Margaret M. Butcher, 88, produce market owner

April 04, 2006

Margaret M. Butcher, who had owned a popular Waverly produce market, died of heart failure March 28 at Lorien-Bel Air nursing home. She was 88.

Born Margaret M. Bertling in Baltimore, she attended city public schools. She was married in 1944 to John A. Butcher, who had established Butcher Brothers Produce Co. on Greenmount Avenue in 1935.

After her husband's death in 1968, Mrs. Butcher took over operation of the business while continuing to raise her eight children.

"It was known for its fine local produce like tomatoes and corn, and at Christmastime for its trees and wreaths," said a daughter, Deborah L. Butcher of Bel Air. "Days were long. She'd start work at 5 a.m. and wouldn't stop until 10 p.m."

In 1991, the business, which reverted to a wholesale operation, moved from the 2800 block of Greenmount Ave. to Howard and 21st streets.

Mrs. Butcher continued working in the family-owned business with her sons until suffering a stroke and retiring in 2000.

The longtime Waverly resident, who moved to the nursing home two years ago, enjoyed "shopping for and wearing fashionable clothes," her daughter said. She also liked vacationing in Ocean City.

Mrs. Butcher was a communicant of the Roman Catholic Shrine of the Little Flower, where a funeral Mass was offered Friday.

Also surviving are four sons, John A. Butcher Jr. of Fallston, Brian C. Butcher of Bowleys Quarters, Gregory F. Butcher of Abingdon and Dennis S. Butcher of Bel Air; three other daughters, Lisa J. Butcher of New Freedom, Pa., Barbara L. McGee of White Marsh and Michelle A. Schnell of Joppa; 16 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

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