Cover photo for Margaret Mary Reitman's Obituary
Margaret Mary Reitman Profile Photo

Margaret Mary Reitman

January 24, 1933 — February 11, 2024

Willistown and Valley Forge, PA

Margaret Mary Reitman

Margaret Mary (nee Joyce) Reitman, age 91, a former social worker, Cub Scout Den Mother, and great grandmother, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by her loved ones on February 11, 2024. She lived in Willistown Township, Chester County, PA for nearly 60 years, and spent the last 15 months of her life at the Shannondell retirement community in Valley Forge. 

Also known as Maggie, Meg and Margie, Margaret was born in Brooklyn, NY, to Irish immigrants, Patrick and Honoria (nee Cloherty) Joyce. During the Depression, with her father out of work, her mother Nora took Maggie and her two younger sisters, all under five years old, back to her uncle’s home in Ireland. They lived for two years in the tiny coastal fishing village of Cleggan, where she made lifelong memories such as milking their uncle John’s cow directly into the mouth of the cat (which she recalled “got so fat, it nearly exploded”). 

On the eve of World War II, the family sailed back to Brooklyn and returned to their third floor walk-up apartment in Prospect Park, surrounded by many other immigrant families. Margaret graduated at the top of her class at the former Bishop McDonnell High School, and attended Brooklyn College. She also worked as a secretary to help support herself and her family. She met her husband-to-be, Paul, at a church dance in Brooklyn, and they went on to marry in 1956, living in a second-story, two-bedroom apartment in a Flatbush walk up in Brooklyn, where they welcomed four children. 

When Paul got a job as an engineer at Sun Oil outside Philadelphia, they moved to then rural, now suburban, Chester County, on a wooded cul-de-sac with no sidewalks or street lights, a marked contrast to her New York City life. She learned to drive at the age of 33, with the help of her new neighbor, Daryl. She spent the first several years as a stay-at-home mom, running her sons’ boy scout troop and other activities. With the children still in school, she returned to work, leading a team of information collectors in the 1970 Census. Once the Census was finished, she became a recruiter at SHS International, finding hundreds of applicants jobs throughout the region, before spending the next few decades working as a social worker at the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare. 

She enjoyed gardening, attending mass, and taking her grandchildren on trips including to Europe, Japan and China, cheerleading her grandchildrens’ baseball and soccer games, taking care of them when they were sick and their parents were working, and attending her great-grandchildren’s dance and piano recitals. She also was an avid reader and patron of the arts. She was a “super-ager” till the end, looking 25 years younger than her age and driving herself to Zumba and Aqua-aerobics at the YMCA. She got her first I-phone in her mid-eighties and took to it like a teenager, sending prayer, fingers-crossed and a myriad of other emojis to encourage any wavering grandchild to come to events she might be at. 

She drove until just a few days before being diagnosed with lymphoma in August. She opted to get chemotherapy, which has yielded good results even in people over 85, and it helped get her back on her feet for a few months. Even in her final days, she wanted to do Physical Therapy to help build her strength and keep her upright and maintain her independence. 

Margaret is survived by her beloved husband of 67 years, Paul D. Reitman; Children, Valerie Reitman, Chris Reitman (Sharon), and Robert Reitman (Carol); Daughter-in-law, Cynthia Reitman; Brother, J. Paul Joyce. Grandchildren, Zachary, Louise, Jessica, Daniel, Nicholas, David, Maxwell, Samuel, and Nathaniel; Great- Grandchildren, Laurie, Lily, Kenneth, Jack, and Natalie; Many nieces and nephews including Nora Ritter and Leonard Eng Jr., Lynne Fanjoy Buzzi, Eric Fanjoy, Richard Fanjoy, and Lauren Fitzmaurice. She was predeceased by her beloved son Kenneth Reitman and loving sisters, Evelyn Eng (late Leonard) and Clare King. 

Relatives and friends are invited to Margaret’s visitation Monday, February 19 from 9:00AM to 9:45AM at St. Teresa of Avila Roman Catholic Church, 1260 South Trooper Road, Audubon, PA followed by her funeral mass at 10:00 AM and a luncheon thereafter at the Desmond Hotel in Malvern. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Margaret’s name to St. Teresa of Avila Roman Catholic Church https://www.osvhub.com/stteresaavilaparish/giving/funds or to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society -https://www.lls.org/ would be greatly appreciated.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Margaret Mary Reitman, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, February 19, 2024

9:00 - 9:45 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Mass

Monday, February 19, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 918

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree