Obituary of Margaret Tileston
Margaret Tileston, age 96, passed away from complications of COVID-19 in Palo Alto, CA. She was preceded
in death by her husband of 62 years, Peter, and is survived by her son Bill and his wife Nancy, daughters Peggy,
Carol, Jackie and her husband Kirk McCarthy, three grandchildren and twin great-grandsons.
Margaret was born in Shanghai, China to William and Anne Hoffmann, where she and her brother, Bill, grew
up. In 1939 the family moved to the Philippines, where they spent the WWII years in a Japanese internment
camp until they were liberated in 1945. She kept a secret diary during those years, and never held a grudge
against the people of Japan. After the war Margaret and her brother graduated from Purdue University.
Margaret returned home to the Philippines, where she worked for the US Government as a secretary and entered
the whirlwind social life of post-war Manila. She soon met and married a dashing young international banker
with the soul of a poet, Peter. After the children were born, the family lived in New York, Mumbai , London,
and Paris as Peter’s career moved them around the world. In each place they lived, Margaret excelled at creating
a warm and welcoming home for family and friends, while fully engaging in the new culture - especially the
food. Her favorite foods were always a chocolate bar or a hot fudge sundae. When Peter retired in 1980, they
split their time between Menlo Park and Martha’s Vineyard, and would drive across the country and visit
friends along the way. In 2002 they made their last move, into the Channing House retirement community in
Palo Alto, CA.
Margaret loved people - all kinds of people - and often struck up conversations with complete strangers who
became long-time friends. She enjoyed jokes and loved to laugh. She was gregarious, warm and kind, a fierce
mahjong player in her day, and loved clothes. She volunteered for years at the American Cancer Society
Discovery shop in Menlo Park. At Channing House she was known for making newcomers feel welcome,
helping others, taking walks, and her inimitable fashion sense, especially those colorful pantsuits. She was a
dedicated and loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend, and will be both missed and celebrated by all who
There will not be any services at this time. Those offering expressions of sympathy and remembrance may leave
them in an email to the family at email@example.com or on the Obituaries page at Spangler Mortuary
In addition, please carry her spirit with you every
time you make a friend out of a stranger.