Margaret Dunning - Dead at 104 years old

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22 May 2015 05:28 #29580 by Bill Hummel
Bill Hummel created the topic: Margaret Dunning - Dead at 104 years old
Sad news. A wonderful woman, Margaret Dunning passed away last weekend. She was a longtime Packard owner and was so passionate about the hobby! We will all miss her.

The following is a recap from one of her CCCA friends who was with her when she fell.


The unedited letter below was forwarded to me by Al Kroemer. It is the story behind Margaret Dunning's fall and subsequent death in California last weekend, written by her good friend JoAnne Clements. Al thought I should share it with our members, since so many of us met her at Keels & Wheels during the last few years.
Bill




Hi Everyone,

It is 5:00 AM here in Santa Barbara and this is the easiest way to contact the most people. We arrived in Los Angeles on Thursday night and drove through pouring rain to Burbank to our hotel. Everyone said us Detroiters brought in the rain! Got up early on Friday as we had a special visit to Jay Leno's garage. Margaret was so excited, no cameras were allowed but I had my camera phone just in case. We were on a golf cart Margaret and I and Bob Jays best friend for 20 years. He started in one garage and went car by car to tell us each car and the history of Jay getting it. Margaret and Bob became fast friends talking about Jays cars. We were in the second garage they all connected and I turn around and here comes Jay walking down to us. He came up to Margaret and had a bouquet of flowers for her and gave her a hug, She was so excited that he took time out of his busy schedule for us. She said to Jay "Jay, this was one of the things on my bucket list, it was to see your cars and I am so happy to be here" he just loved it, we talked and took pictures.

We continued on for the next two hours seeing Jay as we would pass by. At the end we were leaving and Jay was in is kitchen, yes he has a complete kitchen in the garage along with a big screening room with all these leather chairs we were leaving and not going to bug Jay when he comes running over to say goodbye to Margaret and to give her another hug.

That made our day, the next day was Saturday the day of Elk Charity Challenge we had 50 teams 2 in a team we all met at City Hall all our cars were decorated with stickers, Reliable had a surpirse in the truck so they brought down the back and out drives Batman and the Batmobile. It was awesome they had the Batman music in the back ground as he came out. People from the town were all over. Of course Margaret got to sit in the Batmobile and have her picture taken with Batman. We started out our challenge it was a road rally where they gave us three clues you had to do them in order to go to next clue, you took your camers and had to take pictures that you had found the spot with one of your team members. We ended up in Ventura Ca at the Crown Plaza on Ventura Beach. One of the challenges was to get to the Harbor and jump on a boat for a tour around the bay. I had Margarets arm and she took off running down the plank to the boat. I was so upset that she was running so the next day I had a long talk with her and told she scared the life out of me and please don't ever do that again, she has to hold on to someone when going down stairs.

On Sunday we all met at the Fairgrounds all our cars were lined up in a row and when the shot was fired we were off....Dan was driving like a crazy person and we were 4th out the gate it was fun to see all us crazy people.....We ended up driving to Santa Barbara where Margaret was able to hold the Monroe Document, the first post it note from George Washington, the first page of the Encylopedia, we had to get pictures of this. Then on the next two challenges. Then we all met for lunch at a beautiful spot on the ocean which had stairway leading up. After lunch we were walking out I had Margarets left arm which she was holding her red jacket and the Reliable Driver was holding her right arm, for some reason Margaret decided to pull away and go to the far right to grab on the handrail, she was again running down the stairs and lost her balance and did a complete turn down the banister and when she fell she fell on the back of her head and we heard this crack that I will never forget. The reliable driver was a first aider so she took over while someone called 911, two doors down was the Harbor patrol and they were there right away then the EMS showed up. There was nothing we could do, Dan was on the steps talking to her the whole time, she was past out but then came back so I knew having Dan be with her was the best thing. They took her by Ambulance with Dan to the hospital. I ran over to Ambulance and was talking to her as they wheeled her in, Dan was talking to her and she raised her arm to wave at him. As soon as we arrived I did the paperwork and they called Dan back which I thought was so nice of them, he was in the room as about 8 people worked on her. We had to make some decisions, calling my mom as she had the Power of Attorney for health care, they told us with the way she hit her head that she was bleeding inside that even is she was 20 there was really nothing they could do, so we decided to let God make the choice for us. Dan and I were inside her room both of us holding her hands. We called in the Reliable driver, Batman and Buck who had driven the Batmobile to the hospital and Andy Stone to come in with us as we wanted as many people with us to tell her good by and how much she was loved. I knew when my dad was dying we had to tell him to let go so we told Margaret to go home to her Dad and Mom they were waiting for her. I told her how much she was loved and how much everyone in the room loved her. It really was a magical moment she was in no pain it was like she was sleeping but I knew she knew we were all there. We all did a prayer around her holding hands as she slowly left us. She died around 5:50 PM. She had fallen around 3:30. It was such a wonderful way for her to go with people around here who loved her, we stayed with her until the police came as the coronor had to take her body. So she was in no pain, living her life to the fullest, the best way for for her to go at a car show and a charity event giving back to St. Judes Hospital that was the charity we were racing for.

