Margaret Mary Ohl (née Byrne), of San Diego, passed away peacefully at home and surrounded by loved ones on January 4, 2023, just a few days before her 83rd birthday. Known as “Margie” to most, she lived a full and happy life and was known for her vivacious nature, big heart, and unforgettable stories.
Margie was born in Pittsburgh on January 7, 1940, to Terrence and Anne Byrne, the youngest of three children. She attended the University of Pittsburgh, where she received her bachelor’s degree in education and moved to San Diego after graduation to follow in her sister’s footsteps as an elementary school teacher. Margie later received her master’s degree at San Diego State University and taught for over 42 years in the San Diego Unified School District. Teaching was among her greatest passions, and her legacy includes a lasting impact on thousands of students she taught, many of whom have stayed in touch. She was famous for her annual puppet show that she directed for her classes, which remained a favorite memory for many of her former students.
Margie married Rodney (Rod) Keith Ohl in 1973, and they first lived in Chula Vista, then moved to the University Heights neighborhood of San Diego. They had one daughter, Kathleen Marie, in 1981 and shared five dogs during their marriage, until Rodney’s death in 2003. Margie remained in her home until her passing, where she had hosted weekly “Mad Men” and “Dancing with the Stars” parties with her beloved University Heights neighbors. Despite living in San Diego for over 60 years, Margie remained an avid Steelers fan and proudly waved her terrible towel every Sunday during football season. Even in the weeks before her death, she was still regaling others with stories of Franco Harris, Terry Bradshaw and the famous “Steel Curtain” Steelers’ defense of the 1970s.
Margie made many close friendships throughout her time in San Diego, including numerous teaching colleagues and other parents of students at San Diego Junior Theatre. Margie loved to travel and was an enthusiastic supporter of the arts and theater, both in San Diego and beyond. Some of her favorite memories included trips to New York City to see museums, Broadway shows and tapings of late-night shows. Upon hearing of her passing, many people responded “she was a legend” and we will embrace those kind words and wholeheartedly agree.
Margie is predeceased by her husband, Rodney Ohl, her brother, John Byrne, and her sister, Maryanne Byrne. She is survived by her daughter, Kathleen Maloney (Ohl), as well as Kathleen’s husband, John Maloney, and their two sons, John Patrick (J.P.) and Kieran Maloney.