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Cook-Walden/Forest Oaks Funeral Home and Memorial Park

6300 West William Cannon Drive, Austin, TX

OBITUARY

Margarett Elizabeth (Shiplett) Scalora

January 27, 1932August 30, 2019
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Margarett Elizabeth Shiplett Scalora, of Temple, Houston, and Buda, passed away at the age of 87 on August 30, 2019. Memorial services will be held at Cook Walden Forest Oaks Funeral Home Chapel on Saturday, September 7, 2019, at 3:00pm. A reception will follow.

Margarett was born on a farm outside of Rogers, in Bell County, Texas. She was an only child but had lots of cousins and plenty of dogs, barn cats, and farm animal friends. Our bedtime stories were about the calf that came to her window for a scratch and a rub and swinging in the vines over creeks with her cousin Duane. She graduated from Moody High School in 1949, at 17. Her first secretarial job was at Hoover Brothers in Temple, TX, where she met her true love and husband-to-be, Thomas Scalora. Thomas and Margarett married on June 6, 1953 and after spending a few months in the Panhandle and then close to the Ship Channel, they settled in Houston where they raised their family and remained until Thomas’ death in 1998.

Margarett was a talented artist, painting in oils and acrylics; she was also a skilled seamstress. She was crafty, making all kinds of play costumes, Halloween garb, and decorations. Margarett loved to garden and always had tomatoes and basil growing. She loved animals and spoiled several cats, dogs, and parakeets. Ricky, her last parakeet, kept her company and somehow managed to run her life for more than eight years. Ricky died just a few months before Margarett left us (but we never told her he was gone). She was a fantastic cook. Her lasagna and stuffed artichokes were famous, as were her fantastic holiday dinners, spaghetti sauce, and pear preserves. No one ever made better cornbread dressing.

Once her kids were in high school she went to work, first in retail and then as a department manager at Pinemont Bank in Houston. Margarett was a devoted member and long-time employee of Chapelwood United Methodist Church in Houston. She spent 17 years as Chapelwood’s wedding coordinator, skillfully and calmly guiding more than 1,000 anxious brides and grooms through happy ceremonies. She loved that job. Later she worked with the Reverend Kelly Williams, Chapelwood’s pre-eminent pastor of more than 35 years, both before and after his retirement, assisting him with church business, personal business, and lots of lunches. Kelly was the Scalora family’s guardian angel and Margarett’s best pal and partner in “pie crime.” Margarett and Thomas were blessed with lots of good friends over the years, many of whom they met at Chapelwood, especially through their decades-long participation in the Wedding Band Sunday School class.

She had a spine of steel, both figuratively and literally (titanium, actually). Margarett was always fully in-charge and in “take-no-prisoners” mode. She served as elementary school “room mother,” and Girl Scout cookie-manager, cared for her elderly parents, designed homes, and balanced books while juggling depleted bank accounts. She dealt punishments loudly and dramatically, but with rare follow-through. She was lots of bark and almost never a nibble, much less a bite. But she terrified most of the neighborhood kids, especially the Flores boys next door on Broken Bough. Margarett wiped the tears of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and her brides as well. Like a drill sergeant, Margarett marshaled nervous bridegrooms, tipsy best men and groomsmen, silly bridesmaids, high-maintenance brides, and their anxious mothers, and still whipped up chess pies and banana puddings, all while muscling through Thomas’ serious health issues and bi-polar disorder, as well as her own heart surgery, multiple back surgeries, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, pancreatitis, and without anyone ever knowing, Parkinson’s. Her picture appears in the dictionary alongside the definition of “grit.”

