Margaret Spain

Dec. 26, 1950-Feb. 3, 2021

Margaret (Talbot) Spain,

70, Lake Audubon, and

formerly of Minot and

Bismarck, died peacefully

on February 3, 2021, at

her home surrounded by

her loving caretakers and


Margaret was born De-

cember 26, 1950, in San

Antonio, Texas, the

daughter of Louis and

Helen “Bea” (Knopp) Tal-

bot. As her father was in

the Air Force, she was

raised throughout the

country and abroad. The

Talbot family moved to

Minot in 1964, and Mar-

garet graduated from

Minot Ryan in 1968. She

graduated from Minot

State University with a

degree in Elementary Edu-

cation in 1972, and she

earned her master’s de-

gree in Elementary Educa-

tion in 2002.

Margaret met the love

of her life, Jim Spain, in

high school, and they

were united in marriage

on August 12, 1972. They

briefly lived in Fort

Worth, Texas, where she

taught school for one

year, before returning to

Minot to make their

home. Margaret began her

North Dakota teaching

career at South Prairie

Elementary School in

1974; she then transferred

into Minot Public

Schools. Margaret taught

at Dakota Elementary, Bel

Air Elementary, and Erik

Ramstad Middle School.

Margaret was active in the

Minot Education Associa

tion, the National Reading

Education Association,

and she held leadership

roles in both organiza-

tions. Margaret deserving

ly won the award

“Teacher of the Year” for

the Minot Education As-

sociation in 2003. Being a

mother and grandmother,

as well as an educator,

was her pride and joy.

Margaret retired from

teaching in 2009 when

she and Jim moved to

Bismarck to be closer to

their children, due to

Jim’s declining health. Jim

passed in 2012, at which

time Margaret moved per-

manently to Lake Audu-

bon, her very own parad-

ise. While living at the

lake, she was an active

substitute teacher at

Garrison Elementary

School, which brought

her much delight.

On January 4, 2020,

Margaret was diagnosed

with glioblastoma. While

she opted for several

courses of treatment, at

the same time she accept

ed the finality of her diag-

nosis with grace. Margaret

spent 2020 making

memories with family and

friends, laughing, swim-

ming with her grandchil-

dren, quilting, and, of

course, walking. She and

her soul sister, Sue Kjos,

and her dear friend, Nan-

cy Andersen, went on

many memorable and

filled with laughter “day

tripper” excursions. Sue

and Nancy’s dedication to

Margaret symbolizes

genuine friendship. Mar-

garet exemplified the true

meaning of peacefully dy-

ing with dignity. Mar-

garet will be deeply

missed by all of her fami-

ly and friends, whom she

loved dearly.

Margaret is survived

by: her mother, Helen

“Bea” Talbot, Garrison;

son, Tom Spain, Garrison;

daughter Betsy (Joe)

Elsberry, Bismarck; two

grandsons, Jack Spain

Elsberry and Lucas James

Elsberry; her brothers, Dr.

Ralph E. Talbot (Dr. Dian-

na Riesen), Newton,

Mass., Tom (Jerry) Talbot,

Grapevine, TX, Rich (Con-

nie) Talbot, Weatherford

TX, Bill (Stephanie) Tal-

bot, Bentonville, VA,

James (Lori) Talbot,

Gunnison, CO;

sister-in-law Teresa Tal-

bot, Fort Worth, TX;

brother-in-law John

(Michelle) Spain,

Larkspur, CO;

sisters-in-law Dianne

(Bob) Chirpich, Plymouth,

MN, Sue (Doug) Kjos,

Minot, and Marilyn Spain,

Bismarck. Margaret is also

survived by numerous

nieces, nephews,

great-nieces, and

great-nephews, as well as

all of those to whom she

was “bonus mom” and the

Highland Acres neighbor-hood grandma.

Margaret was preceded

in death by: her beloved

husband of 40 years, Jim

Spain; her father, Louis

Talbot; her father and

mother-in-law, Clyde and

Margaret “Muggs” Spain;

her brother, John Talbot;

her sister, Anne Marie

Talbot; her brother-in-law,

Joe Spain; and her

nephew, Danny Chirpich.

Private Memorial Ser-

vice: Saturday, February

6, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. in

Thomas Family Funeral

Home, Minot.

Due to COVID, the ser-

vice will be livestreamed

and can be viewed in the

future by using the link in

the website obituary.

Memorial Booksigning:

Saturday, February 6,

2021 from 9:00 a.m. to

10:30 a.m. in Thomas

Family Funeral Home,


In lieu of flowers,

memorials are preferred

to Backpack Buddies Pro-

gram (in care of Souris

Valley United Way) 1941

4th St. SW, Minot, ND


Memories and con-

dolences may be shared at