I met Margaret Talbert a year ago after walking into her room and being mesmerized by a beautiful painting on her wall. Margaret told me the painting was a portrait done of her Grandmother when she was just a young child painted by the artist William Browning Cooper in the 1870’s. The original now hangs in the Filson Historical Society in Louisville. This started our relationship and the more I find out about her life, the more amazed I become by this beautiful women!
Margaret was born on May 13th, 1915 in Cincinnati. Her Father, Dr. Ernest Talbert was a Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Cincinnati and believed in civil liberties, peace projects, and fighting for injustice of any kind.
Margaret describes her Father as a romantic dreamer who was also practical and a seeker of truth. He was a humble man who fought for the underdog and stood up for those with no voice. He was inspired by the teachings of Albert Schweitzer, the German theologian, philosopher, physician, and medical missionary in Africa who received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for the philosophy of “Reverence for Life”. The Talbert House, a non-profit that helps thousands of men, women, children, and families across Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky overcome adversity to become healthy and productive citizens, was named after Ernest in 1965.
Margaret’s mother, Margaret Stockwell Talbert, was just as remarkable. She loved nature, art, books and embraced the beauty of life. While she was bed ridden for two years, she would lay by a window near her bed and began to write poetry. It is very deep and immersed in all her loves and wonders of life and the Lord. Margaret felt her Mother’s poetry needed to be shared and had a book of her poems published in 1967, Titled, “All things Visible.”
Margaret will also tell you she is proud of her family’s contribution to the Civil war. Her family has original letters sent from two of her uncles who were both casualties of the war. These documents were donated my Margaret to the Filson Historical Society and can be seen today.
This is Margaret. She never wants the focus on herself; she would rather stay away from the limelight. But, as her dear friend now, I can tell you she is one of the most intelligent, insightful, faithful, loving, engaging, humble, sincere and beautiful people I have ever met. Looking at her, one sees the light of God coming through. Margaret is a convert to the Catholic Faith. She became a Catholic at the age of 41 and is an amazing example of a true Christian and child of God.
We invite you to share in the celebration of Margaret’s 100th Birthday by providing a humble act of service in her honor, as she would do. Share your love with your loved ones, send a note to a friend in need or pay a visit to your elderly friends here at The Little Sisters of the Poor.
“Where there is no honor to the elderly, there is no future for the young.” -Pope Francis
Happy 100th Birthday Ms. Margaret Talbert! We love you!