Margaret Campbell Bamberger passed away quietly in her sleep on the morning of Friday, March 6, 2009. Early Wednesday, shortly after completing an exhausting month of cancer treatments, she fell asleep, never to awaken. A green burial will soon take place on the ranch that she loved so well. Attendance will be limited to immediate family and the ranch family.
Margaret was born December 13, 1938 in New Orleans. Over her seventy years, she was twice a wife, three times a mother, once a laboratory technician, repeatedly a crusader in environmental causes, periodically an artist shown and published, occasionally a writer, routinely an educator, and always a warm and generous friend to too many people to count.
She met and married J. David Bamberger in the early 1990s, and became an equal partner in the ongoing creation of the Bamberger Ranch Preserve as we know it today. She is credited with creating the ranch's educational programs and giving the ranch its credibility as an educational institution. The ranch became a routine destination for everything from groups of elementary school students, to university researchers. She won national awards for conservation, and had university awards, and even a middle-school greenhouse, dedicated to her. It was her idea to add the observation room to the design of "Bamberger's Folly", the largest artificial bat roost and observation facility ever created. With David's son, she named the structure, and in doing so officially added a new word to the English language: "chiroptorium".
She is survived by her husband J. David, sister Mary Greene of Paris, France, daughters Margie Crisp and Frances Sharp, son Chris Campbell, and numerous grandchildren as well as the thousands of people she touched over a richly-lived lifetime.
Margaret Bamberger was not merely a good person, but a person who did good. Thus her loss is felt doubly. There is, nonetheless, consolation to be found in the quality of her work - it is too good to be lost with her. The education programs she set in motion will be continued and grown by the dedicated members of the current ranch family, and those who will, in time, follow them. Margaret's impact will thereby be felt for generations to come, like the ever expanding ripples from a pebble dropped into cool, clean waters.
If you'd like to help Margaret's legacy live on, the family suggests contributions be made to the Margaret Bamberger Education Fund which she established in 2007. Donations can be mailed to: Bamberger Ranch Preserve, 2341 Blue Ridge Drive, Johnson City, TX 78636.