Margaret B. Growney passed away on March 1, 2018. She was born in Wilkinsburg, Pa on 12-9-1918. She has been a resident of Florida most of her life, living in St. Petersburg and Treasure Island. She served in World War II as a civilian in Army counter-intelligence and in 1944 enlisted in the WAVES working with Naval Intelligence in Washington, D.C. where she was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation Award.
Honorably discharged from the Navy, she attended Stetson University and Stetson College of Law. She was the first woman elected to membership in a law club at Stetson College of Law and was one of the only women to graduate in her class. In 1951 she began her legal career in West Palm Beach in partnership with her husband, Honore S. McKeown. After his death, she moved to St. Petersburg where she practiced probate law for over 50 years. In 1956 married Laurence M. Growney Sr.(deceased). She was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court in 1992. Due to her area of practice, she observed the need for a quality, skilled nursing care facility. In 1968 she built, owned, and operated the Alhambra Nursing Home, until it was sold in 2003.
She was active in civic, legal and professional organizations and associations including The Florida Bar, Committee of 100 of Pinellas County, National Association of Women Lawyers, American Nursing Home Association, St. Petersburg Bar Association, The Florida Association for Women Lawyers, the Florida Nursing Home Association, the DAV, Altrusa International, The Women’s Forum, and a life member of Phi Alpha Delta. In 1971, she was presented the keys to the City of St. Petersburg for her outstanding community service noting her selfless efforts as a community builder which made real and valuable contributions to the continuous growth of the City of St. Petersburg. She was recognized in Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who of Florida, and Personalities of the South. She had the privilege to serve as a chairmen’s advisor of the United States Congressional Advisory Board during the Reagan administration, a member of the Republican Senatorial Inner Circle and on numerous boards including banks. She had been a member of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club for over 40 years. She was the first women to be selected to be an officer on the Board at the Pass-a- Grille Yacht Club. She was an avid bridge player and enjoyed playing multiple times a week with friends. She was a 90% disabled American Veteran and was very proud to have served her country during World War ll.
She was a loving and devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She enjoyed spending time with her family who were the most important part of her extraordinary life. She is survived by her four children Mary McKeown- Barber (Jon), Honora McKeown Gathings (Lloyd), Laurence M. Growney II, Gerard A. Growney, grandchildren Honora Gathings Pinnick (Jonathan), Dr. Margot Gathings Potter (David), Sean Barber (Stephanie), Katie Barber Jackson (Graham), Lauren Growney, Michael Growney, and two great grandchildren, Stephana and Evalee Pinnick. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the American Cancer Society.
Founded in 1913, the American Cancer Society(ACS) consists of more than two million volunteers and staff collaborating with nearly 18 million cancer survivors, their families and supporting donors united nationwide to conquer cancer. To accomplish its mission, the ACS collaborates with other voluntary health agencies, community-based organizations, business leaders, legislators, and educators at the national and grassroots levels to identify and address nationwide and local cancer issues through education, patient service, research and advocacy programs.