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Welcome to the memorial page for

Margaret Mary Duggan

September 15, 1936 ~ January 12, 2018 (age 81)

Visitation:   Monday, January, 15th. 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. at Horton-Mathie Funeral Home 735 First St. Greenport

Prayer Service:  Monday, January 15th. 4:00 p.m. at the funeral home

Private Cremation                    

Margaret Mary Duggan died Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, at Peconic Landing, where she had lived since 2010. The cause of death was acute respiratory failure. She was 81.

She was born on Sept. 15, 1936, in Brooklyn. Her father, John Duggan, was a checker on the Brooklyn docks. Her mother, Kathleen White Duggan, was a homemaker. The family lived in various communities in Brooklyn and Queens and then moved to Lindenhurst on Long Island.

Margaret was an only child, but she had a foster brother, Michael Flannery, and sister, Margaret Flannery, who became part of the family.

Margaret took piano lessons as a child, the beginning of a lifelong devotion to classical music, particularly that of Mozart. When she was still a child, she played in a concert at the Town Hall in Manhattan.

She was gifted academically, graduating from St. Agnes Academic High School in Rockville Centre, Long Island, and from St. John’s University in Brooklyn, where she received her BA degree in 1958. After that she studied in Germany for a year. She also took classes at the New School in New York.

In 1959 she entered Columbia University, receiving a master’s degree in German literature. She then changed to the English department and received her PhD in 1975, specializing in 18th Century literature. Her dissertation was on a poem by John Dryden, “The Hind and the Panther.”

At every stage of her education, Margaret received scholarships and grants. She also worked while going to school, including a stint at Morgan Guaranty Trust. She taught at Manhattan Community College, Fairleigh Dickinson University and Montclair State College in New Jersey.

In 1978 Margaret began her career at South Dakota State University in Brookings. She soon became a full professor and taught there for 23 years before retiring in 2001. At that point she was granted the title of Professor Emerita of English.

In addition to teaching, Margaret continued her literary research work. She gave scholarly papers at conferences across the United States and at international meetings in. Budapest, Hungary; Bristol, England; Munster, /Germany, and Dublin Ireland.

In 1990 she published a massive work entitled “English Literature and Backgrounds 1660-1700.” In two volumes totaling nearly 1,200 pages, it details the significant scholarship over many years about nearly 300 writers of the period.

In the late 1960s Margaret bought a house on Bailey Avenue in Greenport. Her parents lived there year-round, and she stayed there during the summers, living in South Dakota during the academic year, When she retired, she became a full-time Greenport resident.

She was active in the community, participating in the St. Agnes Church program to serve dinner to homeless people who then stayed overnight. She supported the Community Action Southold Town (CAST) and participated in Democratic politics and voter registration drives. She was also a member of Women in Conversation, a group dedicated to promoting interracial understanding. She was also a member of the Shakespeare Club, which studied a different play every year.

And she was one of a small writers’ group of women who met regularly to read and critique one another’s efforts, which included fiction, letters to the editor and poetry. She wrote many short stories and one novel and did a considerable amount of work on a second novel, about a soldier in the Iraq war.

In 2010 Margaret moved to Peconic Landing, where she taught many courses and was on the committee that organized the classes. She never missed the Metropolitan Opera performances 0n HDTV, and she regularly attended the current event and Spanish classes.

She is survived by her sister, Margaret Fitzpatrick of Amityville, and many nieces and nephews:  Francis Silvestro and Denise Wood of Florida; Lisa Korsch of Copaigue; Theresa DeGallo of Farmingdale; Thomas Fitzpatrick and Eileen Molina of Amityville; Kathleen Rodriguez of New Jersey; Maureen Jones of White Plains; Michael Flannery of South Carolina; a sister-in-law, Selma Flannery of Florida, and many great-nieces and –nephews. Her brother, Michael Flannery, predeceased her.

The family received visitors at the Horton-Mathie Funeral Home, 735 First St., Greenport, from 1 to 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 15, with a prayer service at 4 p.m.  In lieu of flowers, the family suggested donations to the Society of St. Vincent DePaul, 249 Broadway, Bethpage, N.Y., 11714, or Community Action Southold Town (CAST), 316 Front St., Greenport, N.Y., 11944.









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