Margaret Hallberg's devotion was dialed in to her husband, family

Many of the people who knew Margaret Hallberg knew her as the wife of a longtime radio station executive.

While she wore that title proudly, the Alabama native was much more.


She was a college graduate, a competitive tennis player, a former big-band singer and a "loving and devoted" mother and grandmother.

"She had so many different sides to her," said her daughter, Sallye Anderson of Orlando. "She was sweet and gentle, but fun and competitive, too."


Margaret Hallberg was born in Birmingham, Ala., the daughter of a railroad worker.

Although her upbringing was relatively modest, her parents made sure all three siblings went to college.

She attended the University of Alabama and was the first woman to graduate with a degree in radio arts.

The diploma wasn't the only thing she came away with. She also met Carl Hallberg, who hired her to sing in his band, the Alabama Cavaliers, and eventually became her husband.

The couple lived around the country while Carl Hallberg was an instructor pilot with the Army Air Corps.

In 1946, they moved to Orlando and soon settled in College Park. He became general manager of 990 AM (WHOO). He later became general manager of WDBO AM and FM radio stations and vice president of Cherry Broadcasting Co. Carl Hallberg, who died in 1998, remained in that job for more than 20 years.

Margaret Hallberg may not have used her radio arts degree professionally, but it did help her to relate to her husband.

"She knew how important his career was to him," Anderson said. "And Daddy always felt that Mother was such a big support and help because she knew about the business."


The couple also continued to share their love of music.

Carl, who played the saxophone and clarinet, formed a band and recruited Margaret as a lead singer. The band played around town, including at Dubsdread Country Club.

Margaret Hallberg also played competitive tennis, but her main focus was her children. For years, she served on the Princeton Elementary School PTA. She was an active member of First United Methodist Church of Orlando for more than 50 years.

"The main thing about Mother was her warm love and devotion to her family, and my parents' long, happy marriage was an inspiration and example to their children and their grandchildren," Anderson said. "That will be her legacy."

Margaret Hallberg also is survived by another daughter, Donna Vaughan of Collierville, Tenn.; son, Carl F. "Buzz" Hallberg Jr. of Longwood; her sister, Sallye Smith of Denver; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Baldwin-Fairchild Funeral Home, Ivanhoe Chapel, Orlando, is handling arrangements.