An Appreciation—Margaret Humes, 1954-2021
A Bright Light in LW
Editor’s note: Margaret Humes, a well-known and active leader in Leisure World, died Aug. 25, 2021. She touched many lives through her participation in the Golden Age Foundation, the Y Service Club, various dance clubs, Wa-Rite, the Good News Singers and at First Christian Church, where her husband, Bruce, is the pastor. She will be greatly missed by many. This tribute to Margaret was submitted by her dear friend, Rhonda Sandberg.
SHINE ON, MARGARET!
The Bright Light of Leisure World went out on August 25th, 2021, certainly the brightest light I have personally ever known.
That light is Margaret Humes, my friend and sister in Christ, my Spiritual mentor by example, and one of the greatest joys of my life.
I met Miss Margaret at First Christian Church of Leisure World when I began attending there. My first encounter with Margaret was when the pastor at the time asked me to dance a Jewish dance with her to a song he was singing.
She and I practiced outside before the service, and I quickly learned then that she was a wonderful, vibrant person and a great dancer!
A few months later, I was hired as a pianist at the church, and that was when my Spiritual friendship with Margaret began. Margaret led worship every Sunday, and I played piano as she led. We connected musically and Spiritually on a level that was so astounding that I think it surprised us both in a delightful way.
When I started the Good News Singers, I immediately knew that she had to become my first assistant director at the time as well as my Scripture reader for our concerts because her Spirit was so strong and edifying for our choir members as well as our audiences. She was a blessing in every way.
Not only was Margaret a strong leader, but she also had a servant’s heart. She led worship in church, then turned around and cleaned the church, the bathrooms, planted flowers, decorated for holidays—doing it all for the Lord with great dignity, grace, skill, and joy.
Margaret reminds me of the Centurion in Matthew 8 in the Bible who knew how to be in authority and under authority. I could ask her to lead songs in our Good News Singers and explain to her basically what I wanted, to which she always complied; and then she would step up and lead the group with great authority and skill. I had fun reversing these authority roles when I worked under her leadership at church.
The Spiritual bond we shared was unspoken, yet with a knowing in our hearts that we understood exactly what the other person felt and wanted at the time. It was a bond that was deep, lovely, and God-ordained—unforgettable to me and, I believe, to her as well.
One month before my sister Karen’s passing in 2016, she and I attended the Filipino Luau where we enjoyed trying to do a line dance. We were struggling to learn it, so Margaret came by and danced in front of us so we could follow her and not continue to make complete fools of ourselves.
She had much more flare than we did, but she succeeded in getting us to do the steps correctly. That was Margaret!
Whatever the need, big or small, she would help anyone with anything wherever she went. At one of our rehearsals, one of our members fell down. We all stood a bit stunned, but Margaret ran immediately to his side, knelt down, prayed for him, and then instructed someone to call his wife and 911. What a woman!
When I heard that Margaret was in the hospital, I managed, with God’s help, to contact her in CCU through her nurse. We talked a bit and then sang together a song about faith in God that she had directed in our choir.
Then, the day before she passed, she took a selfie, smiling in spite of her mask and her condition, and then called me! We chatted about a lot of different things, and then I asked her how she was doing, and in a strong voice, she said, “I am resting. The battle is the Lord’s.” That’s my dear Margaret: Ever faithful, even through her own personal adversity.
After I heard of Margaret’s transition to Heaven, I told my pastor/friend about it, and he gave me some verses of Scripture in Thessalonians 5. To my mind, they speak of Margaret perfectly: “Ye are the children of Light and the children of the Day...Know them which labor among you...esteem them highly in love for their work’s sake.”
My friend also gave me Psalm 116:5, which reads:
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”
Not only is Margaret precious in God’s sight, but as she used to say with the exuberant confidence of a child who knows she is loved by her father, “I'm one of His favorites!” And I believe she’s right, which reminds me of some excerpts from a poem by Henry Van Dyke that, to my mind, depicts what happened when this Bright Light of Leisure World began her journey to her new address: I stood upon the seashore A ship at my side Spreads her white sails To the moving breeze She is an object of beauty and strength I stand and watch her Until she becomes a speck of white cloud Just where the sea and sky come To mingle with each other Then, someone sadly says: “There she goes. There she goes.” But just at that moment On the other side That speck of white cloud Grows larger and larger There are other eyes Excitedly watching her coming And their glad shouts of joy Grow louder and louder As they happily exclaim “Here she comes! Here she comes!”
I know that God and all of Heaven are rejoicing at your arrival, Dear Margaret. When I get there, I expect to visit you in your treehouse that God made ready for you at your request! Thank you for lighting up my life, Dear sister. You’re the top in my book!
Shine on, Margaret!
With love in Jesus,Rhonda Sandberg