Cover photo for Margaret Rolley Burggraf's Obituary
Margaret Rolley Burggraf Profile Photo
1923 Margaret 2020

Margaret Rolley Burggraf

April 10, 1923 — December 18, 2020

Margaret Rolley Burggraf, Architect, 97, was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, as Tuesday’s child, full of grace. Margaret Elizabeth Rolley (Peggy) was the only child of Kay Serdon Rolley and Bertha Bishop Rolley. Growing up in a small town of 600, Crawfordsville, Arkansas offered little excitement except for the intimate intrigue of small town daily life and the opportunity to develop a strong healthy character. She spent her freshman year at Brenau College in Gainesville, Georgia, where she was advised that she might enjoy architecture. After working that summer for an architect in Memphis she enrolled in Architecture at the University of Illinois as one of only two girls in the program. She was president of the Delta Zeta sorority; graduated, and married George Frank Burggraf in 1945. The family moved 13 times in 12 years, settling in Fort Lauderdale in 1951 where she became the first woman to pass the Florida State Board of Architecture exam in 1956. She opened her own practice with Seymour Baumgartner as Wilton Manors’ first architect, retiring in 2005 in their 50th year of practice. The Four Seasons, Riviera Towers, Ocean Sunrise, La Circle, and the Breakers Condominium (Pompano Beach) were among her many accomplishments including innumerable houses, apartments and commercial buildings. In 1962 she moved for the last time into the home she designed, built and loved in Wilton Manors, Florida. For many years she was a shell collector with a collection of over 1,000 self-collected species and won many prizes for her exhibits. She traveled the world visiting over 60 countries, especially loving southeast Asia, China and the Himalayas. But what she loved most was being the mother of four children; James Carl (deceased; survived by his wife Chris), Virginia Kay Johnson (Nashville, TN), Charles Robert (deceased; survived by his wife Holly), and Richard William (Wilton Manors, FL). In addition to her two surviving children she is survived by four grandchildren; Monica Johnson Robertson and her husband Mike, Scott Alan Johnson, Chad Kay Burggraf and his wife Jen, Kathryn Burggraf Gehling and her husband Nick; and two great granddaughters, Adaline Maria Burggraf and Charlotte Lucia Burggraf. Christmas preparation was her favorite activity and she was able to enjoy her 98th Christmas tree at the foot of her bed, surrounded by her favorite decorations many of which she or her father made. At home, on December 18, 2020 she peacefully laid aside her earthly overcoat of clay for one of glory; to enjoy Christmas Forever, bequeathing to all who knew her, her soft wisdom and quiet boundless joy. In Lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Salvation Army.
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