Margaret Stecker Pursel

Mrs. Pursel

Margaret Stecker Pursel December 5, 1941 – July 7, 2024

Daughter of the late Stewart Shillinger and Margaret Ward Stecker.

She is survived by her husband of 60 years, John H. Pursel; daughter, Victoria Ward Pursel, her husband, Stephen Vettorino and granddaughter, Viola Pursel Vettorino of Mount Vernon, NY; son, John Dalton Pursel, his wife Julie Ellen O’Beirne and grandson, John Paul Pursel of Jersey City, NJ; a sister Tara A. Watson, and brothers Noel W. and Terry M. Stecker of Stewartville, NJ.

Margaret graduated from Phillipsburg High School in 1959 and Douglas College, now Rutgers University, in 1963 as a Spanish major.

A teacher for life, she loved children and teaching. Margaret retired from the Phillipsburg School District after many years of service. Before retiring, she taught in Belvidere, NJ, Minot, ND, and Portland, Maine. Margaret was a true patron of the arts and humanities. She was a dedicated supporter of the NJ Shakespeare Theater, American Ballet Theater, Metropolitan Opera, and Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her love for the Spanish language and culture was evident in her many trips to Spain, where she practiced her language skills with native speakers. Her appreciation for culture and beauty enriched her life and those around her. A patriotic American, she also identified with her Irish heritage and obtained dual citizenship. Margaret’s love extended to her four-legged friends. She adored her dogs and horses; her passion for animals was evident in her equestrian pursuits. As a skilled equestrian, she spent her youth riding and caring for her horse, and in later life, she competed at First Level dressage. She enjoyed spending hours in her perennial garden, which has survived her. Her love for animals was a testament to her compassion and warmth, setting the bar high for herself and others. An avid reader and supporter of the Phillipsburg Free Public Library, she always had a book close at hand.

Finegan Funeral Home in Phillipsburg is handling arrangements. Services are private.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Phillipsburg Emergency Squad 360 Prospect Street, Phillipsburg, N.J.  08865