Margaret Mary Delaney O’Loughlin

Margaret Mary Delaney O’Loughlin

August 31, 1918 - May 30, 2009

Margaret Mary Delaney O’Loughlin

August 31, 1918 - May 30, 2009


Margaret Delaney O’Loughlin

Margaret Delaney O’Loughlin, 90, passed away on May 30th, two weeks short of the 67th anniversary of her wedding to Dr. Bernard James O’Loughlin.

Margaret was born in Marcus, Iowa, where her father was a college educated cowboy, general store owner, postmaster and local Democratic Party chairman and her mother was a warm-hearted Irish immigrant who couldn’t turn a hobo away during the Depression without feeding him. Margaret carried their passion for education and activism throughout her life.

After graduating with honors from Duchesne College in Omaha, she decided not to pursue a career in journalism and married Dr. Bernard O’Loughlin, translated his doctoral dissertation from medicalese into English, shared his life in the Army-Air Force during World War II in Texas where she started one of her many social justice campaigns: getting better treatment for Mexican-American Catholics by the hierarchy.

Margaret moved to Los Angeles with her burgeoning family in 1952 to support her husband’s pioneering the UCLA Medical Center Radiology Department and later to Orange County so that he could do the same for UC Irvine. She was active in Town and Gown at both Universities. Her sabbatical years in Dublin and Oxford and associated travels honed her interest in cuisine and art. She put her passion for art and education into practice as a docent at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She was an active member of the Huntington Beach City Planning Commission. She was involved in presentations with Protestant, Jewish, Mexican American and African American women, as reported by the Times in 1969, ‘to erase prejudice.’

Margaret was a Catholic activist with a critical, intellectual bent and a sense of humor, indicated by the name of a discussion group she pioneered: ‘Beer and Theology.’ She was the pragmatic pillar of a group of activist, feminist Catholics, the Christines. She helped Msgr. Anthony Brouwers conceive and found the Mission Doctors Association in 1959. Margaret and Bernard were active members of the Third Order of St. Benedict associated with St. Andrew’s Monastery in Valyermo. Her mother’s compassion was echoed in Margaret’s working to feed and clothe the homeless at St. Joseph’s Center in Venice.

Margaret believed that women should be well educated in order to bring up educated children and they were her main life’s work. She thought nothing of making Coquilles St. Jacques for a high school graduation party, letting her daughter’s friends in a jazz band use her living room as a rehearsal space or feeding a crew making a film in Latin. Her grandchildren still treasure memories of their museum trips with her.

Margaret is survived by her husband Dr. Bernard J. O’Loughlin; her daughters Susan Shelly and Brigid O’Loughlin Maddox; her sons Bernard Ben, John, Kevin, Rory and Brian O’Loughlin; fourteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in Newport Beach on Wednesday, June 3, at 10:00 a.m.

O’Connor Mortuary, 949 581-4300

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5 responses to Margaret Mary Delaney O’Loughlin

  1. Rich Molony says:

    Margaret was a beautiful woman who raised her family with dignity and was always there for them or their friends. I am blessed that I was able to call her my friend over these many years.

  2. Dear Barney and Family, I was saddened to read of Margaret’s death. My most favorite memory along with my entire family is Christmas 1971 when she invited us to a Christmas celebration. It was the most joyeous event for a brand new family to Southern California. I wish the years had not passed so quickly and I had more time to spend with you and Margaret. Fondly, Mary Aileen

  3. Dear Dr O’Loughlin, Susan and family,
    How wonderful to read this amazing tribute to Mrs O’Loughlin.
    You know we have another angel/prayer warrior in heaven…God bless your wonderful family
    Kathleen Henry Varni

  4. Her life would surely dictate that Margaret Mary Delaney O’Loughlin was personally greeted and led into heaven by Our Lord Jesus and His Mother Mary to be enveloped in Sara’s radiant saintly beauty for the reunion with her parents and heavenly family only to await the arrival of her husband and children to follow in God’s perfect plan.

    It was an honor to share in the gracious welcome of the O’Loughlin Family as one of my life’s highlights and so lucky to have Margaret and your children as cousins.

    This “Hobo” in Kelly, Delaney and O’Loughin tradition was treated like a member of your Family. I am forever greatful and in your debt.

    There is always a room in my home for you and any of your family.

    I know you will miss her, but I am sure she is asking our Lord for His Blessings upon all of your family.

    I will have a Mass said in her honor this week at Saint John Paul II Catholic Church here in Bigfork.

    May God’s Peace and Joy be with you,

    Howard Wilkins and Family

  5. I believe I may have a picture of Ms Delaney during the war (ww2). I do not know the story of how she came to possibly be confused for my grandfather’s sister, but the woman in this picture is not my great aunt Mary Margaret. The picture I have shows a very beautiful young woman with her hair curled and waved, pulled back on the sides and swept up in the fashion of the day with a big bow in the back, and the rest curled under resting on her collar in the back. Earrings, locket, dark hair, fair skin, slender, wide set, “grey green eyes” written on the back by an unknown hand and a gentle, intelligent, kind, expression and smile. She is wearing a pair of army air corps / air Force wings on her left breast. There is writing on the back that had been cut off on the sides introducing her as Mary Del(something). If this is the same woman, I’d like to get this photo to it’s rightful family.

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