Plainfield woman had no regrets, no sorrow
By Denise M. Baran-Unland Correspondent April 21, 2013 8:38PM
Margie Fishbeck | Supplied photo
Updated: May 23, 2013 6:14AM
Jack Gwynne of Aurora will never forget the day he was jolted from sleep at 6 a.m. by a loud recording of the Chicago Bears fight song.
His cousin, Margie Fishbeck, 58, of Plainfield, had wired it underneath his bed and timed it to wake him up. That was just the type of prank, Jack said, that Margie “would get a big kick out of.”
“She had a great sense of humor,” Jack said. “Margie was always going against the grain.”
Margie reveled in the moment, whether she was playing a noncompetitive card game of “hand and foot,” parroting lines while watching reruns of “The Dick Van Dyke” show or drinking coffee with Kahlua on the side.
She carved pumpkins and dyed Easter eggs with her nieces and nephews, puttered in her garden, hosted lavish pool parties at the lake behind her Plainfield home and collected multi-colored flip-flops (48 at last count), which this outdoor, spectator-sports loving woman could perfectly match to any outfit.
“Those flip-flops influenced what she wore,” said Margie’s husband, John Fishbeck of Plainfield. “If they were the wrong of shade of green, she’d change the blouse, not the flip-flops.”
Margie was equally fond of attending football games but only those held early in the season; she disliked cold weather. She was sitting in the stands when Walter Peyton broke the NFL’s all-time rushing record. Baseball was the perfect excuse for a road trip.
“We’d drive out to Boston, Pittsburgh, St. Louis or Minnesota and stay for a week just as an excuse to attend a baseball game,” John said.
Jack said Margie could, by turns, be ultra-feminine or switch to sweats for an afternoon of pre-game tailgating. Each year, six to eight family members drove to Ontario and spent time roughing it in a remote cabin. Margie kept checklists and packed lunches for the trip up.
Margie’s effervescence was second only to her intelligence. As one of the first people in the country to be trained on PowerSoft, Margie traveled the country training other individuals to use the technology.
“It opened up many opportunities for her in human resources and accounts payable and accounts receivable,” Jack said. In November, Margie retired as corporate payroll manager at Elkay Manufacturing Company in Oak Brook.
Margie had no patience with the lukewarm, with individuals who could not make up their minds; she always knew what she wanted. When Margie began a valiant fight against breast cancer seven years ago, which continued until her death on Dec. 20, it was “never about her.”
“She had no sorrow, no pity, no self-regret,” Jack said. “She was always more interested in hearing about you than in talking about her treatments.”
Contact Denise M. Baran-Unland at
815-467-5249 or firstname.lastname@example.org.