Margot Nelson Carey of Rutherford, NJ died at home in Cape May on Wednesday, November 11, 2020, with her beloved and devoted son Nelson and her “daughter-in-love” Grace by her side.
She was predeceased by her adoring husband of 52 years, James Raymond “Ray” Carey, who was the love of her life.
Margot was born in and was a life-long resident of Rutherford. She was the daughter of the late Martin Peter Nelson, the former mayor of Rutherford and his wife, Florence Helen Polhamus Nelson. She was the cherished and devoted younger sister to the late Karen Nelson (Jack) Drake.
After graduating from Rutherford High School, Margot received her Associates Degree in Education from Centenary College in Hackettstown, NJ and then attended Glassboro State University where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Education and Childhood Development
Margot began her professional career as a social worker before embarking on her teaching career in Teaneck, NJ. She spent 40 happy years as a first-grade teacher in Rutherford. Her profession was not just a job, it was an adventure and it was always her vocation. Margot loved children and she loved teaching them. She was honored to be named a “New Jersey Teacher of the Year” in a ceremony which was celebrated at the famed Windows on the World Restaurant atop Building One of the World Trade Center. Despite such accolades, it was in her student’s achievements that Margot took the greatest pride, particularly that each could recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the country she loved so well. Not satisfied with that accomplishment, Margot ensured that her first graders would memorize and recite the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, as well.
Margot never forgot a student and when she encountered a former student on the streets of Rutherford, twenty years may have elapsed, but she would greet them by name and inquire after their siblings and parents. Each summer, when the school break occurred, you would find Margot and her family on the shores of Normandy Beach steps from her treasured Atlantic Ocean.
At the time of her death, Margot’s membership in the First Presbyterian Church of Rutherford earned her the distinction of being the longest continual member (72 years, six months). In addition to serving as a Church Elder, she was a member of many civic associations over the years including the College Club of Rutherford, the Teacher’s Collaborative, the Meadowbloom Club, the Junior League, the Eastern Star, the Fortnightly Club and a 30+-year-member of the Upper Montclair Country Club. Her favorite membership, however, was that of a beloved and irreplaceable mother, friend and neighbor. Margot was someone who loved well and was well-loved in return.
It should be acknowledged that this last journey of suffering and separation for Margot was made easier by the dedicated friends and neighbors who never let her out of their thoughts and prayers, not to mention phone calls, cards, emails, flowers and even one glorious movie. In these last months, Margot was also supported by a dedicated team of doctors, nurses and medical personnel at the Columbia University Medical Center. The deepest thanks go to the in-home, hospice hero’s at Holy Redeemer Medical Center in Cape May Court House without whom this final journey with her family at her side, would not have been possible. The love and care shown to Margot by so many, when she most needed it, is a blessing that will never be forgotten.
A celebration of Margot’s life is planned for the spring.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in honor of Margot to: Holy Redeemer HomeCare/Hospice, 521 Moredon Road, Huntington Valley PA 19006