An icon in the community, Stoner was best known for her cinnamon buns and weed-free 20 by 40-foot garden where she annually grew lilies, Shasta daisies, dahlias, zinnias, marigolds, tulips and all her vegetables every year.
On May 17, many people in McCloud celebrated Margaret Stoner’s 100th birthday.
Though the McCloud centenarian had to retire to an assisted living home in Nevada two years ago to be closer to her daughter, she has lifelong ties to her home town of McCloud where she raised her family.
Because of the pandemic, Margaret cannot have visitors. The two big bashes that were planned by her daughter Neva Clasen were canceled. Family members coming from Texas, Missouri, Georgia and Illinois canceled their travel plans.
But to keep her spirits high Bev Carne, the Deacon of Covenant of Reno Presbyterian Church of which Margaret and her daughter attend, made plans. One hundred days ago, Carne started sending cards from parishioners, counting down the days with well wishes. Carne arranged a gathering of family and friends from their church to stand in the parking lot outside the care home to sing “happy birthday” to her all holding balloons and bringing a cake.
Pastor Nick Welch from the McCloud Presbyterian Church, along with his wife Rachael and with many cards and presents from the McCloud community in tow, drove to Reno to celebrate Margaret’s centennial birthday and recorded it live on Facebook to share with their McCloud family.
“I got to talk with her through the window and got to catch her up on what is going on at home in McCloud,” Welch said. “It was really nice. She seemed overwhelmed with gratitude and says that she misses McCloud and everyone there and that she loves them.”
The oldest of 11 children, Margaret Stoner married during WWII to Otis Stoner in Geary, Oklahoma where they grew up on neighboring farms. After her husband was discharged from the service, he landed a job working for the McCloud Lumber Company and they moved out west.
“This was February 6, 1946, when the company owned the town. A lot has changed since then,” said Stoner in 2014.
An icon in the community, Stoner was best known for her cinnamon buns and weed-free 20 by 40-foot garden where she annually grew lilies, Shasta daisies, dahlias, zinnias, marigolds, tulips and all her vegetables every year. Each spring she would plant 700 bulbs that she would remove each fall, wrap up and store over the winter.
A prominent figure in many of the town’s organizations, Stoner was a longtime treasurer for Presbyterian Church and the Garden Club. She was honored as the Grand Marshal for the 67th Lumberjack Fiesta in 2014.
Neva Clasen told her mother that they will postpone her big bash until next year when they will celebrate both her 100th and 101st birthdays with a big party where family and friends can come.
Stoner responded by saying, “Gee, I guess I better take good care of myself, then.”