Margaret Alice Schwanz Abbott, 98, who lived at Lenoir Retirement Community in Columbia from 1995 to 2018, died June 1, 2019, at Heartwood House Alzheimer’s Care Unit at Northcrest Retirement Community in Ames, Iowa.
Margaret was born July 6, 1920, in Lorimor, Iowa, the daughter of Arthur Isaac Schwanz and Elva Rae (Caffrey) Schwanz, who farmed southeast of town. She graduated from Lorimor High School in 1937 and later received her B.S. degree in dietetics from Iowa State College (now university).
On Aug. 29, 1942, she married Lyle Charles Abbott of Afton, Iowa.
They lived in Osceola, Iowa (1948-52); Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1952-59); and the St. Louis area (1959-94) before moving to Columbia.
In 1965, she began work for Monsanto Corp. in its artificial flavors and fragrances laboratory and later became its medical librarian. She was responsible for keeping records concerning a new herbicide product later called Roundup, which is now widely used.
She retired in 1979.
At Lenoir, she worked as a volunteer to serve and deliver meals. She was a member of the United Church of Christ in Columbia.
In February 2018, she was moved to Heartwood House at Northcrest Retirement Community to be closer to family.
She is survived by her daughter, Linda (James) of Churchville, New York; sons, Eric (Tatyana) of Ames, Iowa, and David (Liz) of Boulder, Colorado; eight grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Lyle; her brother, H. Lee Schwanz (Kathleen) of Madison, Wisconsin; and her sister, Margaret Rae, who died as an infant.
A private family graveside service will be conducted at Greenlawn Cemetery, Afton, Iowa.