Margaret I. "Meg" Sicher, a Jemicy School volunteer who headed the Owings Mills school's bookstore for many years, died Thursday of complications from a brain tumor at the Brightwood Center in Lutherville. The Riderwood resident was 49.
Margaret Iglehart French was born in Baltimore and raised in Lutherville. She was a 1977 graduate of St. Timothy's School in Stevenson.
Mrs. Sicher attended Skidmore College and earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Virginia in 1982.
She worked in banking and marketing before her 1987 marriage to Michael A. Sicher, a former marketing manager who is now a Jemicy School educator.
Mrs. Sicher began volunteering at Jemicy when her three children were students there, and soon became involved with the Moose Caboose, the school bookstore.
"She has been involved with Jemicy from 1995 until she became ill last year," Ben Shifrin, the school's headmaster, said yesterday.
"Meg has dedicated countless hours to support Jemicy School and has volunteered in many capacities throughout the years. She was a very special person to this community," Mr. Shifrin said.
"She cared about the school and the kids, and she was also a devoted wife and mother, and we feel privileged to have witnessed her kindness and generosity," he said.
He praised Mrs. Sicher's efforts in putting the Moose Caboose on "the map."
"She built a true school store, organized it and filled it with things the students loved. And that's why there were lines around the corner with kids waiting to get into the store," he said. "She also helped them set up accounts and never rushed them when they were shopping."
Mrs. Sicher was fond of telling the story of a little girl who came into the bookstore one day and asked if she could order a Shirley Temple, Mr. Shifrin said, laughing.
The headmaster said it wasn't uncommon to see Mrs. Sicher at the school on weekends unloading a carload of Moose Caboose inventory.
"The death of Meg Sicher has affected the entire school, the faculty, students and their families," Mr. Shifrin said. "She touched the lives of them all."
Jane Evans is director of development at the Baltimore County school.
"Words cannot express how grateful we are for all she did for our school and students, faculty, staff and parents," Ms. Evans said.
Because her children enjoyed horseback riding and participating competitively in horse shows, Mrs. Sicher began volunteering with - and for the past three years has been a member of the board - of the Baltimore County Horse Show Association.
The nonprofit organization provides guidelines for equestrian events held in Central Maryland.
In recognition of her work with the horse show association, the organization recently presented its Distinguished Service Award to Mrs. Sicher, who was unable to attend the ceremony because of illness.
"Meg had been a quiet force as a parent and then later when she came on the board," said Julie Wright, president of the association. "And as a board member, one of her strongest assets was encouraging riders from other barns to get involved in the association, which helped build membership."
She said that Mrs. Sicher also worked hard at involving parents with their children's riding.
Born on Bastille Day, Mrs. Sicher enjoyed entertaining family and friends on the broad porches of her Riderwood home during the summer months. She also liked decorating for holidays and her children's birthdays.
She was an avid reader and gardener. She also enjoyed attending Oriole games and vacationing at the beach.
Services are private.
A memorial reception will be held at 4 p.m Jan. 9 at the L'Hirondelle Club, 7611 L'Hirondelle Club Road in Ruxton.
In addition to her husband of 21 years, Mrs. Sicher is survived by two sons, Peter A. Sicher and Samuel R. Sicher, both of Riderwood; a daughter, Alexis I. Sicher of Riderwood; her father, George Ross French Sr. of Lutherville; and a brother, George Ross "Geordie" French Jr. of Monkton.