Margery Latimer (neé Toomer) received her “pink wings” on January 22, 2022 at the age of 89. Margots calling in life was helping and empowering others, primarily through her aromatherapy practice utilizing her vast knowledge of essential oils, massage, Reiki , Jin Shin Jyutsu to name a few to help people struggling with pain, anxiety, and musculoskeletal ailments. Trained and certified in multiple healing art modalities Margot believed in an integrated approach of Western and Eastern medicine, incorporating a balance reflective of both her artistic and scientific approaches to life. The healing gifts embodied in Margots hands and heart were a blessing to anyone who sought her help and are now part of her legacy, work she would want others to continue.
Margery, known to most as Margot, was the only child of American writer, feminist theorist, and social activist Margery Bodine Latimer and American Poet and novelist Jean Toomer, both of whom were significant figures in the Harlem Renaissance. Toomer named Margery in honor of her birth mother, who died during childbirth. Toomer later married renowned photographer Marjorie Content and together they raised Margot, living initially in New York City and later in Doylestown, PA. Margot’s childhood nickname, Argie, stayed with her into adulthood.
Margot, a talented amateur painter and artist herself, primarily raised her two children, Michelle and Philip, in Bucks County, PA. The family’s first home was a farmhouse in Solebury Township, PA where animals of all kinds were always welcome. Margot always had room in her heart and her home for “all creatures great and small”, with pets including horses, dogs, cats, and a hedgehog named Ms. Tiggywinkle. Margot and her children loved to travel, taking trips to Cape Cod, Maine, Wisconsin, and many other destinations. Her love of travel and art took Margot and her family to Europe for several years, where they spent time in Rome and the United Kingdom, eventually settling in Cornwall, a coastal town Margot still revered and remembered fondly. They later returned to Bucks County, settling on a farm in Buckingham.
Margot had an indescribable zest for life. She loved eating delicious food and cooking wonderful meals for her family. She had a seemingly endless capacity for knowledge, often reading or watching educational material and regaling her family with the newfound information. Margot loved to be silly with those she loved, never excluding her pet companions from the silliness. She had a great ability to laugh at herself, eliciting laughter from those around her, especially regarding physical comedy. Clumsiness or uncoordinated movements would send her into reams of laughter. Margot’s granddaughter described Margot as “sounds and motion,” her physical presence so spirited that it was always accompanied by both noise and movement. Everywhere Margot went was filled with her laughter, love, and kindness.
Margot is survived by her children, Philip Calvert and Michelle LaBagnara (neé Calvert), her beloved granddaughter Gabrielle Calvert, her daughters-in-law, Shirley Calvert and Julie LaBagnara, and four grand-dogs.
“Oh, she would go rocking off down the garden path sometimes, her golden head among the flowers, and lean against the apple boughs just to laugh, her face turned toward the [Barbara Hepworth] sky, her hands and body limp against the tree, open to sun and light” (Latimer, 1932:6).