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Margaret V. Torrence

Apr 4, 2017

Margaret Virginia Knoch Torrence, 94, of Charles Town, passed away Sunday, March 19, 2017.

The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, March 23, at Maddox Funeral Home, followed by a funeral service at noon, conducted by the Rev. James Riley. Burial will follow in Prospect Hill Cemetery.

Margaret was born Dec. 31, 1922, in Front Royal, Virginia, daughter of the late William Lee and Leslie Tharpe Smedley.

Margaret was an avid gardener and flower arranger. She grew, dried and arranged flowers for numerous garden clubs, and her expertise was sought by many aspiring gardeners. After moving to Harpers Ferry in 1975, her arrangements were often on display at events with the Harpers Ferry Garden Club, Shenandoah Garden Club, Shenandoah Potomac Garden Council, and Home and Garden tour homes for more than 30 years. She was awarded the coveted Martha Smith award for Best in Show for her entry, The West Virginia Hills How Magnificent, How Grand! She also enjoyed ballroom dancing and music. She was taught piano by a Mrs. Sellortis, who studied at the distinguished Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland. Margaret was a member of the Friends of Music at Shepherd University.

She was also very involved in numerous churches and, at her death, was a member of Love Grows Here Lutheran Church in Hagerstown, Maryland, where her husband, the Rev John F. Torrence, was pastor. Previously, she was a member of Saint James and Salem Lutheran Churches. She frequently provided flower arrangements for the churches.

During World War II, Margaret worked in the accounting department for Montgomery Ward in Baltimore, Maryland, during the day, and attended Burroughs’s school in the afternoon. She was membership chairman and safety chairman for the Women’s League of Traffic Safety, a division of the Baltimore Safety Council.

She was preceded in death by her first husband of 59 years, Henry John Knoch Jr., who passed in 2003. She was the last surviving member of her immediate family. She was preceded in death by her siblings, Clarence William Smedley, Charles Louis Smedley, Fredrick Smedley, Mabel Mae Smedley, Rose Lee Smedley Henry and Janet Marie Smedley Williams.

Surviving are her husband of 12 years, the Rev. John F. Torrence of Charles Town; stepchildren, Mary and David; and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

Pallbearers will be Michael Smedley, Charles Martin Smedley, John H. Smedley Jr., William Lee Smedley, David Torrence and Walter Lee Vickers Jr.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the Panhandle, 330 Hospice Lane, Kearneysville, WV 25430.