Marguerite Alice Mary Bernadette Whitehill Atcher
Marguerite (Maggie) Alice Whitehill Atcher died on July 19, 2016 after an extended illness. She was born on Sept. 15, 1927 in Chicago, the daughter of Harry P. and Evelyn Whitehill. Her father was an executive with Dupont and lived in Philadelphia, Atlanta and Dallas during her childhood. On returning to Chicago, she began singing professionally, appearing in nightspots such as the Green Mill.
She attended Northwestern University as a music major. She pledged Alpha Gamma Delta sorority where she made lifelong friends. She left Northwestern to study voice in New York but decided to return home after several months.
She met her future husband, Robert O. “Bob” Atcher at the Wrigley Restaurant in Chicago. He offered her a ride home and proposed on the spot. They married in Nov. 1947. She joined Bob as a singing partner appearing with him on radio and TV and went on to host segments of the WLS National Barn Dance, at the time the longest running radio show in the country. They soon started their family and moved to Schaumburg, IL, then a small German farming community.
She quickly became involved in local activities and was a co-founder of the local kindergarten where her children would attend. In 1959, Bob ran for Village President (Mayor) and was elected. She became the First Lady of Schaumburg and would continue in that role for the next 16 years.
Her involvement in local activities was widespread, reflecting the energy that she had for life around her. She was among the founding members of the Schaumburg Historical Society, the local Public Library and Spring Valley Nature Center. She was a Brownie Troop co-Leader when her daughters were of age to participate.
Beyond Schaumburg, she was active in the Illinois Children’s Home and Aid Society, organizing fundraising activities and volunteering her time for the Society. As her children grew, she took a position as the Assistant Librarian at JB Conant High School in Hoffman Estates IL.
In 1975, after her husband retired as Mayor of Schaumburg, they established the Atcher Family Singers, returning to their first love – music. With their daughters, and later their son, they toured the Midwest.
In 1988, they decided to move to the Louisville KY area where her husband had grown up and his family members resided. Again, reflecting her dedication to civic duty, she became a docent at the JB Speed Art Museum in Louisville. She was later elected as the President of the Women’s Alliance of JB Speed Museum in Louisville. She had a wonderful circle of friends there and enjoyed playing bridge, visiting her wine group, and traveling.
The Theater in the Prairie Center for the Arts in Schaumburg was dedicated in her honor in the fall of 2006. The dedication was a tribute to the contributions she made to the village and her lifelong dedication to the arts. The Prairie Center was a dream of Maggie and Bob to enrich life in the village.
In 2013, she relocated to the Nashville TN area to be near her daughters. She was well known in her retirement community and regularly played bridge and attended functions there.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert O. “Bob” Atcher. She is survived by her children, Robert W. Atcher (Sharon), Mary Christopher (Chris) Murov (Larry), Cecily A. Wingsong, and an adored grandchild, Robert Andrew Atcher.
Her fun-loving spirit and energy will be missed by all her knew her.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in her name to the Speed Museum in Louisville KY or the Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg IL.