Margareta Müller Jackson, 93 of Wilmington, NC passed away peacefully on Friday, March 17th, 2023 at Lower Cape Fear LifeCare. Margareta was born May 21st, 1929, in Vienna Austria as the daughter and only child of the late Leopold (Opa) and Stefanie (Oma) Müller. She was an exceptional, brilliant minded woman who lived a truly extraordinary life.
Beginning at the age of four, Margareta performed in one of Vienna’s largest opera houses, where she was the leading actress in many children’s plays and performances. She also studied ballet at the Vienna Conservatory and continued her theatre career until World War II came to Austria. During the war, Margareta and her family experienced many difficult challenges as a family and were grateful when the war finally ended. Her dance troupe was the first to perform following the war. As World War II was ending, Margareta fell in love with an American Army soldier, Harold J. Jackson. It was love at first sight. Leaving her country, family, and friends behind, Harold and Margareta relocated to America in 1947 where they started their new life together. When she was younger and attending school, Margareta learned the Queen’s English which was very different from the American English spoken upon arriving in South Carolina; she had to quickly assimilate into Southern culture. Reading American comic books helped Margareta become more fluent in the English language as she continued to love reading for the rest of her life.
Margareta and Harold settled in Wilmington, NC in 1952 where they became entrepreneurs that included owning several businesses while simultaneously raising their family. During this time, Margareta became a naturalized citizen and was a very proud American always honoring the American flag, American veterans, and American armed forces. Harold also fulfilled his promise to bring her mother and father (Oma and Opa) to America where they lived alongside the family in Wilmington for the rest of their lives.
Margareta had many interests throughout her life and was proficient in them all. During the 1960s, she was the President of the Wilmington Women’s International Club for several years where she made many close friends. She was very passionate about gardening and loved her flowers and wildlife. She had an appreciation for nature in all its splendor; enjoying the outdoors and traveling especially to the Great Smoky Mountains and beaches of North and South Carolina. She also went on her first cruise when she was 81 where she went snorkeling for the first time and said, “I could do this every day!” Always up to trying and learning something new!
Margareta learned to play piano at age 5 and continued to play frequently her entire life as her favorite form of relaxation. She enjoyed playing her Viennese music as well as a variety of other pieces from around the world. Another one of her favorite pastimes was listening to music but she especially loved Opera; watching a live performance or listening to her favorite aria. She was always up for watching a good movie or binge-watching Netflix!
During the holiday season, Margareta continued her family’s tradition of baking Austrian Pastries passed down for generations from her grandfather who owned a large bakery in Vienna. In addition to baking, she was also a fantastic cook and very proud of her Austrian and Southern food. Over the years, her children and grandchildren learned all her amazing, heirloom recipes by helping alongside her in the kitchen. It brought Mama great joy to cook and bake for the family whenever they would visit as everyone appreciated her delicious, home-cooked meals.
Throughout Margareta’s entire life, she carried herself with elegance and grace. Her enduring strength and intelligence gained her respect from all who met her. Margareta had a natural talent as an exceptional storyteller and could remember precise details from when she was very young up until her last days. She had an amazing memory with the ability to recall hundreds of her life’s stories which impressed everyone who was lucky enough to hear them. To say that she had a brilliant mind is an understatement as she was blessed to keep her sharp and witty mind until the very end… and although she lived in America her entire adult life, she never lost her beautiful Viennese accent.
Our dear mother lived an extraordinary, full life with family and friends that meant the world to her. She always exhibited a positive outlook on life making her a pleasure and joy to be around. She was wise beyond her years; always forward-thinking and a woman ahead of her time.
More than anything, Margareta loved spending time with her family and they adored her as she was a loving Mama and Grandmama. She was well loved and will be dearly missed by all. Mama will always hold a special place in our hearts and in the hearts of those who knew her. We will cherish the time we had with her forever. Mama was truly one of a kind and a role model for all of us.
Margareta is survived by her daughters; Stefanie Harris and husband Larry, Margaret Porter and husband Phil, Lucia Rivera, son-in-law John Garris; grandchildren, Larry Harris, David Garris, Natasha Rivera Lindsay, Juston Porter, Jerad Porter, Philip Porter, many great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.
In addition to her parents, Margareta is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 52 years, Harold J. Jackson, and daughter, Sudie Lorraine Garris.
Finally, Margareta will be dearly missed by her adorable, loving fur babies: Bella, Sugar Bear, Daisy, and Boo Boo who provided her unconditional love, comfort, and joy.
The Family would like to especially thank Dr. Kenneth Kotz, nurses, and caregivers at the Novant Health Zimmer Cancer Institute for their extraordinary care and compassion!
Also, the family wishes to thank the nurses and caregivers of Lower Cape Fear LifeCare who took incredible care of Margareta in her final days.
A private memorial service will be held at a later date.
“Forever in our hearts. Auf Wiedersehen Grandmama…”