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Updated: 01/23/2014 08:00:03AM

Marguerite Edwards Kniffen

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Marguerite “Maggie” Edwards Kniffen, 82, of Punta Gorda, Fla., passed away unexpectedly Monday, Jan. 20, 2014.

She was born July 31, 1931, in Elizabeth, N.J., the oldest child of Elizabeth “Betty” and Dr. David Edwards.

Maggie’s family relocated to Baton Rouge, La., in 1934, where her father developed the catalytic cracker converter for Esso (now Exxon). Maggie and her two brothers, David and John, spent their childhood in Baton Rouge, and Maggie graduated from the LSU University Laboratory High School in 1947, at the age of 15. She attended Woman’s College of UNC (now UNC Greensboro), before transferring to LSU, where she was a member of the Alpha Xi Delta Sorority, and graduated with a degree in Foreign Languages in 1952.

It was at LSU in the Spring of 1951 that she met Samuel James “Jim” Kniffen, the son of an LSU Professor and researcher, at the home of mutual friends, after his return from the U.S. Navy and his enrollment in LSU. They fell in love and were married in her parents’ garden, surrounded by family and friends, Friday, June 13, 1952. Maggie and Jim moved to the greater Houston, Texas, area shortly after their marriage, where Jim took an engineering job with Phillips Chemical Company, and Maggie completed her Master’s Degree in Psychology at the University of Houston in 1975.

Maggie and Jim lived in St. Louis, Mo., from 1955 to 1957, and Philadelphia, Pa., from 1978 to 1981, as Jim pursued career opportunities, always returning to the Houston area, where they raised their two children — Anne Elizabeth, born in 1955; and James Kenneth, born in 1958. In 1993, they retired and subsequently built a retirement home at Point Venture on Lake Travis. They relocated to Punta Gorda in 2000 to enjoy boating, gardening and lovely weather.

During her life, Maggie was a wonderful and beloved wife, mother, homemaker, landscaper, cook, seamstress and quilter. She was a member of the Isles Yacht Club, and a former member of the Peace River Quilters Guild. She volunteered in many capacities over the years, and developed many lifelong friends from different chapters of her life.

Maggie is survived by her husband, Samuel James Kniffen; her daughter, Anne Elizabeth Kniffen; granddaughters, Elizabeth Ann Bruyere, Catherine Jane Bruyere and Sarah Marguerite Bruyere; and her brother, John McKinley Edwards. She was preceded in death by her parents, Dr. David Fruston Edwards and Elizabeth Mullen Edwards; her son, James Kenneth Kniffen; and her brother, Philip David Edwards.

A Memorial Service to celebrate Maggie’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, at Roberson Funeral Home Punta Gorda Chapel, 215 Mary St., Punta Gorda. In Maggie’s memory, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. Friends may visit online at to sign the memory book and extend condolences to the family.

Arrangements are by Roberson Funeral Home & Crematory Punta Gorda Chapel.

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