Margaret Gilmour, 89, passed away April 14 at her home in Bemidji, Minn., with her children at her side. She was a devoted wife, mother of six, grandmother of 11 and great-grandmother of four.
She was born Margaret Ann Cook on Oct. 9, 1929, near Neche, N.D., the daughter of Albert and Annetta (Doyle) Cook. The couple farmed near Neche, and gave Margaret a little sister, Mary Colleen. Annetta Cook and her daughters moved to Grand Forks, where Annetta worked as a switchboard operator at Griffith’s Department Store. Margaret graduated from St. James Academy in 1948. School friends called her “Cookie,” and in adulthood most knew her as “Margy.”
In 1951, she graduated from St. Joseph Nursing School in Fargo, and spent most of her career at St. Michael’s Hospital in Grand Forks as a labor/delivery nurse and a clinical nurse for obstetricians at Valley Medical Clinic. At St. Michael’s Hospital she met her husband, Robert Gilmour, who apparently had an eye for the nurse with Irish eyes. Many times Margaret recounted how Robert’s sister, Jean (Gilmour) O’Keefe, was touched by Robert’s frequent visits to her after she gave birth — only to realize Robert was just as interested in “Nurse Cookie.” He soon asked her for a date.
Margaret and Robert married on April 26, 1954, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Grand Forks. She continued working as a nurse, while Robert was a journalist at the Grand Forks Herald. Their first child, James Robert, was born in 1956. Robert, known as Bob, decided to try a job in Langdon, N.D. Their first daughter, Mary Margaret, was born there in 1958. The family returned to Grand Forks in 1959, where Bob was a Herald sportswriter, reporter, wire editor, city editor, and managing editor. In 1960, Margaret gave birth to Gerald William, followed by Jonathan David in 1961, Paul Timothy in 1963, and finally, Ann Jean in 1964.
Margy and Bob were avid fans of UND Sioux hockey. They were longtime season ticket holders and cheered the team their entire lives. She was an even more avid booster of her children and grandchildren, religiously attending everything from hockey games to band concerts. The home she and Bob kept on Big MacDonald Lake was a haven for her family in the couple’s retirement years. It gave her a chance to watch her grandkids splash and laugh in the water, and kept her medical skills sharp when anyone got hurt or sick. She and Bob moved to Fargo after the 1997 Grand Forks flood, and she moved to Bemidji after her husband’s death to be closer to their daughter Mary.
Margy was a member of the Dakota Hospital Auxiliary, and a volunteer at Innovis Hospital and Sanford Hospital. She enjoyed Red Hat luncheons with her retired nursing friends.
She is survived by her children James (Deneen) Gilmour, Fargo, Mary (Gus) Sorlie, Bemidji, Gerald Gilmour, Fargo, Jonathan (Georgine) Gilmour, Fargo, Paul (Rhonda) Gilmour, Grand Forks, and Ann Libretti, Chatham, N.J.; grandchildren Jared Gilmour, San Francisco, Brie Gilmour and Bret Gilmour, Fargo, Eric Sorlie, Bemidji, Colin (Desirae) Gilmour, West Fargo, Brendan Gilmour, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, Zane Gilmour, Moorhead, Lauren Gilmour and Garrett Gilmour, Grand Forks, Gerry Libretti, Los Angeles, Gabrielle Libretti, Austin, Texas; and four great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, son-in-law Michael Libretti, sister Mary Colleen Reinbold, and, in 2008, husband Bob.
Memorial Mass: 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 31, 2019 in St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Grand Forks, ND.
Family Greeting: One hour prior to the liturgy in the church on Friday.
Interment: Calvary North Cemetery, Grand Forks, ND.
The online memorial registry may be signed at www.normanfuneral.com
(The Historic Norman Funeral Home, Grand Forks, ND)