Ping, Margaret Mary Jarboe
West Branch: Margaret Mary Jarboe Ping died peacefully at her home, her family beside her, on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2007, from cancer. She was 53 years of age.
Margaret was born Nov. 22, 1953, in Louisville, Ky., the eldest child of John and Dorothy Jarboe. Margaret and her family called several different states home, eventually moving to Memphis, Tenn., in 1968 where she graduated from Immaculate Conception High School in 1971. From a very young age Margaret wanted to be a nurse and she pursued that goal first by entering the registered nursing diploma program with Methodist Hospitals of Memphis, graduating in 1975 as an RN. A few years after moving with her husband and son to Iowa, she pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at the University of Iowa, graduating with her BSN in 1988.
In her 32 years as a nurse, Margaret worked in Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and for 28 years was a registered nurse at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics where she worked in newborn nursery, newborn intensive care and finally, her dream, labor and delivery for 20 years. In addition to her work in labor and delivery, Margaret was a certified childbirth educator. Her empathy, concern and care for mothers and their babies was an integral part of her approach to her profession and many new mothers remember her work and care for them during their child-birthing experience.
While attending classes at Memphis State University in 1972 as a part of her diploma program, a chance encounter while walking to class introduced her to Charles "Chuck" Ping. They would become best friends, married life-partners for 32 years. They had one child, Jeremy, and when Margaret was asked about having only one child would enigmatically reply, "when you do it right the first time, you don't need to have another."
Margaret had many interests, quilting, weaving, knitting, needlework, gardening, baking, making jams and jellies from the fruits of their garden, having friends over for gatherings, sitting on the front porch, traveling the world with Chuck. In the few months since her diagnosis, four quilts were started, two completed, with close friends and Chuck finishing the final two for her. Margaret was for many years involved with the Iowa City Free Lunch program, serving as the coordinator for St. Wenceslaus's Day for 14 years and continued to support the program through their current parish, St. Thomas More.
She is survived by her husband, Charles Ping; son, Jeremy and daughter-in-law Laura Ping; mother, Dorothy Jarboe; sisters, Ann (John) Brzuskiewicz, Patricia (Fred) Kaplan and Jeanne (Rodney) Merkle; and brothers, Thomas (Laurie) Jarboe and James Jarboe.
She was preceded in death by her father, John Jarboe.
Friends may call Tuesday, Nov. 20, at their home at 110 Sagert Dr., West Branch, from 1 to 9 p.m. to celebrate the life of this extraordinary woman. A rosary will be said at 7:30 p.m. A funeral Mass will be celebrated Wednesday, Nov. 21, at 11 a.m. at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Iowa City. Following the Mass there will be a dinner downstairs with burial later in St. Joseph's Cemetery, Iowa City.
Memorials may be directed to Iowa City Hospice, Iowa City.
The Cremation Society of Eastern-Central-Western Iowa assisted with arrangements. Online condolences may be left for the Ping family at www.iowacremation.com