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On Oct. 1, 2018, Margaret K. Keiley passed away at the age of 76. She was born in Chicago on Aug. 4, 1942, daughter of the late Susan Haines Kraatz and Charles Parry Kraatz. After spending most of her childhood and teenage years in Springfield, Pennsylvania, she received her B.S. in Mathematics and Philosophy at Denison University in Ohio in 1964. She taught high school mathematics in the Boston area and worked for MIT Lincoln Labs for a number of years. Returning to education, Margaret earned an M.Ed. in Family Theory and Counseling at the University of Massachusetts in Boston in 1988, and an Ed.M. in Counseling and Consulting Psychology in 1989 and Ed.D. in Human Development and Psychology in 1996, both at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.
She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in developmental psychopathology from 1996 to 1997 at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. She then moved to Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, to become Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy. Since 2004, she has been on the faculty of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Auburn University, serving as Associate and then full Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy and Professor of Human Development and Family Studies. Her contributions to her field were significant. She received numerous federal grants, published countless manuscripts and book chapters, and presented regularly at local and national conferences. She was a highly accomplished methodologist, researcher, and therapist and received a number of awards for her work, including the Distinguished Research Award from the American Educational Research Association in 2003 and the Walter S. Rosenberry Award for Distinguished Contributions in the Field of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences in 2007. She pioneered a multiple-family group therapy intervention at Mt. Meigs, a nearby juvenile correctional facility in Alabama, bettering the lives of incarcerated youth and their families.
An avid traveler throughout her life, she visited practically all of the US National Parks with her close friend, Nina Martin, and sometimes with her sister, Susan. Other destinations, too many to include them all, were Egypt, Turkey, Italy, Tanzania, Russia, China, skiing in Chile, bear watching in Alaska, and dancing in Romania. She was also a member of the East Alabama Gem and Mineral Society in Opelika and treasured her friendships there as well as her rocks. Her home was like a museum with innumerable pieces of extraordinary artwork collected over a lifetime. She was known especially for her love of bright colors, particularly purple, and her wisdom, courage, sense of fun, and sparkling laugh. She connected deeply with and offered unconditional support and loyalty to those she loved.
Her greatest legacy is her profound influence on her students, best described in their own words:
–“Her wisdom, generosity, empathy, strength, and laugh were like no other.”
–“She is one tough cookie (and just as hard on those she loved), but she is also soft and steady and warm. She changed the world.”
–“I will miss her purple, no filter, cat-loving self and her contagious laugh.”
–“You lived life so fully and unapologetically. You taught me what it means to be vulnerable, to risk for closeness, and to be truly known and seen. You showed us by example how to find empathy in anyone’s story.”
–“She had the innate ability to recognize your talents (even when you didn’t) and push you just the right amount towards your dreams.”
–“Plenty of people tell you to live your life and seek adventure, but Margaret had the rare ability to make me want to listen to that advice. Her humor and candor made her an amazing therapist and mentor.”
–“The world seems a bit less colorful today with Margaret gone, but her legacy continues with all the students and therapists she pushed to be risk-takers. I am grateful to have known and loved her, and I will continue to take risks.”
–“She encouraged me to empathy in depths unknown. She inspired me to live life fully. 10.1.18 the world lost an amazing woman, but we are better for having you, Margaret.”
Margaret is survived by her sister, Susan (Donald) Kraatz Anderson, of Wayne, Pennsylvania, and her two latest kitties, Pete and Poppi, of the many she cared for throughout her life.
A celebration of her life will be held in Auburn, Alabama, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, December 9, followed by a reception, at the ALFA Pavilion (“Red Barn”) (620-A South Donahue Drive, overlooking the Ag Heritage Park pond, Auburn, AL, 36832). An additional celebration will be held in the Philadelphia area. For more information on the Philadelphia celebration, contact Susan Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Memorial contributions may be made to Best Friends Animal Society (https://bestfriends.org/donate/make-gift-memory).
The family is being assisted by Georgia Cremation 7500 Veterans Parkway Suite A Columbus, GA 31909. The family request that you leave a fond memory and sign the registry below.