Inez Marguerite Tasker, 94, Topeka: Feb. 10, 1923 – Aug. 5, 2017

TOPEKA, Kan. – Inez Marguerite (Mahin) Tasker passed away peacefully in her home Aug. 5, 2017. Inez, known to all as Marguerite, daughter of Rev. Ross Leonard and Rev. Fern Amanda (Haines) Mahin, was born Feb. 10, 1923, on the family farm on Cedar Creek, Smith County, near Cedar, Kan.

She and her siblings, Leila, Franklin, and Duane daily walked the 1 1/2 mile to the Cedar grade school. Later the family moved to Nebraska to pastor the Victor Wesleyan Church where Marguerite attended North Branch Quaker Academy. Graduating at 17 from Red Cloud High School, she attended Miltonvale Wesleyan College, taking the Normal Training course to become an elementary school teacher.

In 1942, Marguerite interviewed with the Delphos School Board and was subsequently hired as the new schoolteacher at Locust Hill, later teaching in other Ottawa County schools, including Delphos for eight years.

While teaching at Locust Hill, Marguerite attended the rural Hall Wesleyan Church where the Tasker family also attended. A young man, Richard, was quite taken with the pretty school marm. While his younger brothers, Leonard and Bernard, had the good fortune to attend school under Miss Mahin, Richard made other plans. While hauling loads of wheat to Delphos, he watched for her walking home from the schoolhouse. Convincing her to accept a lift, he asked her out on a date. She accepted and they began to see each other, but soon World War II intervened. Honoring his country’s call to duty, Richard joined the Navy. Returning home after the war, Richard continued to work on the farm and woo Miss Mahin. She eventually accepted his proposal of marriage and they were joined in holy matrimony on May 26, 1948.

They began married life farming in Ottawa County on a farm Richard’s father had farmed for 35 years. Three of their four children were born there, Alan, Stanley, and Ferne. In July 1956, they moved to a Dickinson County farm near Manchester, where their youngest daughter, Kaye, was born. There, Marguerite’s experience as a schoolteacher came into play as she taught their children to read and write before they started school.

In 1987, following a number of hard years of poor crops and low cattle prices, Richard began working for his cousin, Damon Hupp, in Topeka during the week. Marguerite remained home at the farm taking care of her elderly father who lived with them, and a neighboring elderly couple who needed assistance. After her father’s death in 1988, Richard and Marguerite sold their farm and home and moved permanently to Topeka, where Marguerite went to work as an in-home caregiver. They joined the Fairlawn Heights Wesleyan Church, and in 1993 purchased a home on the northwest edge of the Potwin area of Topeka.

Twelve days after Richard’s retirement in December 2001, Marguerite had a severe cerebral stroke followed soon thereafter by a heart attack. The doctors gave the family no hope of her recovery, but the Lord had other ideas on the matter and eventually Marguerite was able to go home. There she and Richard entered a new stage in life as Richard took on the role of caregiver for the woman he dearly loved, learning to cook, clean, do the shopping, and other household chores, all done in love for the years of faithful companionship she had given him.

Marguerite was a woman of God and gave faithfully in service to her Lord throughout her life as a wife, mother, friend, caregiver, and neighbor. As a single young lady, she served as secretary-treasurer of the Kansas Conference Wesleyan Youth. After her marriage and moving to the Manchester community, she and Richard became active in the Abilene Wesleyan Church, where she taught Sunday school for many years. Marguerite also found time to accompany her husband on a missions work trip to Haiti. She was active in the community with local Extension Homemakers Unit (EHU) activities and served as regent of the Abilene Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). After moving to Topeka, Marguerite provided a weekly ministry to the residents of a local nursing home. Her love for people enabled her to make friends no matter where she was. It was uncanny, but time and time again, Marguerite would strike up a conversation with a total stranger and before they said goodbye they would find they had in common a friend, a place they had visited, or sometimes even a relative.

Marguerite’s family tended to be creative and she joined her father in expressing her creative side by writing poetry, often sending family letters in prose. She also took up sketching pictures in glazed green ware, creating beautiful pieces. Marguerite eventually took up oil painting to express herself, although she never really became comfortable with that medium. She was a talented seamstress, making many of her family’s clothes over the years. Marguerite also loved music and there was always a piano in the home. She loved hymns and was always singing or humming them around the house as she worked.

As a loving wife, Marguerite wholeheartedly supported her husband in his endeavors throughout their adventure together. She was a wonderful mother who gave her best to provide her family a Christian home and upbringing, both by teaching and by example. As the family expanded to include grandchildren and then great-grandchildren, her love encompassed them all.

Marguerite is survived by her loving bridegroom, Richard; their four children and spouses, Alan and Linda Tasker, of Philippi, W.Va., Stanley and Judy Tasker, Bartlesville, Okla., Ferne and Roger Evans, Lyndon, Kan., and Kaye Neely, Garden Plain, Kan.; and 11 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Ross and Fern Mahin, sister, Leila Cox, brothers, Franklin and Duane Mahin, and a son-in-law, Sam Neely.

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, at Grace Point Church, 5400 SW Huntoon St., Topeka. The family will receive friends 6:30-8 p.m. Friday at Davidson Funeral Home, 1035 N. Kansas Ave., Topeka. Graveside services will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, at Hall Cemetery in Ottawa County.


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