Margaret Elisabeth 'Maggie' Weston

Apr 4, 1982 - Jul 24, 2014


Margaret Elisabeth Weston passed away unexpectedly in her sleep on 24 July, 2014. Maggie was born on April 4, 1982 in Washington, DC. She was educated in public schools and graduated from high school in Kalamazoo, MI. After high school, she completed undergraduate studies with a BA in English at the University of Michigan. Following graduation, she joined Teach for America where she was assigned to teach high school English in Baltimore, for two years. While working, she completed her Masters of Arts degree in Teaching at Johns Hopkins University, specializing in secondary education (English). She returned to U of M for graduate school at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. She completed her Master of Public Policy degree and then joined the Public Policy Institute of California,, where she was a research fellow.   Always the achiever, she was nearing the completion of a PhD in school organization and education policy at the University of California, Davis at the time of her death.

She lived her life fully, playing high school varsity volleyball in Kalamazoo, coaching volleyball in Baltimore, and ran in 5K’s and half-marathons. She loved her Wolverines and was a fully engaged alumna. She traveled worldwide whenever opportunity arose.

She leaves behind her heart-broken parents, Lawrence and Kathryn of Simpsonville, SC; sister Melanie and brother-in-law Charles Van Anda of Knoxville, TN; grandmother Beverly Weston of Kearney, NE and grandparents John and Marilyn Kostin of Kalamazoo, MI; as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and colleagues all across the country.

A Memorial Service will be held in her beloved Sacramento, CA at 2:00 pm on Thursday, July 31, 2014 at East Lawn Memorial Park, 4300 Folsom Blvd. Please visit

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorials could be directed to the Maggie Weston Scholarship Fund, Capitol Collegiate Academy, 2118 Meadowview Rd., Sacramento CA 95832 where she served on the board as Treasurer for this charter school. Please visit


  • Judy Simmons says:

    I’m am so heartbroken over the loss of such a wonderful young woman who gave so much and had so much more to give. It is a loss to so many who were touched by her kindness. My deepest sympathies are with you

  • Bill Fischel says:

    I had read several of Maggie’s papers on California education and found them informative, insightful, and sympathetic to the needs of students. I learned afterward that she had been a friend of my son’s at the Ford School as well as a coauthor with friends at PPIC. This great loss to her family and friends is multiplied by the loss to policy scholars everywhere. May her memory continue to inspire us.

  • Kimber Walters, ATI Staff says:

    We are so sorry for your heartbreak. We are thinking of you all during this time of pain. God Bless you and your family. Kimber Walters and ATI staff

  • Cathy Bell says:

    Larry and family- Im so sorry. Our thoughts and prayers are with you daily. We are all thinking of you here in Greenville.

  • Ben and Tricia Craddock says:

    Tricia and I were very saddened to hear of Maggie’s passing. We want you to know that you have been in our prayers consistently the last couple of weeks. May your memories of her give you comfort. We wish you and your family strength and peace.

  • Nancy Nevelle says:

    You have my heartfelt sympathy. She was certainly a treasure. Prayers. Nancy Nevelle

  • Karleen Vollherbst & Patrick Moffett says:

    The first time Maggie and I ever spent time together it wasn’t a get to know you coffee or lunch, it was a full day excursion visiting a winery, a brewery, apple orchards, and pumpkin patches. Our conversation and laughs came so naturally we lost all track of time. I had just moved to Sacramento and didn’t know many people. When I got home I was so excited I called Pat, who was in Maryland at the time, and told him “I think I found a friend today.” From that day forward Pat and I both found a great friend in Maggie. That friendship quickly grew into a group of friends all living far from our families but in a place that, together, we could call home. We will miss Maggie dearly. Our love and thoughts are with you.

  • Liz and Matt Carr says:

    We are so saddened by Maggie’s passing. We remember her energy and her brilliant questioning brain as one of our youth group kids at Kalamazoo First and as a camper at Lake Louise. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  • Nancy Roush says:

    Gale and I send you our sincere sympathy and love at this most difficult time. God bless you all.

  • Harriet Kiemle says:

    Kate and Family, Please know that I am praying for you in the loss of your loved one. I do wish I had known her.

