Margaret M. Coefield Nugent died on Feb. 17. She was 101.
She was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, on March 9, 1920, to Edward J. Coefield and Francis J. Coefield. The family later moved to Maryland and New Hampshire, where Margaret attended the Pinkerton Academy in Derry. She graduated from Dorchester High School for Girls in 1937, and attended stenotype school in Boston for two years. She took classes at Quincy Junior College, Massasoit Community College and Bridgewater State College, and held administrative positions in the medical and legal fields.
She moved to Hingham to raise her five children. After they left for school, she spent quiet moments playing the piano and tending her garden.
Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren became her proudest achievement. She cherished and celebrated their accomplishments. They felt safe and loved in her fiercely protective, highly observant presence and knew she treasured the time they spent together. Her resilience, strong will, creativity, and love and pride for her family shone in all she did.
She was an accomplished photographer who brought her camera on trips to Europe and Mexico, developied images at the dark room in her house and won awards at Boston and South Shore camera clubs. Even more award-winning in the eyes of her family was her baking, with key lime pie, rhubarb pie and strawberry shortcake as specialties. She spent many hours researching her family ancestry, survived two pandemics and drove her Volkswagen well into her 90s. She was a loyal fan to both Tiger Woods and Tom Brady.
She had a soft spot for her dogs, Shannon and Charlie, and birds. She often took relatives to Mass Audubon properties and saved leftovers to feed to her winged friends. There was no better place to enjoy nature than Martha’s Vineyard, where she moved later in life to be closer to her family — and to beat them at gin rummy. She brought some of her bulbs and rose bushes from Hingham to her house in Edgartown and mastered various technologies to stay in touch with family members.
Margaret enjoyed life in Edgartown to the fullest. Being in her 80s didn’t slow her down: the list of activities and organizations she supported is endless. Some of her favorites were helping at the council on aging, visiting the Edgartown Library, and attending her granddaughter Zoe’s softball games where she became an honorary member of the team. She adored Murdick’s Fudge, meals from Little House Café, Main Street Diner and The Black Dog Tavern. Her favorite Christmastime activity was to drive around the Island to see the towns showing their holiday best. She was often spotted viewing the beautiful gardens in and around Edgartown, particularly enjoying summer roses in bloom.
When asked her secret to reaching 100, Margaret responded, “I don’t know, but I eat a lot of butter and sugar.”
She is survived by her children, Thomas Nugent, Gail Vaughan and John Nugent; grandchildren Carl Goodman Jr., Aimee Debaun, Phoebe Hunley, Rachael Vaughan Rodick, Cameron Nugent, Alex Nugent and Zoe Nugent; and great-grandchildren Carl Goodman 3rd, Tayla Goodman, Perry Bauer, Shiloh Hunley, Shimon Hunley, Savanna and Gia. She was predeceased by her children Anne Nugent Goodman and Robert Nugent Jr., and her grandchild Miles Nugent.
A memorial service was held at St. Paul’s Parish in Hingham on March 19. She was interred at St. Paul’s Cemetery.
Donations can be made to Edgartown Council on Aging or the Edgartown Public Library.
Condolences may be mailed to the family at P.O. Box 219, Edgartown, MA 02539.