News and Views

Margaret M. Thayil

Posted by on

Margaret M. Thayil, 86, the wife of the late Rev. Ernest Thayil, died March 30, 2019. He died three months earlier on Jan. 4, 2019. A Joint Celebration of Life for them was held at Jackson Chapel UMC in Frederick May 4.

Margaret Mary Elisha was born in Bombay, India, Jan. 13, 1933. She and Ernest Thayil were married in 1956 while he was director of Bombay Youth for Christ. He left to pursue higher education in 1957; his wife and baby daughter stayed behind for a time.

While attending college in Seattle, with money he’d saved and the help of church members and friends, he was able to bring his wife and child to join him a year later. They lived in Seattle through his schooling. They moved to Eugene, Oregon, where he graduated with an MBA from the University of Oregon but returned to Seattle for his employment by Boeing. Their two sons were born there.

Back to Seattle in 1970 for a position with the Seattle Public Schools as a Special Assistant to the District Superintendent, with his focus on desegregating Seattle’s public schools. A year later the family moved across country to Baltimore, when his boss became Superintendent of Baltimore City Public Schools, which Ernest Thayil served for 23 years, while his family grew up.

After Ernest Thayil began pursuing full-time ordained ministry, she served with him in the churches to which he was appointed: Weller UMC, 1992-95; Catoctin Mountain Parish in Thurmont, 1995-96; Prospect-Marvin Charge in Mt. Airy, 1996-2002, during which time he was ordained an Elder. He retired in 2002, but continued to serve: 2006-09, Catoctin UMC; 2009-13, Union Bridge UMC in Johnsville and other short-term service, ending in Bethesda UMC in Sykesville from 2014 until his death.

She was preceded in death by a granddaughter as well as parents, brothers and sisters.

Survivors include their children: Kathleen Mary Thayil, Amy Daisy Bartholonee and husband Wayne, sons Jonathan Ernest Thayil and Jason Christopher Thayil; seven grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.  Nieces and nephews also survive.