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Margaret Mary Shekleton, 90

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Margaret Mary Shekleton, age 90 of New Hampton, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023, at her home.

Mass of Christian Burial was held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, at Holy Family Parish in New Hampton, with the Rev. James Goerend celebrating the Mass.

Interment followed at Calvary Cemetery in New Hampton, with Garrett Shekleton, Shane Shekleton, Brad Kamrath, Brigette Kamrath, Benjamin Ross and Ellie Ross serving as pallbearers. The honorary pallbearer will be Bryce Kamrath.

Friends greeted the family from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, at Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory in New Hampton, where there was a 7 p.m. Parish Scripture Service. Visitation continues an hour prior to the Mass on Saturday at the church.

Online condolences for the Shekleton family may be left at

Margaret Mary Shekleton was born on Jan. 4, 1933, on the family farm near Benson, Minnesota. She was the cherished daughter of John and Ethel (McQuaid) O’Connor, growing up as the middle child in a close-knit family of three siblings. Her early years were spent attending a country school on the family farm, instilling in her a deep connection to the land and a strong work ethic.

Margaret’s journey through education led her to Benson High School, where she distinguished herself not only academically but also through her active participation in sports — including softball and cattle showing alongside her beloved siblings. Her passion for learning continued at The College of St. Teresa in Winona, Minnesota, where she graduated with a bachelor of arts as a medical technician.

Following her education, Margaret embarked on a new chapter in Colorado Springs, where she found purpose in a hospital job.

Fate intervened at a wedding in Minnesota, where she met the love of her life, John “Jack” Shekleton. Their connection deepened through letters and courtship, culminating in a joyous union on Oct. 6, 1962, at St. Brigid’s Catholic Church in DeGraff, Minnesota. Together, they built a life filled with love and devotion, blessed with the arrival of four children.

Settling in New Hampton, Margaret seamlessly merged her roles as a wife, mother and a dedicated professional. Alongside her contributions to the family farm, she worked tirelessly at the New Hampton Clinic’s lab, showcasing her commitment to the well-being of others. Her caring nature extended beyond her immediate family, as she selflessly cared for her mother-in-law and earned recognition as the State of Iowa’s Volunteer of the Year in 1998 for her exemplary work as a tutor.

Margaret’s philanthropic spirit shone brightly through her involvement with the church and her presidency at the local food bank in New Hampton. Her dedication to community service touched the lives of many, leaving an indelible mark on those she served. Margaret’s nurturing spirit was a beacon in her family’s life, always prioritizing their needs and ensuring her grandchildren felt her unwavering support in their various endeavors.

A lifelong member of the Catholic Daughters of America, Margaret took immense pride in her Irish heritage, embracing it with joy and enthusiasm. She leaves behind a legacy of love, kindness, and a commitment to family values that will forever resonate in the hearts of those who had the privilege of knowing her.

Margaret is survived by two daughters, Mary Beth (Kevin) Kamrath-Ovel of New Hampton, and Patrice (Brian) Ross of Vienna, Virginia; two sons, Greg (Shelia) Shekleton of New Hampton, and John (Janice) Shekleton of New Hampton; six grandchildren, Brad (Lainey) Kamrath of Bozeman, Montana, Garrett (Kiley) Shekleton of North Liberty, Shane (LeAnn) Shekleton of New Hampton, Brigette Kamrath of Pierre, South Dakota, Ellie Ross of Durango, Colorado, and Benjamin Ross of Vienna, VA; two great-granddaughters, Shyann Shekleton and Charlie Shekleton with one more on the way; one brother, Pat (Joanne) O’Connor of Cedar Rapids; and brother-in-law, Dick Hawkins of St. Paul, Minnesota.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Jack in 2008; one grandson, Bryce Kamrath, in 2010; one brother, Jim (Betty) O’Connor; one sister, Mary Ann Hawkins.

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