Margaret T. “Maggie” Arneberg, 94, of Beverly, died Feb. 10.
A memorial Mass will be held Feb. 20 at 10 a.m. at St. John Fisher Roman Catholic Church. Private interment will follow. Beverly Ridge Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
She is survived by her children, Diane (Joe) Noth, James, Donna (Mike) Thomas, Donald, Robert (Janine) and Louis (Kathe); her grandchildren, Meghan, Matt, Jim, Lizzy, Michael, Marty, Danny, Lilly and Kate; 11 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
In the King James Bible, Romans 2:6, it says that a person will be judged by their works. Every one of Arneberg’s relatives and friends, especially those close to her, knew she could be a fairly thorny person with her bug-eyed Jedi stare, her hair-trigger punishments and her penchant for trotting off to doctors for every imagined malady. There’s a reason that Maggie left in her wake a legacy of control freaks, her children. Children were her works.
Arneberg was brought into this world for children. She adored children. She knew how to love them. She knew that their mischief was born out of curiosity and not wickedness. Arneberg may have stumbled sometimes as the world corrupted her children into adults, but she never stopped seeing them as newborns whom she brought into the world, babies who needed her guidance and care and toddlers to launch into life.
In one of her many deathbed scenes, Arneberg confided that she didn’t want to die because she would never see her children again. That explained her passion for extending her life and her dread of losing it. Everything was for children. Children were her works.
There was always room for another pair of legs under the family’s table. There was always a bed or a couch or, sometimes, a floor. At one point, she collected so many strays that the family replaced kitchen chairs with picnic benches to cram everyone around the dinner table. Friends and relatives trotted into the house without knocking and made themselves comfortable in the embrace of Arneberg’s home. All her visitors were ghosts of children, needing her care and her push into the next phase of life, no matter how far from childhood they had come.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated to a favorite charity.