MARGIT THEA ARTO 31st January, 1928 – 8th September, 2014

MargitMargit was a much loved and respected member of the British community in Madrid. Until the last couple of years before her death, she was extremely active and participated in many groups that occupied much of her time. In the last couple of years she experienced some physical ailments that slowed her down but she was frequently seen at events all over Madrid, and in her latter months with a walking stick. Always looking very smart and always courteous, she will be sadly missed.

She joined the British Benevolent Fund of Madrid committee in 1995 following in the footsteps of her mother Mrs Senta Wilmer, who was never on the BBF Committee, but who was a long time contributor and supporter of the Fund. Up until quite recently Margit actively contributed at committee meetings and always attended events to support the BBF. Her fund raising abilities were legendry, always selling more raffle tickets than any other committee member!

Margit read modern languages at Oxford University. She retained a deep affection for the university and St. Hilda’s College throughout her life. She was an active member of the Oxford University’s alumni society in Madrid, and later served as Branch Secretary until her retirement in 2010. She advised the University, and her college, during preparations for the university’s European Alumni Reunion events in Madrid in 2013.

Margit joined Runnymede College in 1973 and became head of French language in 1975, retiring in 2001. Madame Arto, as she was known, was loved by her pupils who still remember what an inspirational teacher she was. All her colleagues respected her integrity and her ability and courage to confront the challenges and disappointments that life invariably throws at us. She remained brave in the face of adversity and stoical when faced with injustice. These qualities never left her and her example afforded us one of life’s invaluable lessons: don’t back down under intimidation.

She leaves a son Carlos Arto who is a resident of Mexico City and a brother Gerald Wilmer, a nephew Christopher and niece Vanessa, all resident in the UK.

death of volunteer