by Pam Nagel
Originally Published in the Mill Creek View, Volume XVIII – Issue 11
Margaret R. Stratton was born on May 22, 1915 in Haverford, Pennsylvania. She was the third of five children growing up in a Quaker family in the Philadelphia area.
As a young girl she was always very busy, too busy to come to dinner when called. She soon acquired the nickname “Biz” and she has been called that ever since.
Biz met Morton Brown Stratton in fifth grade at Westtown School. Neither she nor Mort ever dated anyone else and were married at Middletown Quaker Meeting on September 2, 1936. When Mort died in 2010 they had been married for 74 years.
Mort received his PhD from the Celebrating 100 years University of Pennsylvania and taught history at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. Biz worked at Denison University Library. They raised their three children, Peggy, Nancy and John on a small farm near Granville. Mort took a sabbatical leave in 1950 and took the entire family to live in Montpellier, France, for a year. All three children attended the Quaker Boarding School near Philadelphia where Biz and Mort had met. The family farm still is an operating farm surrounded by the suburbs of Philadelphia.
Biz and Mort were world travelers. In the early ‘70s they fell in love with Salt Spring Island, B.C. They bought 23 acres and built a home and retired there for the next 40 some years. They belonged to a hiking club, sailed with friends in their sailboat and were active members in their community. It was from Salt Spring that Biz moved in March to live at Quail Park.
Biz was/is an incredibly talented woman. She was an avid birder, a master gardener, completed totally by hand over 25 quilts, created stained glass creations and was a potter complete with her own wheel and kiln. She was a hiker, spoke French and Spanish, had a huge butterfly collection, was a knitter and fi ne seamstress. But her most incredible talent or trait is her optimistic nature, her “can do” attitude, her core desire to be helpful and her warm, gentle spirit.