Margie E Stillwell


Margaret (Margie) Stillwell was born June 18th, 1946, in Seattle, Washington. Margie passed away on March 2, 2023 at her home in Sheridan, WY. Early in life, Margie married Gene Davis, and they had three girls, Jana, Jill, and Julie. After five years, they moved from Seattle, WA, to Sheridan, WY. Gene and Margie were young parents and divorced ten years after marrying. During those ten years, they had many adventures. After Gene and Margie divorced, Margie worked in various capacities. To have more economic opportunity, she decided to seek work on the construction of the Alaskan pipeline. This required a move to Alaska, so she loaded up her three girls and traveled the Yukon Highway in a Toyota station wagon. This was in 1974 when the Yukon Highway was mostly gravel, there were no cell phones or GPS, and the only lodging option was a tent. It took several weeks to make the journey, and for reasons not clear (though gender probably factored into the equation), the Alaskan employment did not materialize. The journey lasted a summer. After her return, she relocated to Lincoln City, Oregon, where she could be closer to her family. In 1975, Margie started her own commercial painting company called Pacific Painters. Women weren’t allowed to obtain business loans at this time without a husband. As such, Margie needed her father to co-sign. She worked hard, growing her company one job at a time. When an influential person in the community hired her to paint his home, her business took off. Margie operated the business successfully for six years. She sold the company, remarried, and moved to the Siletz (Oregon) Indian reservation. In partnership, she owned and operated a game ranch that housed Lions, Tigers, Bison, Elk, Wolves, and, yes, bears. When the union ended, Margie returned to Wyoming. In Wyoming, Margie reconnected with her longtime friend, Pat Szewc. They resided together for ten years in Story, Wyoming, after which time spent 25 years in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, where they could be closer to their first love; fishing. Margie and Pat had many adventurous years, most of which included fishing! During this time, Margie also founded the ‘First Women Foundation,” where she held weekend healing retreats for women. These retreats included female artisans, spiritual teachers, and well-known Native American speakers such as Jack Brightnose. Margie’s legacy is encouraging her girls and other women to recognize their value, connect to their passion, buck tradition, and not subscribe to societal gender rules of the day. Margie is preceded in death by her parents, James and Eileen Stillwell; her sister Diane Stillwell and brother James “Jimmy” Stillwell, all from the pacific northwest. She is survived by her life partner of 45 years, Pat Szewc; her three daughters, Jana Davis, Jill (Moriarty) Davis, Julie (Chadwick) Davis, seven grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and many nieces and nephews. Margie asked to be cremated, and her ashes spread over the Pacific Ocean in Lincoln City, where a memorial service will be held at a later date with her family and friends.  Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.

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