School of Education Community Remembers Margaret Charters

The School of Education Board of Visitors and community fondly remembers Emeritus Board Member Margaret Anne Charters G’71 G’04 (1925-2019).

“Margaret will be remembered as a champion for education and young readers in Syracuse, and her expertise and experience was valued on our SOE Board of Visitors. We will honor Margaret at our next meeting and will visit STEAM at Dr. King Elementary School, which she treasured. We encourage all who love and miss Margaret to read to a child in her memory.”
—Dean Joanna Masingila

Margaret’s Obituary

Margaret ChartersMargaret Anne MacNaughton Charters, 93, passed away peacefully on August 6, 2019, surrounded by family. A native of Saskatchewan, she and her husband and family lived much of their life together in Syracuse, New York. An avid educator, she was a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan (B.S.), University of Chicago (M.A.) and Syracuse University (M.A., Ph.D.).

Born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, after graduation from the University of Saskatchewan she began her lifelong involvement in education by teaching at Michigan State University. She obtained her master’s degree at the University of Chicago, and married another University of Chicago student, Alexander Charters in 1952. Together they moved to Syracuse, New York where he took a position with Syracuse University and she spent the next 20 years teaching her own class of four children. In 1973 she finished her PhD and began another chapter as a professor at Syracuse University, where she taught until her retirement in 1995.

She served on the Board of Visitors for the School of Education and never missed a Commencement, serving as Marshall. Not finished, and now at age 82 she felt so strongly about her gift for teaching that she returned to Syracuse University as a student to obtain a M.S. in Reading. She established and managed a community reading program at Martin Luther King Elementary School in Syracuse for inner city students. She maintained a close bond with the program, even after her move to Pennsylvania. Margaret was a tireless advocate of civil rights and community service and received many awards, including Syracuse University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Unsung Hero Award for Community Service, the Rotary Club distinguished servant, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Woman of Fortitude award as well as the City of Syracuse Parents for Public Schools Award of Excellence for her work at King School.

She was a leader in the Presbyterian church, having served as Moderator of the Cayuga-Syracuse Presbytery and holding innumerable positions at Park Central Presbyterian in Syracuse. She was President of many community organizations, including The Portfolio Club.

She is survived by her brother, David MacNaughton of Stettler, Alberta, as well as her four children and their spouses, William Charters (Michelle), David Charters (Mary Beth), John Charters (Cindy) and Lou Anne Vike (Jim). She also left grandchildren, Sammie, Alex, Kristen, Megan, Kim, John, Michael, Cameron and Marit, as well as great grandchildren, Calvin, Melanie and Cameran. She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Alec, of more than 65 years just a year earlier.

A local celebration of her life will be held at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church on September 21, 2019. Burial will be alongside her husband in Hagersville, Ontario. Contributions in her memory can be made to the Margaret Anne Charters scholarship endowment at Syracuse University or to the Swarthmore Presbyterian Church in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.