Margaret entered the world on October 8, 1933 in her grandparents’ kitchen in Jane Lew, West Virginia. She was born to parents Martha and Gilbert Saeler, joining her brother John and eventually joined by younger siblings Charles and Marcia. Margaret grew up in Ellerslie, Maryland, where she was both an athlete and musician-playing basketball, softball, and field hockey, as well as the piano and French horn in the marching band. She was also an avid reader and student of history.
After attending West Virginia Wesleyan University, Margaret accepted a job at the Pentagon working for the Navy. During this time, she rekindled a relationship with David Burkett, who had also moved from Ellerslie to DC, and they married in 1958. They had two children, Mark and Karen, after which Margaret spent many years as a full-time mother while also volunteering in children’s schools. Eventually, she re-entered the workforce as an administrator in the Department of History at the University of Maryland. In 1990, her husband David tragically passed away. Margaret retired from her position at the university in 1993, choosing to spend her time caring for her beloved grandchildren, Zack and Christine. She also enjoyed traveling, reading, and doing home improvement projects.
Margaret passed away on July 22, 2023. She was the much-adored matriarch and pillar of support to her small family. Mark, Karen & her husband Sean, Zack, Christine, and dogs Jackson & Hudson will miss her dearly. Her strength and independence inspired us, and she gifted us with her love of reading, music, and always learning. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the University of Maryland’s Promise Scholarship.