  • Laura Turner says:

    I was one of Maggie’s Teach for America colleagues. We worked at different schools, but had our classes together at Johns Hopkins and lived near each other. I will always remember her warm encouragement on my worst days, and how her sense of humor helped me appreciate both the hard times and the good ones. Our paths diverged after we left Baltimore, but I admired her dedication to educational equity and always hoped our paths would cross again. IShe will be missed.

  • Marialena Rivera says:

    I had the privilege of working with Maggie last summer as a PPIC research intern. Maggie was an encouraging and dedicated supervisor, and I was deeply saddened to learn about her passing. Maggie was a positive role model for me, and I looked up to her and all she had accomplished. My thoughts and prayers are with Maggie’s family.

  • Shane and Amy Perry says:

    Dr. Weston and Kate, we are so very sorry about the loss of your precious Maggie. She was a beautiful person inside and out. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during the tragic time.

  • Jack & Vickie Branch says:

    Kate, Larry and Mel, our hearts are breaking for you and your family. We knew Maggie as the quick witted, oyster eating, Folly Beach girl when she came into town. Maggie will always be in our hearts and minds. We are praying for you and just want you know how much your whole family means to us. We were so fortunate to have known Maggie. Love, Jack & Vickie

  • Chauncey Autry and Crystal Branch says:

    May the love and support of family and friends guide you through this most terrible time. We are thinking of you and sending prayers. We love you!

  • Kim and Greg Holt says:

    Kate and Larry, We’re so sorry to hear the news of your sweet Maggie’s passing. What an amazing person the world has lost. Sending prayers to you and your family.

  • Wendell and Meg Pedersen says:

    Dear Larry, Kate, Melanie, and Charles, We don’t possess the words to adequately express the sorrow felt when news of Maggie’s passing reached us.

  • Joe Hayes says:

    Please accept our sincere condolences. Maggie was a truly inspirational person and a delight to know and to work with. She will be dearly missed.

  • Stephanie Zamorano says:

    Maggie was such an intelligent and inspirational person, always lighting up the room with her joyful presence. She was a wonderful mentor and friend, and I will miss her more than words can say. My sincerest sympathies are with your family on this day.

  • Sivan Oyserman & Michael Friedman says:

    Our hearts go out to Maggie’s family. When we first moved to Sacramento we meet Maggie through the UMich Alumni association. She was so friendly and welcoming. We enjoyed working with her to get more young alumni involved in the club and hosting events together. Although we moved out of town a few years ago we stayed in touch and will always keep Maggie close to our hearts.

  • Gene Davis says:

    Louisa and I extend our heartfelt and deepest condolences to you, Kate and your entire family.

  • Dale and Wendy Wortham says:

    With love and sincere sympathy.

  • Larry and Kathleen Welch says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Maggie was such a energetic, enthusiastic person. She enriched those around her.

  • Pat and Richard Kostin says:

    Dear Kate & Larry, Even though we aren’t there our family extends our prayers and condolences to all members of your immediate and extended family.

  • Casey Slagerman says:

    What an outstanding and accomplished young woman. A true loss to communities around the country. Maggie, your 17th St neighbors and friends miss you very much. Our warmest condolences to you and everyone whose lives you touched.

  • Brenda Safrit says:

    What a wonderful young lady Maggie must have been. The Weston family is remembered in prayers for comfort, strength, and peace as you mourn her loss and celebrate her life!

  • Emma Kredensor says:

    Dead Kate & Larry, Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your beautiful & talented daughter.You are all in my prayers. LIPEO Emma Kredensor

  • Helen Kerr says:

    Sorry to hear the news. It has to be the hardest thing to go thru as a parent. All my love goes to the Weston’s. Sincerely Helen

  • Randi Kay Stephens says:

    My heartfelt condolences to Maggie’s family and friends. What an incredible loss for the education community as she was such a brain trust and thoughtful researcher. I’m grateful to have had the chance to briefly work with Maggie.

  • Sheila Pressley says:

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. You must be so proud of the young woman that Maggie became. We will be praying for you all in the days, months, years ahead. John 16:33 “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

  • Jan frazier says:

    So sorry to hear such sad news. I am keeping both of you in my thoughts and prayers. I didn’t know Maggie but her parents are special. LIPEO Jan Frazier

  • Tara (Pio) Arno says:

    So very sorry for your loss. Maggie was one of my closest friends during our junior and senior years at KAMSC and I still remember working together on a number of projects. She was always so much fun to be around and made my high school years that much better. I’m sure that everyone who knew her will be as saddened by her loss as I am. Thinking of you all during this difficult time.

