Margaret Keyes, American historian, Died at 97

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Margaret Naumann Keyes was born on March 4, 1918, and passed away on October 14, 2015.

Margaret was an American academic and heritage preserver.

She was a professor of Home Economics at the University of Iowa and is a nationally recognized leader in the field of heritage conservation, best known for her work to preserve the Iowa Old Capitol Building.

Margaret Naumann Keyes, was born in Mount Vernon, Iowa on 4 March 1918 to Charles R. Keyes and Sarah “Sadie” Naumann Keyes.

As a child, Keyes had often accompanied her father on travels to Germany and on his archaeological expeditions, leading to her interest in academics.

She attended Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa and graduated in 1939 with a B.A. in Home Economics.

After graduation, Keyes taught at several Iowa high schools and undertook graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin during summer terms, earning a master’s degree in 1951.

Margaret was appointed to the Home Economics faculty at the State University of Iowa in September, 1951.

A decade later, she won the Ellen H. Richards Fellowship from the American Home Economics Association to undertake doctoral studies at Florida State University, earning a Ph.D. in Historic Preservation in 1965.

Margaret and her lifetime companion, Floy Eugenia Whitehead, travelled to a variety of worldwide locations, including Israel, Jamaica, Taiwan, and Europe.

For over thirty years, the two lived in a home near the university in Iowa City that was renowned for its gracious hospitality.

Eugenia Whitehead who served as the chairperson of the Department of Home Economics at the University of Iowa from 1955 to 1971 died in 1998.

Margaret died at age 97 in October 2015.