"Dignity without compromise"


Mrs. Margaret Elizabeth Thornburgh 83, life long resident of Okmulgee, died in Okmulgee on Sunday, November 10, 2002. She was born in Okmulgee on November 27, 1918 to Edwin and Myrtle (Holleyman) Alden. She was a member of the First Christian Church, the ABWA and the BPW organization. Mrs. Thornburgh married Bert Thornburgh in 1936. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, one brother Harry J. Alden, one sister Sadie Stidham and a half brother John Alden.

Mrs. Thornburgh was a true "Lifetime Political Activist". Her distinguished accomplishments include being on the entertainment committee for the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy and Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson. She served as President of the GBBA Local 8 from 1946-1954, Vice-President of the Oklahoma Federation of Labor from 1952-1953, National Director of Women’s Division Labor’s League for Political Education in 1954 and served in this capacity with the AFL-CIO for 25 years visiting 48 states presenting the new program of Labor’s League for Political Education, and National COPE Director for states west of the Mississippi from 1955-1979. During this time, she became an active member of the Newspaper Guild Local 35. One of the highlights of her career was to be assigned to Alaska in 1958 and Hawaii in 1959 to help get out the vote for statehood. These were both highly successful campaigns. Margaret was inducted in the Labor Hall of Fame in 1993.

Survivors include a daughter Mrs. Mary Lou and husband Dr. Bob Hasselman of Okmulgee, a son Joe E. and wife Wanda Thornburgh of Broken Arrow, a half brother Edwin Alden of Branson, Missouri, four grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Funeral Services will be at 2 pm on Thursday, November 14, 2002 at the McClendon-Winters Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Charles Green officiating. Interment will be in the Okmulgee Cemetery. Visitation will be on Wednesday at the funeral home from 11-8 pm. The family suggests memorial be made in Mrs. Thornburgh’s name to St. Jude’s Childrens’ Hospital.