  • Adrienne Holloway Hughes says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with your family. I knew Maggie from our KAMSC days in Kalamazoo and am grateful for the many lives she touched including my own. God bless.

  • Preston Segars says:

    Dear Dr. And Mrs. Weston, So sorry for your loss. You will be in our thoughts and prayers always.

  • Jeanne DeWeese says:

    Kate, My heart. aches for you and your family. Please know you are are in my prayers. LIPEO, Jeanne

  • Chris Gibbs says:

    So sorry for your great loss of a wonderful daughter and human being. Your sisters grieve with you and pray that God will comfort your heart as only He can.

  • Harriet Aaron says:

    My prayers are with you in this terrible loss.

  • Mary Severance says:

    Maggie was a great colleague — productive, constructive, responsive. She had a remarkable energy and a great sense of humor. And, of course, she was incredibly intelligent. It was a real pleasure to work with her and to know her.

  • Rick Watkins says:

    We are so sorry for your loss. Maggie was a special person and touched many people. We will keep your family in our thoughts and prayers. Rick and Harriet

  • Helen and Kevin Landmesser says:

    Kate, Larry, Melanie and family, We are so sorry for your sudden loss of Maggie. We will be praying for comfort for you all. What beautiful tributes her friends have written. She truly impacted the world for good in her life and touched so many others. Thinking of you in these difficult days.

  • Mary Reid says:

    I knew Maggie as her staff advisor in the PhD program. But I can’t say I knew her well. She knew what she was doing and didn’t need to stop in and ask questions often. Maggie had things well covered ๐Ÿ™‚ I am certain though that the world has lost a great education advocate and a most wonderful person.

  • joanne m tornatore-pili says:

    Met your daughter briefly@ an educ event, I was struck by her wisdom beyond her years and the vital mission she saw she had to pursue. As a parent, I feel your pain & send my support to you in this difficult time. And to her colleagues & former students carry on her mission. Remember no peace no justice. Blessed we all were for knowing her.

  • Chuck Dalldorf says:

    Thank you Maggie for all of your contributions in your educational policy work. You have greatly contributed to the California State Legislature and the People of the State of California and we will always be in your debt.

  • The Manfredi Family says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you always.

  • Amber (Dibert-DeYoung) Thomas says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Maggie’s family and close friends. I have many fond memories with Maggie from our high school days, at church mission trips and camp. She was a great friend, who I had loss contact with since college. To read the way she touched so many people across the country in more recent years is amazing, and she will be dearly missed by all who knew her.

  • Rob Hull says:

    In a time when so many people waste their lives and minimize their impact in our society, Maggie maximized hers. She was always achieving. She was always making an impact on those around her and her community. Hers was a life cut short but a life well-lived.

  • Laura Hill says:

    Maggie was such a tremendous colleague and friend. Working with her was a joy — she was so creative and such a clear thinker. And funny! A rare and wonderful combination. I feel so fortunate to have been able to collaborate with her on few of her many many projects, and feel even more fortunate for her friendship. I will miss her deeply and am so sorry for your loss.

  • Caroline Giguere says:

    Dr.Weston and family, I am deeply sorry for your loss. All of us here in Greenville are thinking and praying for you and your family during this sad time. Take care and God bless.

  • Donita O'Hearn says:

    Dr. Weston and Family, We were all shocked when we heard that your daughter died un-expectedly. She sounds like she was a wonderful person. My prays are with you. Donita O’Hearn

  • Ray Reinhard says:

    I had the great pleasure and privilege of working closely with Maggie when she joined PPIC. I have no words to express the sense of loss I feel at her passing. Maggie was more than an accomplished colleague — she was a friend and a good, caring, kind person. I always enjoyed the time I spent with her and will miss her greatly. I offer my deepest condolences to her family in this time of sorrow.

