Margaret Kingsbury

Margaret (Faulkner) Kingsbury passed away peacefully in her home in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., in May at the age of 97.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 30, 1922, and baptized Margarita, she was forevermore known to most lovingly as “Rita”; so began the Spanish influence in the family. She lived in South America and in France before moving to the United States with her parents: father, Winthrop Faulkner from Keene, and mother, Margaret Jacobs from Berlin, Md.

She lived with her two siblings, Nancy and Mary, and two first cousins, Douglas and Jack Whitcomb, in her grandfather’s home at 194 West St., in Keene, next to her father’s business, Faulkner and Colony Woolen Mills.

Rita was always active. Throughout her younger years, she loved dancing, singing a cappella, snow skiing, riding horseback and sewing, and later on was seen religiously walking, doing aerobics and Zumba Gold, knitting, protesting on Central Square in Keene, and traveling the world until she was in her 90s. However, she was most known for and proud of doing research in Europe and writing a genealogy of the Faulkner families from the New England area. Family connections past and present were important to her.

She was inducted into the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Colonial Dames societies. Education was most important to Rita. She attended preparatory school at Penn Hall in Philadelphia, post-high at Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School, and continued to Brown University as an undergraduate. She worked for several years as head secretary to the president of Peerless Insurance Co. in Keene, and went on for a master’s degree level in education at Keene State College. Thereafter, she worked diligently as an elementary school teacher in Walpole, Fuller and Wheelock schools and was recognized as a high-performing teacher until she retired.

She married Thayer Kingsbury Jr. in 1945 and moved to Alaska where she worked with commanding officers of the U.S. Air Force on Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage for about three years. She returned to Keene after a divorce and in 1961 married H. Thayer Kingsbury with whom she lived on Court Street for his remaining years until 2012. In 2013 she moved to Jupiter, Fla., to be with her only daughter, Ann, then moving close by to Royal Palm Beach to live out her last three years.

Rita was the eldest of the three Faulkner siblings, followed by Nancy Hine of Sarasota, Fla., and Mary Farley of D’Hanis, Texas, both now deceased. She is survived by her daughter, Ann Castillo of West Palm Beach, Fla., and her son-in-law, Federico Castillo; two grandchildren, Dylan Castillo of Jupiter, and Adrianna Castillo of Royal Palm Beach; plus two great-grandchildren, Isaiah and Andre, as well as many nieces and nephews of the Hine family of Florida; and stepchildren of H. Thayer Kingsbury’s family of Keene.

A burial is planned at the Friedsam Cemetery for family and close friends followed by a celebration of life on July 27 at Spofford Lake.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be made in the name of the Historical Society of Cheshire County or the national or Monadnock ASPCA.