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1921 Margaret 2023

Margaret Hughes Waters

October 6, 1921 — November 3, 2023


Margaret Hughes Waters died peacefully on November 3, 2023 at the revered age of 102. Her beloved daughters were by her side.

Margaret, the daughter of Whittie Cylvester Hughes and Tommie Margaret Keeter Hughes, was born on October 6, 1921 in Colerain, North Carolina, one of 7 siblings.  She attended and graduated from the Bertie County school system, where she was an excellent student.  With the support and encouragement of her family, Margaret would go on to enter the nursing profession, receiving her RN from Norfolk General Hospital School of Nursing.  As part of her education, she would also attend The College of William and Mary, Norfolk Division which is now Old Dominion, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and King’s Daughters Hospital.  Margaret practiced in Norfolk, Virginia and, after her marriage, she also practiced in Durham, NC at the Duke University Hospital.

To Margaret Waters, nursing was a calling, a service of love and commitment.  Through her education she gained the knowledge required to answer this calling.  Her natural intuition, keen insight and sensitivity, together with an inner and outer strength and the God given gift of perseverance enabled her to fulfill that calling.  Margaret was a truly humble and kind woman, never boastful, beautiful both inside and out. At the heart of all was the bold standard of her faith.

Margaret met L. Bradford Waters, Junior in Norfolk, Virginia where he was completing his  medical internship. They were married in 1943 in Norfolk, Virginia.  The couple moved to Durham, NC where Brad completed his medical training, specializing in radiology, and taught at Duke University Hospital.  In 1945 their first daughter, Kim, was born. In 1947 a second daughter, Anne, arrived.   The family eventually moved to Lynchburg, Va. and bought a house on Royal Boulevard adjacent to the property and home owned by Brad’s parents. A walk through the garden gate connected the three generations and it was to be a wonderful and loving connection.  Lynchburg would be their permanent home where her husband practiced Radiology as the first Board Certified radiologist in the city, where they raised their two daughters and where Margaret continued to use her gifts and talents in the home, her church and community.  

 On moving to Lynchburg, the family attended the First Baptist Church located in downtown Lynchburg and was one of the earliest members of The Peakland Baptist Church.  She and her daughters Kim and Anne later joined The First Presbyterian Church where her husband and his parents were members. All three generations of the Waters family attended church together. Margaret would go on to teach for 15 years in the First Presbyterian Week Day School program.  She loved her church community and the various church circles in which she participated.

Margaret was an active member of numerous organizations.  Not long after moving to Lynchburg, she was asked to be president of the Woman’s Auxiliary of the Lynchburg Academy of Medicine.  As a member of the Junior Woman’s Club she served on the committee that brought the first speech therapist to the Lynchburg Public School System. She was also instrumental in working with the city to provide employment for those with special needs. Beyond health, her interests were diverse.  Margaret was a tireless volunteer.  She was a member and officer of the Oakwood Garden Club and The Blue Ridge Orchid Society and the Waters greenhouse and garden on Royal Blvd. provided many of the flowers for beautiful arrangements which she and her friends created for these organizations and other gatherings over the years. She was also a member of the Bedford County Hunt Club, offering the Waters farm at the foot of Lock’s Mountain as the site for several Bedford County Hunt horse shows and the fun exhibitor parties that followed.  Margaret was a member of The Lynchburg Woman’s club, The Lynchburg Historical Society and other service and social organizations.

When her husband took up boating as a hobby later in life, Margaret, always a ready help mate, jumped in, took the Power Squadron class and passed with flying colors.  Knot tying, one of the requirements for the class, was not a new skill. As an avid Girl Scouts Leader for her daughter’s troop and volunteer to help prepare girls to participate in the National GS Council Jamboree, she had spent hours learning skills including advanced knot tying to support the girls in completing their requirements.  Her Girl Scout Troop had the unique privilege of presenting a living Nativity for the several seasons the Waters’ lower garden was the home of two Mexican burros with a little shed and manger ready to go.  The girls donned homemade costumes and touchingly reenacted the First Christmas for family and friends.   For many more years, Margaret was at the center of learning and laughter.  No place was that more evident than at The First Presbyterian Church Through the Week Nursery School where for 15 years Miz Margaret made the lives of youngsters happier and brighter, as they did hers.  Over the years she watched as her 3 and 4 year olds grew up to become contributing members of the Lynchburg community. In later years, she would quietly nod towards a young man or woman and say; “He/she was one of ours.” And they remembered her too. Those 15 years in the classroom at First Pres meant so much to Margaret and she remembered with great fondness the children, their families and the women she worked alongside.

