Desert Tale

Number 1, Volume 4

In Memoriam
Margaret Barrie Lindsay Zyrmont-Pawlowski

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Margaret Barrie Lindsay Zyrmont–Pawlowski


Born in Dundee, Scotland, on December 29, 1920, and died on February 24, 2016, at age 95, in Dundee, Scotland.

She left Scotland after WW2, when her first husband, Sgt. Edward Zyrmont, was killed in action at the Battle of the Falaise Gap, France, in August 1944. They had a daughter, Alicja Maria Zyrmont – Sullivan, who is a writer.

Margaret later married Alexander Pawlowski, who served in the Royal Air Force, and they left for Buenos Aires in 1947, where she worked as an English teacher. They had a son, Michael A. Lindsay Pawlowski. Her second husband, an airline executive with Pan American World Airways, on foreign assignments, took her to live in Florida, USA, Germany, Russia, Poland, where she studied German, Polish and Russian languages. Thirty years later they divorced, and she joined the United States Peace Corps as an English professor, being one of the first teachers to serve under the Communist regime in Poland while assisting in the country’s economic development.

Upon returning to The Woodlands, Texas, she continued teaching languages, and volunteered at the Friendship Center. In June 2008, she moved to West Palm Beach, Florida, but decided against retirement, and at the age of 83 worked as a secretary for the YWCA, helping abused women. When she discovered she had Parkinson’s, she moved to Arizona to be near her daughter where she bravely battled the disease for many years. Wanting to see her family in Dundee she moved back to Scotland and into Bridgeview Nursing Home.

She is survived by her son, Dr. Michael Pawlowski, a physician in Texas, and her two granddaughters, Alexa and Caitlin; and also by her daughter Alinka Zyrmont Sullivan, and nephews and nieces in Dundee. Funeral services were held at Dundee Crematorium and her ashes were scattered near the sea in Broughty Ferry next to her family.


I will see you in the rainbows and remember your flaming red hair and blue eyes, and the colourful life you led.

I will see you in the smiles of your lovely granddaughters.

I will hear you in the words I read in books, and remember your teaching me to read when I was four: “A is for apple and Alinka.”

I will hear you in the musical notes you played on the piano while I sang: ‘Alice Blue Gown.’

I will think of your Scottish tenacity which helped form my character to make me what I am today: a writer.

I will remember your good advice, and look nostalgically at the photos and Christmas cards you kept and could not bear to discard; and the photos you saved from my Dad during the war, knowing that one day they would be the only way I would have of knowing him.

I will keep the cards with your weak and crooked handwriting you sent me for my birthdays from overseas.

I will cherish all your favourite books, paintings and jewelry.

I have kept a lock of your once brown, then red, now grey hair in the locket Granny gave you.

I will forget about all the silly disagreements we had, and remember only the good times we shared.

I will scatter your ashes at the foot of my father’s cross, and cry for both of you.

But most of all, I will miss your love.

You are now in eternal sleep, without suffering, in perfect peace.

Separated all these long years, you are both finally together, in red roses and purple heather.

Because life – not death – had been your foe.

Now released – to your love in heaven you go!

Alinka Zyrmont