Obituary and Condolences

Mary Margaret Lainson

January 20, 1939 January 14, 2019
Mary Margaret Lainson
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Obituary for Mary Margaret Lainson

Mary Margaret Lainson, 79, passed away on Monday, January 14, 2019 at her home in Iowa City after a lengthy illness, six days shy of her 80th birthday.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, January 21st at 10:00 AM at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Iowa City. Father Chuck Adam will officiate. Following the Funeral Mass, there will be a celebration of Margaret’s life during a reception at Hancher Auditorium. Private burial will be the following day at St. Joseph Cemetery in Iowa City. There will also be a celebration of life in the summer at Lake Okoboji, where she loved to spend time with her closest friends.

In lieu of flowers, Memorials in Margaret’s name may be given to the following organizations that were important during her life, Iowa City Hospice, Hancher Auditorium Enrichment Fund, Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation, or a charity of your choice.

Margaret was born on January 20, 1939 in Lake City, Iowa to Earl and Jean (Maurer) Tangney. Margaret grew up in Spencer and spent many summers at Lake Okoboji in Northwest Iowa. In 1955, Margaret graduated high school from St. Scholastica Catholic Academy in Canon City, CO. She later attended the University of Iowa, where she was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. Margaret graduated magna cum laude in 1959 with a degree in history and a minor in art history.

In college, Margaret Tangney met the love of her life, Phillip Lainson. They married on June 18, 1960 in Spencer, IA. The couple spent two years in Cedar Rapids before living on both east and west coasts while Phil was in the Air Force. In 1965, they returned to Iowa City, where they have resided the past 53 plus years.

In 1971, Margaret received her master’s in education from University of Iowa, which was followed by her graduation from the University of Iowa Law School in 1976. After graduation, Margaret worked as an attorney for Meardon, Sueppel, Downer, and Hayes law firm. She became a partner in 1982, staying with the firm until she retired in 2005.

Margaret loved being close to water, either boating or sailing at Lake Okoboji, Lake MacBride, or in earlier days, water skiing on the Coralville Reservoir. In addition, Margaret was an avid reader, enjoyed attending Hawkeye football and basketball games, traveling both throughout the U.S. and Europe, as she and Phil had an amazing ability to maximize how much they could see in a trip (lovingly called “vacation mode”), bicycling, playing bridge with friends, and doing the New York Times crosswords puzzles while looking out over the lake. She loved to laugh and tell stories and enjoyed an amazing life!

Margaret is survived by her husband of 58 plus years, Phillip; three children, David (Patricia) of Burbank, CA, Michael (Darcey) of Huntington Beach, CA, and Elizabeth (Kara) of Iowa City and four grandchildren, Jacob, Laura, Peter, and Nicolas.

She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Michael.

The family would like to thank Iowa City Hospice for their care during the last few months of Margaret’s life.

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Previous Events





10:00 AM 1/21/2019 10:00:00 AM
St. Mary's Catholic Church -- Iowa City

228 E. Jefferson Street
Iowa City, IA 52240

St. Mary's Catholic Church -- Iowa City
228 E. Jefferson Street Iowa City 52240 IA
United States

Cemetery Details


St. Joseph's Cemetery- Iowa City Final Resting Place

1122 N. Dodge Street
Iowa City, IA 52245

1122 N. Dodge Street Iowa City 52245 IA
United States

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