  • Becky Cox says:

    Maggie left such a mark on all of us who knew her. Funny, driven, and smart – she could always make me laugh. I feel lucky to have known her and to have had such fun times with her. A very special person who’s been an example for us all, someone to look up to as a friend. I’m so sorry for her passing. Thank you for making such a wonderful person.

  • Cristin Fiorelli says:

    My deepest sympathy to your family. Maggie’s work as a founding Board member at Capitol Collegiate will impact thousands of young scholars in Sacramento for decades to come. She will be greatly missed by our school community.

  • Kristine Calvo says:

    I met Maggie in the first year of our PhD program, she was always so full of purpose, focus, and energy that there could be no doubt she would do great things for education. I am deeply saddened that one so intensely full of life and purpose has left so suddenly and so soon. It was my privilege to have known her if only briefly.

  • Hope Salzer says:

    I never met Maggie in person but spoke with her by phone over the past few years (and watched her present on webcasts). Her research, publications and extraordinary writing ability (thank you, liberal arts college English majors!) helped me immensely as a CA public education advocate, volunteering for the grassroots organization, Educate Our State ( I’ll never forget when I first spoke to Maggie live over the phone– I was so awestruck, I told her “Wow! I feel like I’m talking to a celebrity– you’re like Brad Pitt or Harrison Ford to me, I worship you!” (she just laughed and was very generous with her time answering my questions and helping direct me to additional resources to hone my understanding of CA public education funding, funding distribution, and policy. The CA public education community will feel her loss tremendously but those of us carrying on after her attempt to solidify her legacy of clarity, transparency and promoting broad understanding.

  • Roland and Denise McDonald says:

    Our sympathies on the loss of your young and vibrant daughter. Our thoughts and Prayers go out to your family for the loss of our cousin.

  • Jo Ann & Mark Reilly says:

    We can only hope that the love and support you gave to Maggie during her incredibly full and giving life is mirrored by the love and support we offer to you. As we pray for your family we hope that your memories of Maggie provide comfort and serve as a source of admiration for all her accomplishments and of continuing strength for you. Please accept our deepest condolences.

  • Casey Becker says:

    Maggie has been one of my closest girlfriends here in Sacramento over the last five years. We initially met through the UM alumni club and became fast friends through a mutual love of college sports and exploring the Sacramento grid. She played a crucial role in making my transition and life here a happier one as a thoughtful and fun-loving friend. We shared countless memories in everyday life as good friends do and created some lovely traditions such as walks in the park, happy hours, group dinners, restaurant discoveries, girls nights, wine country trips, and game watching. With our shared friend, Karleen, we created a circle of closeness that we often referred to as an unstoppable trio/triple play. Her colorful presence will be dearly missed as she made a huge impact on my heart as a loving friend. I feel very fortunate that our paths crossed and a unique friendship flourished so naturally. My deepest sympathies to her family and friends for this devastating loss.

  • Addie Ellis says:

    My sincerest condolences to your family. Maggie’s passion and care for equity, especially when it came to children was admirable. She will be deeply missed.

  • John and LaVonne Paeadersen says:

    You have our deepest sympathy. May memories comfort you and bring you peace. We are thinking of you all. Love

  • Darcy K says: I did not have the privilege of knowing Margaret, but as a follower of her work at PPIC please know she touched many lives and had influence in the education arena. Thoughts and prayers to her friends and family.

  • Jessica Bruce says:

    I am deeply sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with your family during this difficult time.

  • Glen & Jan Funkey says:

    Our hearts are heavy with the news of your unconscionable loss of Maggie. There is nothing we can say that makes it less painful. Please know we are thinking of you with love and sympathy, praying for comfort and grace at this time. Love

  • Rhonda Hardgrave says:

    So sorry for your loss. May you find peace through precious memories.

  • Glenice and Peter Efroymson says:

    Larry, Kate, Melanie and Charles, We am so sorry for your loss. There are no words that can take away this hurt you are going through or make sense of why things like this happen. Just know that you have family and friends that are here to support you. Sending you love, thoughts and prayers. Love, Glenice and Peter

  • Amanda Stevens says:

    I met Maggie through Corinne G., when Maggie first moved to Sacramento. Her enthusiasm for her work was catching. And I loved catching up with her over all too infrequent lunches. She was so thoughtful when I lost my brother two years ago. My heart is breaking for her family. May she rest in peace.

