MARGARET "MAGGI" HEATH
November 6, 1935 - October 31, 2018
On October 31, 2018, Margaret Mary Heath, affectionately known as “Maggi” peacefully passed away a week shy of her 83rd birthday. She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 46 years, William Henry Heath III (“Bill”) and is survived by her four children, William Henry Heath IV, Margaret Ann Heath, Thomas Burke Heath and Christopher Michael Heath, as well as her sister, Frances Mahon Ullman, 10 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.
She will be missed by many, as Maggi touched so many lives throughout her time on this earth. Born Margaret Mary Mahon on November 6, 1935, Maggi will forever be remembered throughout New York and the world as the traveling educator who explored all countries near and far in search of history, culture and of course, it’s museums. She made lifelong friends wherever she went and showed the world her compassion and desire to learn.
As a global traveler, she visited almost all fifty states and over two dozen countries. From the pyramids of Egypt to the jungles of Kenya or hiking up the mountain to Machu Picchu or wandering through the country roads of her ancestors in Ireland, Maggi was the epitome of wanderlust.
Anyone who met Maggi was immediately drawn to her warmth, her humor and how intent she listened and asked questions. And boy, did she ask questions! Her husband Bill at one time nicknamed her the “Barbara Walters” of her town.
Her desire to learn was instilled at a young age and did not stop during her tenure as a lifelong student. The daughter of Irish immigrants, Michael Mahon (a butcher by trade) and Margaret Kennedy Mahon, Maggi far exceeded her parent's expectations of getting a good education. She attended Dowling College for her undergraduate degree and Adelphi and Hofstra, where she was awarded not just one Masters degree, but three (apparently one was not enough.)
As a teacher and school administrator, she shaped the minds of many young learners throughout her years by her work in several school districts. An advocate for students with learning disabilities, she strived to help those students reach their full learning potential. Colleagues and students from Sayville School District on Long Island to the Goshen and Ellenville School Districts in Upstate New York were all imprinted with the educational touch of Maggi Heath.
Before Maggi's educational years, she was a full-time mother to her four children. She instilled in them the importance of service to others. As those kids grew older, Maggi set the example and became more involved in many civic-minded organizations including: The St. Johns Hospital Guild and Candy Stripers, Circle Hill Elementary PTA, Commack Volunteer Ambulance Corps (co-founder), Christ the King Parish (co-founder), Ellenville Regional Hospital Auxiliary Board, Cragsmoor Free Library, Ellenville Garden Club, and the Cragsmoor Historical Society to name a few.
Maggi was the first woman lector at Christ the King Church in Commack, NY and together with her husband Bill, founded the church’s first “RAP Group” for high school students. It was an innovative program in the early 70’s happening during a turbulent time, where teenagers sought to reconcile issues of the day with their Christian faith.
She was a woman that blazed a path for women in politics as well. She was only the second woman ever in the 300-year history of the Town of Smithtown to run for office. All she ever wanted for people was fairness and equality.
Her sister Fran and brother-in-law, niece and nephews, children, grandchildren, friends, and lucky guests will surely miss her holiday dinners and the tremendous effort she put into the welcoming and entertaining everyone at her dining room table. From the house on Cameo Road on Long Island to the "Top of the Mount" on Cragsmoor, Maggi and Bill’s door was always an open one.
Maggi will be remembered for her leadership, her love of learning, her generosity, and her contributions to the greater good of her community. Her legacy is that she left this world a better place than she found it. We will all miss you, Mom. And like Joe, her brother in law would say about her meals when she went by an earlier nickname, which we will now declare about her life, “Marge, that was outstanding!”
Friends may visit with her family on Monday, November 5th from 3:00 to 5:00pm and 7:00 to 9:00pm at Loucks Funeral Home, 79 N Main St, Ellenville. A Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 10:30am on Tuesday the 6th at St. Mary and St. Andrew Catholic Church, Ellenville. Interment will be in St. Charles Cemetery on Wednesday.
Memorial contributions can be made in Maggi’s name to the Ellenville Regional Hospital, 10 Healthy Way, Ellenville, NY 12428.