 Margaret brought great joy to her own daughters as well. She was a devoted mother, supporting their involvement in a variety of hobbies and adventures. The Waters backyard was a welcome playground for all the neighborhood and provided a perfect setting for an evening stroll for neighbors of all ages. Summers in the Country meant cookouts for friends and hosting picnics for the International Student Exchange program as well as special visits from nieces and nephews.  There were also outings to the Peaks of Otter and vacations at Virginia Beach.  “Mom made everything special. Be it a backyard cookout or a Christmas dinner for family and extended family, you saw and felt the love and joy that she had put into the occasion, the added touches and nod to tradition. Hers was a multi-generational home and special celebrations usually consisted of 3 or 4 generations. She oversaw it all with grace and made memories for those who entered her home and those who lived there.”  

Family was vitally important to Margaret. She was a devoted daughter to her own mother and to her mother and father- in –law. Margaret was equally devoted to her brothers and cherished sister and her many beloved nieces and nephews, both Waters and Hughes. But, it was to her beloved daughters and her husband Bradford that she was most committed. She was a steadfast and loving wife to her husband as he was to her.   Bradford Waters died in June of 1976 after 33 happy years of marriage.  Margaret with “their girls” celebrate his memory with gratitude and joy.

Margaret stayed in the family home as sons- in- law were welcomed warmly and grandchildren and, later, a beloved great-granddaughter arrived to enliven her life and expand her horizons.  At 85, Margaret moved to Westminster Canterbury for rehab. She stayed. Old friends were again her neighbors and new friends were at every turn.  Margaret would continue to have many opportunities to enjoy and share her appreciation for nature and history, especially that of her adopted state of Virginia and hometown, Lynchburg. She took every opportunity to enjoy fellowship at WC.  In later years, Margaret was so very grateful for visits from friends of all ages and for the floor staff and delightful WC Activities Directors who made sure she was included in the ongoing in-house programs. With her sharp mind and a wealth of knowledge she never tired of learning and sharing something new. She especially enjoyed anything that challenged her mentally. Special music programs fed her soul and visits from her family sustained her.  

Margaret remembered the past with great clarity and looked forward to the future with a wonderful sense of anticipation. From her early years in Lynchburg she was a proponent of the importance of a good education, especially early childhood education, preventative health care, and protecting our environment long before it became a ‘movement’. She loved art and music, reading, beautiful flowers, laughter and the birdsong that filled her enchanted garden on Royal Blvd. Most of all she loved her Lord, her friends and her family. She was truly a remarkable and inspirational woman and she will be missed by all who knew her.                                                                                                                                           

In additional to her parents and her beloved husband, Bradford,  Margaret was predeceased by her five brothers, Charles Westly Hughes, Royall Whittie Hughes, Clyde Blackwell Hughes, Marshall Foche Hughes, Hubert Woodrow Hughes and her dear sister, Almarie Hughes McCrery.  She was also predeceased by her loving sons- in- law Van Angello Keriakos and W. Frank Dowd, III. Margaret is survived by and forever cherished by her daughters Margaret Kimble Waters Keriakos and Anne Bradford Waters Dowd and by Margaret’s grandchildren Andrew Christian Waters and his wife Amber and Margaret Elizabeth Rowley and husband Aaron and great granddaughter Grayson Elizabeth Rowley.   Margaret is also survived by her loving Godchild, Sterling Winstead Dougherty, the daughter of her late and close friend Eliza G. Winstead, and by many devoted Waters and Hughes nieces and nephews.

While there are too many to call by name, the Waters family wishes to extend heartfelt thanks to the dedicated staff of Westminster Canterbury for their loving care, support and friendship for our mother over these many years. We thank the wonderful aids from The Key and to all those who attended to her every need with compassion and expertise. The family also wants to express our gratitude to the incredible doctors of Lynchburg who provided both professional care and genuine respect for Margaret Waters over the years.  And, to the Centra Lynchburg General Hospital medical teams that provided care and comfort for “Mom” during her last days, we offer our thanks. Finally, to our dear Lynchburg friends and our Westminster Canterbury community of friends, who brought such joy to our mother’s life and to ours, God bless you.  Your kindness will not be forgotten.


                                      “And, oh, Lord God, let us forget not to be kind”

                         ( Mary Stewart from the Collect for the Club Woman of America) 


Burial will be held at Spring Hill Cemetery on November 9, 2023 at 11:30 A.M.

A Memorial Service to celebrate the life of Margaret Hughes Waters will be held at Westminster Canterbury on a future date

Memorial gifts may be made to The First Presbyterian Church, 1215 V.E.S. Road, Lynchburg, Virginia, 24503, The Fellowship Fund, Westminster Canterbury, 501 V.E.S. Road, Lynchburg, Virginia, 24503 or to the charity of your choice.

The family is grateful for the assistance of Tharp Funeral Home and Crematory.

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Margaret Hughes Waters, please visit our flower store.

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Thursday, November 9, 2023

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