Margaret, Dan and I will hopefully be flying home tomorrow today we have to drive up to San Fran as that is where Margaret will be.

God put people in our life at the right moment Buck and Batman (Josh) well Buck owns about 20 funeral homes in San Fran area and beyond. He took over was with us in the hospital making the decisions with us telling us what would happen. Yesterday was spent in the lobby of the hotel as everyone had left to continue on the challenge I had come out in the morning to give hugs and kisses to everyone and thank they all for there help and making Margarets last days one of her happiest. I was crying but so was everyone else and they had helped me so much as I stood watching and there was nothing I could do they held me so I had to thank them.

Buck, Josh, Andy Stone and Rob who is Andy's partner who drove from Phoenix to be with us, sat all day in the lobby until dinner time making calls to funeral homes, lawyers and Merrill Lynch. See we were not family so they would not release Margaret to us, so we had to get all these letters from Merrill Lynch as she had a trust set up and you all know how slow Lawyers are! Finally about 5:00 PM DTW time, we got all the papers we needed they picked up Margaret body and will take care of her, Buck has Margaret, Dan and I on the same plane so we will be with her.

I have talked to funeral home and am pushing them for Saturday at the Musuem and Sunday at Schraders Funeral Home in Plymouth, MI...because of the holiday I am not sure and I really have no say so in anything this will be decided by the trust and lawyers....with the holdiay, buriel on Tuesday? Can't really say right now.

As you were all her friends and all loved Margaret I felt you all deserved to know what happened. There will lots of press as they had been following us on this tour and we asked them to give us 24 hours to do instructions that Margaret wanted, once that was done we talked to the reporters and told them ok you can run the story as we knew Margaret would not want to stop the good this charity was doing for the children.

Please do not send flowers that was the one thing she asked she really wants donations to her Plymouth Historical Museum or to St. Judes Hospital to help the children.

As more details are given I will try and send all of you another email, just remember Margaret died exactly the best way for her to die at a Car Show doing good for children what a life Margaret lead and I so blessed to have had her in my life.

JoAnne

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22 May 2015 15:33 #29637 by Bill Hummel
Bill Hummel replied the topic: A Packard parked between two Cords
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23 May 2015 16:08 #29645 by Tom_Parkinson
Tom_Parkinson replied the topic: Re: Margaret Dunning - Dead at 104 years old
Hi,

Such a sadness. She was truly a Grand Old Lady.

Here is a link to a video of Ms Dunning talking about and driving, at age 101, her beloved Packard. I love the part where she puts a rag down on the running board to step on when entering the car, and then reaching down to pick up the rag. She truly cared about every nuance of that Packard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7bhD7HAeFg

--Tom

With brakes, two cylinders are better than one.

Editor-in-Chief, The Hardtop News Magazine, the Journal of the Michiana Dunes Region, Lambda Car Club International

See pix of 1509A here: http://mbcurl.me/YCSE

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30 May 2015 05:29 #29679 by 1748 S
1748 S replied the topic: Re: Margaret Dunning - Dead at 104 years old
Very sad news indeed. I do recall seeing this video some time ago. I don't recall where I saw it but I know of this grand lady. Very sorry to learn of her passing.

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