First woman from Boone County elected to the General Assembly dies

Saturday, March 29, 2008 | 7:11 p.m. CDT; updated 3:57 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — Margot Patterson Lubensky was a jack-of-all-trades.

She came to Columbia in 1946 as the new radio production teacher at Stephens College but turned her attention to politics, where she met her first husband, H. F. “Pat” Patterson, former majority leader of the Missouri House of Representatives.

Running for her husband’s seat after he died, she was the first woman from Boone County elected to the General Assembly, serving from 1965 to 1966, and she did it while raising two sons by herself.

“She taught my brother and I both how to think well, speak well and use our minds,” said her eldest son, Chris Patterson.

Mrs. Lubensky of Columbia died Friday, March 28, 2008. She was 89.

She was born May 1, 1918, in Grand Rapids, Mich., to Lewis R. Truman and Caroline L. Auwers.

Mrs. Lubensky grew up in Bryant, S.D., and studied at the University of South Dakota, where she received both her bachelor’s and her master’s degrees in education. She also attended the University of Southern California in the summer of 1948, New York University in the summer of 1949 and the University of Michigan during the summer of 1954. Mrs. Lubensky did post-graduate work at MU from 1949 to 1953.

Mrs. Lubensky was an instructor at the University of South Dakota in 1944 and taught communications at Stephens College from 1946 to 1955. She was an assistant professor with MU Extension from 1966 to 1980, working as a program consultant for the Academic Support Center and in Continuing Education for Women. She served on the Missouri Commission on the Status of Women, the Missouri Association of Social Welfare and was the organizer and chairperson of the Community Congress of Columbia.

Before and after serving in the legislature, Mrs. Lubensky was active in Boone County politics. She helped start the Young Democrats Club, she served on the Democratic Women’s Club of Columbia and the Boone County Federated Women’s Democratic Club. She was organizer and past president of Muleskinners Democratic Club. Mrs. Lubensky also received the Harold Riback Award in 1988 and the William J. Robb Distinguished Service Award in 2000, both for her service to the Democratic Party in Boone County.

“She had well-defined political views and wasn’t afraid to let them be heard,” Patterson said. “About any Democrat you can run into would know her.”

In addition to her strong political views, Mrs. Lubensky felt strongly about the arts. She participated in both the Maplewood Barn Community Theatre and Columbia Entertainment Company productions and administration and was an active member of the Women’s Symphony League and Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts. In the 1980s, she acted in the plays “Picnic,” “Night of the Iguana,” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Mrs. Lubensky married Earl Lubensky, a retired Foreign Service Officer, on March 26, 1994. The two shared another passion of Mrs. Lubensky’s: travel.

Mrs. Lubensky traveled to Africa, China and Europe several times and enjoyed meeting new people.

She is survived by her husband, Earl Lubensky of Columbia; two sons, Christopher Truman Patterson and his wife, Jan, of Platte City and David Francis Patterson II and his wife, Shelley, of O’Fallon; a brother, Elwood Truman of South Dakota; a sister, Ellen Gilbertson of South Dakota; four grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Her former husband; a sister, Francis Moffitt; and a brother, Orrin Truman, died earlier.

Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W., and the funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at First Christian Church, 101 N. Tenth St.

Online tributes can be left at

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