Margaret (Michlmeyr) Winshell was born in Steyr, Austria, November 6, 1930 to Franz and Marie (Porombka) Michlmeyr. Margaret was a loving, caring, kind woman, beautiful both inside and out. Margaret was a woman with immense strength, will, and determination, even under difficult, adverse conditions. Margaret had a vibrant, colorful personality and was just fun to be around, with stories and tales of her past. Margaret was a talented singer with perfect pitch and loved to sing. She loved to cook dishes from her homeland, preparing meals for family and friends, particularly proud of her chicken soup and chopped liver.
When Margaret was just 18 years old she met the man who would be the love of her life, Sam Winshell, They were married June 24, 1950 in Linz, Austria and remained together for an adventuresome 49 years until he passed in 1999. They emigrated to Canada after a perilous voyage aboard a merchant ship, crossing the North Atlantic in stormy seas in the winter of 1951.They arrived with one suitcase and hopes of a better life. They settled in Montreal until 1967 when they emigrated once again to the United States settling this time in East Hartford, Connecticut.
Margaret worked for many years in the food service industry, until finding her professional niche in the insurance industry working for and retiring from The Aetna. During the catastrophic blizzard of '78, that shut down Hartford for a week or more, Margaret worked tirelessly to help feed and shelter hundreds of people stranded for days at work. She was so effective with her efforts that Aetna singled her out for awards and accolades for her contribution in this trying situation.
Margaret had fond memories of spending summers with family and friends in the Laurentian mountains of Quebec, which reminded her of home. Margaret loved to travel, especially to Israel, visiting with the extended family. She bought books to help her learn Hebrew, so she could more easily converse with the family. Margaret loved all things Israel and was a lifetime member of Hadassah. Margaret was among other things an utterly devoted and adoring wife, daughter, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend.
Margaret was predeceased by her parents, her sister Carlotte, her brothers Franz and Herbert, daughters-in-law Hermance and Marie, and all her husbands sisters and brothers and their spouses in Israel, Austria, Australia, and New York. Margaret was survived by her sons Bernard and Allan of Glastonbury, her daughters-in-law Barbara of Windsor and Robyn of East Haddam, her grandchildren Gregory (Michelle) of Phoenix, AZ and Brian (Sissy) of Austin, TX, Jessica of Willimantic, Emmaleigh of East Haddam, Casandra of Hartford, and great-grandchildren Anthony and Julia of Manchester. Margaret was also survived by her many nieces and nephews and grand-nieces and grand-nephews in Israel, Austria, Australia, and New York, as well as her close friends, Lily, Richard and Georgina of Florida.
Funeral services for Margaret were held in private for family and friends in Florida where she was laid to rest next to her beloved husband, Sam.