- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Margaret Hayes Breck, 84, of Leonardtown, known as “Goggie,” died peacefully March 6, 2013.
Born in Waterbury, Conn., she was the daughter of William and Molly Hayes. After the untimely death of her mother, she and her brother went to live in Springfield, Mass., with her aunt and uncle, John and Bertha Gleason, who raised them as their own. She grew up as a second-generation Irish-American during the Great Depression, in a middle class “melting pot” neighborhood that included all faiths and nationalities. This formed her foundation for tolerance, love and taking care of others.
After attending Catholic schools for 12 years, she enrolled in the Gough Business School. Upon completion of her studies there, she went to work for Mass Mutual Insurance Co., followed by the Springfield Fire and Marine Insurance Co. She was one of the first Catholics hired to work for Mass Mutual.
Her work at Springfield Fire & Marine led to her meeting her future husband on a double date. The guy who asked her out made the mistake of asking Bill Breck to do the double with him, and the rest is history. Breck asked her out for his next date, and they became a couple.
On March 31, 1951, she married Wilfred R. “Bill” Breck Jr. in Springfield. They moved to East Orange, N.J., where they had their first child. In 1953, they moved to Catonsville, where three more children were born. In 1965, the family moved to Leonardtown, where she lived until her death.
She was a very active homemaker all of her married life. She was a member of the Sweet Adelines in Catonsville and St. Mary’s County, a founding member of Birthright of Southern Maryland, founding member of the Leonardtown Lioness Club and served on the auxiliary to St. Mary’s Hospital. In her 20s, she helped establish the Young Democrats Club in Springfield and was active in organizing strategies for her party. In St. Mary’s County, she organized lunches, teas and cocktail parties for candidates she supported and helped many of them get elected. She was recognized for these efforts when she was elected to the Democratic Club Hall of Fame. In her younger days, while raising a family of four children, she enjoyed bowling, playing cards and was a volunteer, substitute teacher and librarian at Father Andrew White School.
In 1973, her first grandchild was born and tagged her with the moniker of “Goggie,” a name she relished until her death. She never knew a stranger. She loved people of all kinds and made friends everywhere she went. Many people considered her to be another mother to them and she loved this role. She was the unofficial Welcome Wagon to new families moving into Breton Bay and surrounding communities.
By her words and actions, she counseled many people of all ages and could be counted on in good times or bad. Her hugs were world famous.
She is survived by her children, Barbara J. “B.J.” Breck Raley and her husband, Rick, John Breck and his wife, Sue, and Charlie Breck and his wife, Betsy, all of Leonardtown. She was preceded in death by her husband and her daughter, Nancy Breck Dale; her parents and her siblings. She is also survived by 15 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren; along with many more “kids” that considered her to be a second mother or grandmother to them.
A memorial service will be celebrated Saturday, March 23, at 11 a.m. at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Leonardtown, followed by a life celebration and Irish wake. Inurnment will be private.
Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Mary’s Nursing Center Foundation, 21585 Peabody St., Leonardtown, MD 20650.
Arrangements are being handled by Brinsfield Funeral Home in Leonardtown.