Funeral services were held on Jan. 16 at the Cleghorn Presbyterian Church. Rev. Rick Kargard and Rev. Ray Kruger officiated. Burial was in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Cherokee.
Margaret Nielsen was born April 15, 1917 in rural Cleghorn to Chris and Agnes (Andersen) Nielsen. She was baptized,received her religious training, and was confirmed at the Nazareth Lutheran Church at Marcus. She attended Cleghorn School until the fourth grade and finished in Meriden, graduating in 1935.
Margaret's entire life was spent in Cherokee County. She was married to Stanley Birch on Nov. 28, 1935 at Alta. She joined the Presbyterian Church shortly after their marriage and was active in all church activities; The Martha Society; and later the Presbyterian Guild (women's society), holding all of the offices of the church and was assistant Sunday School teacher of the adult class.
In 1975 Margaret and her husband began wintering in Alamo, Texas, where they began a second family of friends and had fun living until their health began to fail.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Stanley on July 10, 2006, one son David Birch in 1974, a daughter-in-law Nancy Birch in 2007, two brothers Andy and Niels Nielsen; three sisters Elisabeth Pedersen, Anna Mae Wilcox, Marie French,
She is survived by one daughter and one son: Margie Hansen of Fairfax and LaVerne Birch of Cleghorn; a daughter-in-law, Janine Reidesel of Paton; nine grandchildren: Michael (Mary) Hansen, Brad (Terrie) Hansen, Debbie Hansen and Joel (Jenny) Hansen all of Cedar Rapids; Karen Busch and Brenda Schuster all of Fairfax; Chris (Lisa) Hansen of Walford; Lisa (Eric) Johnson of Cleghorn; Melanie Rose of Omaha, Neb.; 15 great-grandchildren: Michael John (Meg) Hansen, Matthew Hansen, Tara Hansen, Jacob and Joshua Hansen all of Cedar Rapids; Andrea (James) Remington. Elizabeth Busch, Melissa, Colby and Jarrad Stepanek all of Fairfax; Sawyer and Riley Hansen of Walford; Allison, Caitlan and Madison Johnson of Cleghorn; one great-great-granddaughter Leah Stepanek; three sisters: Esther Hagey of Marcus; Vera Wiese and her husband Donald of Larrabee; Elna Lundell of Livingston