Margaret Katherine Drees died on January 12 at her home in Dayton,
Kentucky after a two year battle with cancer. She was 81.
Margaret was born on May 27, 1941 in Cincinnati to Wilma (Vollmer) and
August Kurtz. After the death of her father in 1943, mother Wilma
married John Laughlin of Ludlow, Kentucky.
Margaret was a graduate of Holy Cross High School, University of
Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Chase Law School.
She married Martin J. Drees of Latonia in 1965, with whom she had two
sons. They divorced in 1973.
Initially trained in music, Margaret had a second career in Law.
While raising two children as a single parent, she attended the Salmon
P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, earning a
J.D. in 1986 and passing the Kentucky Bar in 1987. She had a passion
for serving the underprivileged, starting at Legal Aid (before law
school) and continuing to advocate on behalf of families and children
in her private practice.
Margaret had a long and diverse career in Music: as a classical
pianist, musical theater accompanist, church organist, choir director,
and keyboardist in pop/rock bands. She found her true calling when
she fell in love with Bluegrass – performing first on bass before
switching to fiddle, vocals and songwriting.
In 2011 she joined Ma Crow and the Lady Slippers (later Ma Crow &
Company), recording three albums and touring regionally to play shows,
festivals, and radio/TV appearances. She began to write songs for the
first time, focusing on historical subjects of emancipation and social
justice as well as ecology and the splendor of the natural world. In
2015, the MUSE Cincinnati Women’s Choir included Margie’s composition
“Memory of a Mountain” in their program “Valleys Rivers Mountains: Our
Life’s Journey”. She continued to perform after her diagnosis; the
band’s final performance with Margie was in Fall, 2022.
She was also a member in good standing of Big South Fork, whom she
loved and performed with locally for many years. Late in life she
began giving private lessons to younger children, which brought her
great joy. She also loved opera, jazz, and poetry.
She is survived by her brother Mike Laughlin (Judy Arnold Laughlin) of
Union, son Ben Drees (Isa Stamos) of Oakland, CA, son Dan Drees of
Cincinnati, and two grandchildren, Zeb and Eli Drees of Oakland.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, January 21, from 11:00
a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at Middendorf Funeral Home, 3312 Madison Pike,
Fort Wright, KY 41017. A Celebration of Life will follow immediately
from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m at Devou Park Golf & Event Center, 1201
Park Dr., Covington, KY 41011.
Margie loved flowers so they are most welcome and the family
encourages everyone to take some home afterward.
Online condolences can be made at www.middendorf-funeralhome.com