Margaret Potter
Margaret Potter

Obituary of Margaret Potter

Margaret S. Potter

Margaret Bell Smith Potter, 97, formerly of Truxton, NY, died peacefully on Thursday, August 31, 2017 at Bridges Cornell Heights, Ithaca NY. She leaves a legacy of dedication to family, church and community that touched countless people throughout her long and vibrant life.            

Margaret was born July 14, 1920 in Charlton, NY, daughter of the late Katherine and Reynard Smith, who operated a poultry and pig farm. She was raised to value hard work, self-sufficiency, education, and concern for others.  She graduated from Cornell University’s College of Home Economics with a Bachelors of Science in 1943. Following college Margaret worked as a 4-H Agent with NYS Cooperative Extension, Cortland County.

Margaret and her husband of over 63 years, the late Bernard Potter, settled in Truxton, NY, where they owned and operated Potter Farms from 1943-1985. They supported each other in raising five children and managing the farm while participating in numerous church and community efforts.

Margaret was committed to education. With patience and dedication, she taught innumerable 4-H club members skills in sewing, cooking, and gardening; led Sunday school classes and church adult education programs; and served as a Laubach Literacy reading and English tutor. She was elected to the Truxton Central School Board of Education, serving as President in 1965; later she supported the Homer Central School as a member of the Facilities Review Committee. She was an active volunteer for Cooperative Extension, serving on several committees and stepping up as a judge at county and state fairs.  She and Bernard opened their door to exchange students through the International Farm Youth Exchange and Rotary.

She supported the church throughout her life at the local, district and conference levels through the Women’s Society of Christian Service/United Methodist Women, Release Time Religious Education, Vacation Bible School, and several Board and committee positions for the Truxton United Methodist church, including helping with the annual Steak Dinner.

Margaret supported several community organizations, including the Cortland County Historical Society, Cornell Women’s Club of Cortland County, and Republican Women. She was a member of the Elizabeth Brewster House Board of Managers for many years, serving as First Vice President, President, and Treasurer. She later became a resident of the home she had supported.

Margaret is survived by children Patricia (Brenda Moulton) Potter of Cape Elizabeth, ME, Wilburn (Joyce) Potter of Strasburg, PA,  Nancy (George Gull) Potter of West Danby, NY, Joanne Potter of Alexandria, VA, Bernice (Mark Masler) Potter-Masler of Cortland NY; grandchildren Michelle (Tyler) Meck, Christopher Potter, Adrienne Masler, Alaina Masler, Erica Masler, and Gregory (Isabella) Masler; great-grandchildren Orion Moltion-Masler, Ryan and Kyle Meck; brother-in-law Dr. Carleton (Esther Twentyman) Potter of Ithaca, NY; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins; the Colmenares family of Venezuela; and many dear friends.  In addition to her husband Bernard, she is predeceased by her sister Agnes “Billie” Smith, her brothers Gilbert Smith and Harold Smith, and beloved sisters- and brothers-in-laws.

A memorial service will be held at 2 pm Saturday September 23rd at the Truxton United Methodist Church, Rt. 13, Truxton, NY.  A reception will follow at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Truxton United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 57, Truxton NY, 13158; Cornell University, Wilburn & Florence Potter Scholarship, PO Box 2600, Ithaca, NY, 14851; or another charity that reminds you of Margaret.