Margaret “Mimi” Harragan Hagerstrom, age 65, peacefully passed away in her sleep at her home in Forney, TX on May 1, 2021. Mimi was born on December 17, 1955 in Stanford, CT to Genevieve Charlton Harragan and Thomas Francis Harragan.
Mimi enjoyed life to the fullest, had a contagious personality, and radiated positive energy. She made lifelong friends wherever she went: in Darien, CT where she grew up, in Haverhill, MA where she attended college, in Boston MA where she started her professional career, in Mission Viejo, CA where she raised her children, and in Forney TX where her family moved to care for her.
It was in Boston where Mimi met her husband, Ken. Although slow at first to give into Ken's pursuits, it was Mimi who eventually gave him an ultimatum which led to their marriage in 1981. They spent the next 40 years side by side helplessly in love. Together they raised Peter and Sarah, both of Forney, TX. Mimi loved her family unconditionally. Even as her memory faded, a huge grin would appear anytime Peter, Sarah, or her son-in-law Jake would enter a room.
Mimi was determined and fearless. She was courageous and inspired others without saying a word. For most of her adult life, she suffered one life-altering condition after another. In her early 30’s Mimi was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. She battled MS fiercely, refusing to give in to its relentlessness. In her late 30’s Mimi developed Epilepsy leading to debilitating seizures that would hospitalize her for months at a time. In her early 40’s Mimi suffered a seizure that significantly impacted her brain function. Each time a Doctor informed Mimi that she would not be able to walk, or speak, or comprehend, or even live, Mimi's drive and stubborn attitude allowed her to accomplish what the physicians told her was impossible. She was able to watch her husband and son build a family business, watch her daughter walk down the aisle, become infatuated with son-in-law Jake, and witness the birth of her granddaughter.
Although physically and mentally limited, Mimi continued to live an active life. She went everywhere with her family. She flew to weddings and family reunions, went to jazz clubs, and attended baseball games. Most nights you would find Mimi at her favorite restaurant surrounded by friends. Everywhere Mimi went, people would gravitate to her and her infectious smile.
Mimi will be remembered as a loving, caring, and devoted wife, sister, mother, and friend. Her life continues to inspire friends and family to live life to the fullest, and to know we can do more than we are told is possible.
There is a paragraph in a published short story written by her daughter that sums up Mimi perfectly:
“My mom has had a brain injury for as long as I can remember. It affects her every minute of every day. She can’t be left alone; she needs 24-hour supervision and help with daily tasks most of us never think twice about. I get up in the morning to swim laps, but my mom wakes up having to summon the fortitude to survive another day. The world is a scary place for her. She has trouble remembering the simplest of things, and she struggles with concepts that come easily to most of us. She spends most of her day in a wheelchair now, and she knows her health will only deteriorate more. But she never lets any of it stop her from doing what she needs to do, and she never fails to let me know, any way she can, how much she loves me and how proud of me she is.”
Mimi, after your tireless fight, you are in God's hands where you can finally rest in comfort and in peace. You will be loved and missed by your family and countless friends.
Mimi is survived by her husband Ken; her sister Susan Mckeon (James), her brothers-in-law Thomas Hagerstrom (Lauren) and Steven Hagerstrom (Maureen); her children, Peter, and Sarah Lewis (Jacob); her granddaughter Joanna Maureen Lewis, her expectant grandson; and many special nieces and nephews. Her brother George Thomas Harragan predeceased her.
There will be an announcement soon for a remembrance in Forney in June and in the Boston area in November.