizabeth — “To MomCat Love Pooh.” Her caring attention without interference assured being thoroughly loved by her family.

Margaret is survived by her husband, Sanford Witherell Jr.; sons, Peter Allen Richardson and John (Ana Montewka) Zecher; brother Mathew Camara; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her parents, Edward and Margaret Camara; first husband, Charles ‘Pete’ Richardson; her daughter, Elizabeth Ann Richardson; two brothers, Thomas Camara and Edward Camara; a grandson, David Richardson; a special aunt, Dorothy Camara and a special uncle, Thomas Camara.

The family wishes to express their admiration and gratitude to all those who have administered with expertise and caring to Margaret’s many health challenges these past several years.

A family tribute will be planned for a future date. Donations in her memory may be considered to Homeward Bound, 236 Boardman St., Middlebury, VT 05753; Addison County Home Health and Hospice, 254 Ethan Allen Hwy, New Haven, VT 05472; or Helen Porter Rehabilitation and Nursing, Porter Medical Center, Office of Development, 115 Porter Drive, Middlebury, VT 05753

Arrangements under the direction of Sanderson-Ducharme Funeral Home.Online condolences at ◊


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