Nelsen Williamsburg

3785 Strawberry Plains Rd., Williamsburg, VA


Margaret Ann Wharton

January 9, 1942May 27, 2020

Margaret A. Wharton, born January 9, 1942 in Hartlepool, Durham, England, 78, of Williamsburg, VA, formerly of Virginia Beach, VA, went to be with the Lord on May 27, 2020, after a hard-fought battle against cancer. Margaret was an avid seamstress and quilter. As a longtime member and former president of the Hampton Roads chapter of American Sewing Guild and Colonial Heritage’s Loose Threads Quilters, she was exceptionally talented, always crafting new sewing projects to work on. She used her talents to give back to the community, from gifting handmade quilts to the firefighters at her local fire station to donating beautiful gowns for angel babies at her local hospital. She led with her heart and brightened the lives of those around her. Margaret loved spending time with friends—always laughing, sharing stories, and joining in for game night. But above all, Margaret’s greatest joy was her family, whom she loved unconditionally. Margaret had an infectious smile and spirit, and she exemplified strength and determination in the most trying times. She was the ultimate fighter. After winning her first battle with cancer in 2012, she was diagnosed again in 2016, and the doctors estimated she had approximately one year to live. Instead, Margaret fought the disease for nearly four years, far exceeding all expectations. During this time, she made a solo transcontinental trip to visit her brother in Australia, attended the wedding of her beloved granddaughter, and celebrated the engagement of her grandson. Margaret is survived by her brother, John Murray Unthank of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia; daughter Karen Bourdon and her husband R. Edward Bourdon, Jr. of Virginia Beach, VA; and two grandchildren, Kendall Murray Bourdon and her husband Daniel William Smith of Raleigh, NC, and Wesley Edward Bourdon of Virginia Beach, VA. She is preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, James Frederick Wharton, and her son, Paul Murray Wharton. A memorial celebration of life will be held in the coming weeks as soon as the State’s Covid-19 restrictions permit. The family wishes to sincerely thank Ms. Gulsanga Safi for the incredible care she gave Margaret as the disease took away her independence. The family also wishes to thank Margaret’s wonderful friends and neighbors for the love and support throughout her battle with cancer. Online condolences may be shared at www.nelsencares.com.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Margaret Ann Wharton

have a memory or condolence to add?

Louise Williams

June 1, 2020

To my dearest friend, you will be missed!
To Karen, Eddie, Kendall and Wes, your Mom/Meemaw loved telling stories about each of you. She didn’t want to leave you but at the end, she knew you would be as strong as she ever was. She wants you to be happy, love each other and remember her laugh when dancing and playing/winning games.
To her friends, Margaret is unforgettable! Her British accent and that infectious laugh filled the room and would make everyone pause for a “Margaret story.”
I met Margaret almost 9 years ago when I joined the Olde Towne Stitchers. We shared a love for sewing and especially fabric shopping. I personally enjoyed our ongoing debate on “product” vs “ process.” Otherwise stated, the “rightness” of producing quilts at the pace she deemed appropriate and the “wrongness” of my spending too much time on the upfront learning, designing and planning (i.e., the process elements I enjoy most). I will now admit that she sort of won the debate because today I choose smaller projects that I can complete before I get the itch to learn something new. And when she couldn’t produce anymore because threading a needle or using her sewing machine became impossible, she learned to focus on the process. She did find some joy in helping others with the process of choosing fabrics and patterns and color ways. Her color perspective and critical eye for detail was well respected.

I like to think that the best of Margaret rubbed off on me and perhaps it was reciprocal. I truly loved Margaret like a sister and will miss her forever. I can smile now knowing that her cancer battle is over and she is walking again with her Jimmy and Paul.
See you later Margaret
Love you,
Louise (ribbit)