Margaret Monroe Koehnline with her only child, William Angus, my grandfather, who died last November.
Margaret Monroe was, from all I have heard, an incredible woman. She lost her mother when she was only about a year old, but was very close with her bio grandmother (who took care of her immediately following the death) & step mother, who, like her father, was a general physician. She excelled academically, being valedictorian at both her junior high & high school, where she pursued a course in the classics. Following her graduation, Margaret enrolled at Bethany College in West Virginia, continuing to pursue the classics course, where she met one Elizabeth Koehnline (who'd later introduce her to her brother, Irvin Koehnline, who Margaret would marry). Her three orations at Bethany were on "John Brown of Ossawatomie," "Thou Shalt Not Kill" (in opposition to capital punishment), & "The Death of John Barleycorn" (in reference to the character from the old folksong- quite clear where my grandfather & I got our fascination in musicology from). According to her father's memoirs, Margaret wasn't tardy once throughout her academic career, & was only absent from classes on a couple of occasions, always due to illness.
After college, Margaret went into teaching, & for a number of years alternated between teaching German, Latin, history & mathematics, before taking post-graduate courses in algebra & French at Columbia University in NY. After Columbia was when she & Irvin finally became well-acquainted, & they were wed 1924.
Though he loved his father, my grandfather was significantly closer in personality & interests with his mother, & praised her at great lengths in his memoirs. His section about her says she was "a caring and indulgent, understanding mother, a good sport, a wonderful teacher, an apt pupil -- even to her son in areas of his special interest and assumed expertise, from an early age -- a keen and witty, sometimes slightly malicious, observer of people, in fact an inveterate people-watcher, an organizer, and a loyal participator in the work of the YWCA, the First Christian Church, the nature education program of Oglebay Institute (She was good at identifying genera, species, and variants, especially in the plant kingdom. Colonel Robert P. Carroll said she could recite the "Asclepias mass," the complete Latin names of the milkweed and butterfly bush family [funnily enough, memorizing scientific names of plant species was a very weird hobby of mine when I was very young...]). Mom was a good diarist and letter-writer. She kept in touch with herself and with others far better than I have done. Why she didn't write some of the pages I am now supplying, I don't know. I write them as her amanuensis and continuator, a role I am proud to play."
A side note: I am always amazed whenever I see my grandfather's baby photos by the degree to which he essentially looked the same throughout his entire life- have never had any difficulty identifying him in photos, because he's always looked the same to me...