Margarett is survived by her youngest daughter, Karon Kathleen Scalora; her son Michael James Scalora and his wife Cheryl Workman Scalora, and their daughter Nicole Leigh Scalora Tarpley and her husband, John Wesley Tarpley, and their children (Margarett’s great-grandchildren), Logan Thomas Reid Scalora, Natalie Lynn Tarpley, John Wesley Tarpley, Jr., and Dallas Alexander Tarpley; as well as her daughter, Jennifer Beth Scalora and her husband William V. Rice, III, and their sons Thomas Griffen Rice, and Walker Houston Rice. Margarett is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 45 years, Thomas Frank Scalora, by her parents, J.C. Shiplett and Ruby Lee (Dunnam) Shiplett; and by her grandson, Ryan David Scalora.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association (http://www.heart.org) or the Parkinson’s Foundation (https://www.parkinson.org). The family would like to express their gratitude toward the many patient and kind caregivers at Elmcroft Senior Living and Sodalis Summit Oaks Assisted Living; Eileen Schwartz, Margarett’s Magnolia Hospice nurse, and the entire staff at Sodalis Buda Memory Care, led by Bobbi Cornwell, who made her last months as safe, homey, and comfortable as possible.

Please share memories of Margarett Elizabeth Scalora by click the 'Add a Memory' tab below.

Services

  • Memorial Service Saturday, September 7, 2019
  • Reception Saturday, September 7, 2019

Memories

Margarett Elizabeth (Shiplett) Scalora

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Juanita Carson

September 7, 2019

My heart is sad to lose such a wonderful neighbor! I loved our times together when I took her mail to her door. We shared so many fantastic conversations ❤️
She was beautiful inside & out !!!! Her family was her greatest joy in life. She talked often of her husband , children & grandchildren. I was blessed to call her my friend 💕 She will be missed greatly!

Juanita

Michael Scalora

September 5, 2019

Michael Scalora

September 5, 2019

Mom blessed so many in wonderful ways.
She was a woman of deep faith.
Her family was always first in her heart.

Donna Thorwaldson

September 4, 2019

I first met Margaret Scalora when I was over playing at Jennifer’s house on Broken Bough in 1964. At 9 years old, she made quite an impression on me. At first I was struck by how pretty she was and realized soon afterward that she was a no nonsense kind of mom! If Jennifer and/or I were in trouble for something, I knew it was time to head back home because heads were going to roll! If she got mad, she was a force to be reckoned with, AND she was also fair, loving and a real softie underneath.

She was always kind to me and treated me like one of the family. I always loved eating over because she was such a great cook, especially her stuffed artichokes! I remember her laugh, a giggle really, that would make her smile and her eyes twinkle, when she thought something was really funny. These are all small things, but things that have stayed with me, nonetheless. Her memory will live on in her family and she will be missed by many.

Scott Shiplett

September 3, 2019

A photograph of Margarett and my Dad, Duane Shiplett. One of my Grandmother's favorite photos. Margarett and Dad were cousins and great friends and I hope they find each other again. Sympathy and prayers for Margarett's family.

Nicole Scalora Tarpley

September 2, 2019

Nonna and 2 of her great grandkids, Natalie and Wesley. So much love! March 2019.

Nicole Scalora Tarpley

September 2, 2019

Nonna and her son Michael at my (granddaughter) 23rd birthday 2004. She was always so beautiful and happy. She always had a twinkle in her eye.

Nicole Scalora Tarpley

September 2, 2019

Nonna loves those great grand babies!

Nicole Scalora Tarpley

September 2, 2019

Nonna loving on her great grandchild Natalie

Nicole Scalora Tarpley

September 2, 2019

This picture shows how much she loved her great grandchildren. There are more pictures, and more children. She was there from the very beginning and they were there through the very end. Nonna was so in love with with all of the children in her life from her own to the grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was a blessed woman to leave such a legacy. We were blessed to have her. We are all so lucky to have had her in our lives as long as we did. She will remain in our hearts and memories forever more until we meet again. We love you Nonna! Love Always,
Nicole (first of the third generation and only granddaughter)

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Margarett & Thomas

FROM THE FAMILY

Margarett & Thomas

FROM THE FAMILY

They made hats this afternoon for Derby Day next week. Nonna looks cute.

FROM THE FAMILY

Karon and Nonna on Easter Sunday, 2019.

FROM THE FAMILY

Margarett’s 87th birthday.

FROM THE FAMILY

Happy Mother's Day to this cutie!

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY