Hudson -- The family and friends of resident and philanthropist Margaret Clark Morgan are remembering her many contributions to the community of Hudson.
Mrs. Morgan celebrated her 95th birthday shortly before her death Sept. 22, 2013.
Mayor William Currin described Mrs. Morgan as one of the most gentle, generous and wonderful citizens of Hudson.
"Her concern for issues of great importance showed through in her philanthropy through the years," Currin said. "She will be significantly missed but forever remembered."
A resident from 1959 to 2010, Mrs. Morgan was a descendent of Owen Brown, who moved to Hudson in 1805. Her ancestor, Jeremiah Brown, was half-brother to abolitionist John Brown. She had a strong interest in fashion and supported the fashion school at Kent State University.
In addition, the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation supported mental health issues, education and the arts.
"As a family we were so happy to have her with us here in California the last three years," said her daughter, Mary Graves. "Her interest in John Brown and her roots educated all of us. We learned a lot about it."
Mrs. Morgan remembered the stories and family history of John Brown more than anything in recent years, she said.
"It was exciting to learn about his history directly," Graves said.
Suzanne Morgan remembers her mother as being devoted to her family and exceptional in many ways.
"Whatever she did, she liked to do her best," Morgan said. "She made sure we all went to college and all dressed properly when we went to school."
Mrs. Morgan designed her own clothes and had dreams of becoming a fashion designer but married Burton D. Morgan in 1941 and had a family instead, she said. He died in 2003.
"It was a real pleasure for her to see the fashion school come along at Kent State [University]," Morgan said.
The foundation provided scholarships for many of the fashion students, and Mrs. Morgan kept in touch with many of those students for many years, her daughter said.
"She carried out her dream in other people," Morgan said.
In addition to fashion design, Mrs. Morgan supported the arts such as Blossom Music Center, and mental health issues.
Gwen Mayer, archivist at Hudson Library and Historical Society, said Mrs. Morgan's father, Howard Clark, was the family historian and saved a significant number of Brown and Clark family artifacts and documents, which Mrs. Morgan donated to the library during her lifetime.
"She helped to document the full line instead of just one person," Mayer said.
Her legacy isn't in things or stuff or her genetic makeup, Mayer said. It was in the way she loved others.
"How could you not love the twinkle in her eye or her smile?" she said. "She had a gentle, loving heart."
She had a vision of a nicer place, and she wanted to do whatever she could to make it happen, Mayer said.
For a 20 minute family video of Mrs. Morgan and John Brown, go to www.hudsonlibrary.org/historical society/Hudson guides and click local history, Hudson citizens.
J. R. Campbell, director of Kent State School of Fashion Design and Merchandising in Rockwell Hall, said both the Margaret Clark Morgan and Burton D. Morgan foundations contributed to the fashion school with a design wing on the third floor named for them. The stand-alone fashion school was started around 1983.
"They have a strong connection to the fashion school, especially Peg, who was an aspiring designer although involved in other things," Campbell said. "She had an affinity for fashion design."
Through her foundation, Mrs. Morgan established a scholarship for fashion students, Campbell said.
"I think the combined impact of both foundations has been a huge factor in the success of the school," Campbell said. "They contributed to what we are today."
Mrs. Morgan participated in everything going on in Hudson, Currin said. She was always positive and made an effort to help others.
"There is a warm glow when I think of her," Currin said. "[My wife] Debbie and I will miss her very much."
The positive legacy that Margaret Clark Morgan will leave on Hudson will last forever by not only her life but her philanthropy, Currin added.
Frank Youngwerth, host of Good Day in Hudson, considered Mrs. Morgan a good friend and wonderful lady.
Both Mrs. Morgan and her husband helped in the early years of the Hudson Bandstand Committee to establish concerts on the Green and continued their support through the years.
"They did a lot of favors for us before the bandstand committee got fully on its feet," Youngwerth said. "We'll always be grateful for that."
Sheryl Sheatzley, communications manager for the Hudson City School District, said the schools have received significant grants from her foundation.
The children with disabilities playground behind Ellsworth Hill Elementary School was built with a $250,000 grant and is available to all children with disabilities in the community, she said.
In addition the foundations have provided funds for a living lab, which teaches life skills at the high school for students with disabilities to prepare them for independence. The foundation also donated $50,000 toward the new Hudson Memorial Stadium. Through the years it has funded many things related to education and mental health and wellness for the students, she added.
"Her foundation has made a tremendous impact on Hudson schools and its students," Sheatzley said. "It's far reaching. Her influence will carry on for generations through the work her foundation did in the schools."
Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation President Rick Kellar said she was a very important and critical part of the foundation as founder and an active participant in its initial stages.
"I think she had a huge impact on the community," Kellar said.
Mrs. Morgan supported her husband in a kind and important way, he said.
"Burt wouldn't have achieved his success without Peg and her love," Kellar said.
The Burton D. Morgan Foundation and Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation are two major foundations in town, Kellar said.
"Were going to continue that legacy," Kellar said. "We know what she wanted to do, and we're going to continue that work."
The two Morgan foundations will carry on the philanthropic vision of its founders to strengthen the nonprofit community and ensure its meaningful impact in the region, said Deborah Hoover, President & CEO of the Burton D. Morgan Foundation.
"Peg's grace and generosity of spirit have inspired all of us to conduct our philanthropic work with sensitivity and intelligence," Hoover said "We know that her special legacy will live on and continue to guide us.
"All of us at the foundation extend our deepest sympathy to the Morgan family at this sad time," she added.
Facebook: Laura Freeman, Record Publishing