Margaret Chatmon

Sunrise: March 21, 1940

Sunset: July 16, 2022

Although a person born on March 21, 1940 was said to be part of the “Silent Generation”, Margaret Simmons Chatmon was anything but. Her larger than life personality coupled with the desire to “fight for right” would prove beneficial years later. Born to Edward and Marie Simmons in Charleston, South Carolina, Margaret exhibited a fierce loyalty for family, zest for life, and a healthy thirst for knowledge from an early age. 

As a child, she cultivated her love for cooking by adding her own flair to recipes handed down from the previous generation. She was also adept at revising new recipes until they received the “Margaret” stamp of approval. 

Like many people of color who grew up in the Jim Crow South, opportunities for work were limited. Margaret sought work in various factories within North and South Carolina. She even worked as a cashier in the Citadel’s canteen. 

While working as a cook at a local hospital, Margaret was released from her duties after it was learned that she participated in a civil rights event protesting the mistreatment and unfair treatment of blacks. It was this event that led her to seek employment in New Jersey. Shortly thereafter, she met Samuel Clay Chatmon of Angier, North Carolina. The couple married in 1963, and produced two children; Cynthia and Samuel Clay Jr.

 In 1972, Margaret’s tenacious spirit was tested once more. In her very own “Woolworth’s experience”, she and her daughter stopped at the main counter to buy lunch. By this time, desegregation had brought an end to separate facilities for whites and blacks; however, Margaret and Cindy were informed that the front counter, ‘reserved for white patrons’, was closed. They would have to order from the back counter if they wanted to eat anything. Tired from their outing, Margaret’s fierce determination led her to stand firm in her convictions. She continued to sit at the front counter until the establishment consented to serve them. Though the meal consisted only of a slice of pre-made cake, Margaret’s principles prevailed, and forever left an indelible mark upon her daughter’s memory. 

In 1974, Margaret received a certificate in business from South Eastern Business College; though she would continue to find employment in various factories. 

Following the death of her spouse, her family became her primary focus. 

Margaret loved to cook, shop, attend church, and read her Bible. She was so devoted to her reading that some of the pages from her Bible began to disintegrate. 

On July 16, 2022, Margaret died at home surrounded by her friends and loved ones. She was preceded in death by her father, Edward Simmons, mother, Marie Simmons, and husband, Samuel Clay Chatmon. 

She is survived by two sisters, Josephine and Carolyn; brother-in-law, John Chatman (Aida); Sisters-in-law, Lois Ann Chatmon Patton (James deceased), and Catherine Chatmon (William-deceased); daughter, Cynthia Chatmon Arrington (Dewayne K. Arrington Sr.) and grandchildren Simone, Dewayne Jr., and Brandon; son, Samuel Clay Chatmon Jr. (Joan), and grandchildren, Whitney and Chasity; and a host of nieces and nephews. 

Viewing Friday, July 22, 2022 2:00pm - 6:00pm Metropolitan Funeral Service 5605 Portsmouth Boulevard Portsmouth, VA 23701 Service COME IN PERSON OR WATCH LIVE ONLINE Saturday, July 23, 2022 2:00pm Metropolitan Funeral Service Portsmouth Chapel Interment Albert G. Horton Veteran Cemetery 5310 Milners Road Suffolk, VA 23434

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  1. reply
    Lois Chatmon Patton and Family says

    Cynthia, Samuel and Family,

    We wanted to express and share our deepest condolences at the loss of your mother, Mrs. Margaret Chatmon, We will continue to lift you up in prayer, fully knowing that it will not ease the pain or the emptiness. Please take comfort in knowing that your mother is now, and forever with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in whom we move and have our being.

  2. reply
    Pamela Baxter says

    Cynthia you have my deepest condolences and prayers I love you and will keep in my prayers. Love your friend over 30 plus years

  3. reply
    Adriene H Simmons says

    Cynthia and Family, praying for your strength and comfort during the loss of your mom! It saddens my heart. Please know words doesn’t ease the pain but knowing God and holding on to faith and trusting he knows best, days will become a little easier to bear. Love you all as I will continue to keep you lifted in prayer 🙏🏽

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