  • Nicolas Schweizer says:

    My colleges and I at the Ca Dept of Finance worked with Maggie in the years leading up to and through the development and implementation of the recent school finance reform in California. She was an invaluable asset to all of us working on education finance in the state and we will miss her greatly. My condolances to her family and freinds.

  • Lauree R Lenz says:

    Kate, Larry and all the family. My heart goes out to you all. You have been blessed with so many wonderful memories, I just hope they can begin to fill the void Maggie has left behind. Take care and God Bless you all. Love Always, Lauree

  • Belen Chavez says:

    My sincerest condolences to the Weston family. I got the chance to meet Maggie while working at PPIC, where I got to see her occasionally and see what a wonderfully vibrant person she was. Her charisma will never be forgotten in my mind. May she rest in peace.

  • Katherine Welch says:

    The world has lost a bright light. Maggie’s curiosity, energy and passion for great public schools, for kids, and for life was extinguished much much too early. I am so sorry for this tragic and unjust loss for her family and her future. Words do not seem enough. I feel fortunate I had the opportunity to know her if only for a brief time.

  • JT Taylor and Steven LaFrance on behalf of our colleagues at LFA says:

    We are shocked and saddened to hear of your devastating loss. In our work with PPIC, Maggie stood out for her passion, dedication, and extreme intelligence. Her contributions to the field were enormous, and she had so much more to give. We are heartbroken for the family, friends and colleagues she has left behind. Please accept our heartfelt condolences.

  • Dennis Cima says:

    Maggie was a true spirit and a friend and resource to all who knew her. What a great advocate for public schools in California! She will be missed by many…

  • Natassia Rodriguez says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Maggie. She was, and alwasy will be in our memories, an amazing woman. So bright with an even brighter future, making a difference in the lives of many from behind the curtains and at the front lines, I was grateful to have known her. I worked at PPIC last summer and, though she was not my official mentor, the smiles she brought to the office and advice she was willing to give me on the busiest of days will not be forgotten. So sorry that she left this world so soon.

  • Laura Pitman says:

    So sorry to hear about your terrible loss. You and your family will be in our thoughts and our prayers.

  • Faye Paxton says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Praying for you and your family.

  • David Chang says:

    My deepest condolences to her family. I had the pleasure of working with Maggie for a year as her Greek Life counterpart during her undergraduate studies at Michigan. She was tough as nails and never took no for an answer. We had our battles, but our mutual respect of each other resulted in us becoming great friends – for that, I am forever grateful. I know she is looking down at us with a big smile on her face. May she rest in peace.

  • Andy & Heather Winburn says:

    You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers during this incredibly tough time. We are so sorry for your loss.

  • Catherine Burgess-Cummings says:

    Heartbreakings, so sorry for your loss, my prayers and thoughts are with you & your family during this very difficult time. Sadly, Catherine

  • Gunnar & Kipra Anderson says:

    Larry- Although I did not know Maggie personally, it feels as if I did because all of the wonderful things I have heard over the years from you. My deepest sympathies to you and your entire family. My prayer is that you are able to grieve and remember all the good that she was and did.

  • Phyllis Marchessault says:

    So sorry for your loss. Wishing your family peace.

  • Cynthia Zimmerman says:

    I am so deeply sorry for your loss. My prayers and thoughts are with you and the family. God Bless.

  • Mary Stori says:

    Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. May you be comforted by the outpouring of love for Maggie and with thoughts of peace and courage for you.

  • John and Emily Merrell says:

    We are so incredibly sorry for your loss. Will be keeping your family in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Mary Briggs says:

    Maggie was a classmate in my PhD program. While her work was highly regarded (used, in fact, as readings in our school finance seminar), I think it was chatting with her about running in between breaks that was the bridge between Maggie the Scholar and Maggie the Friend. I also had the privilege of watching Maggie testify before the legislature about school finance. For such a tragically short life, she contributed so much. I am so very sorry for your loss.

  • Rebecca Ambrose says:

    I am deeply saddened by this news. Maggie was such a talented student. I feel fortunate to have gotten to know her and will always appreciate her humility, insight and good cheer. We will miss her!

  • Don and Vicki Rubenstein says:

    Larry and Kate, As your partner and friend for more than 12 years, Vicki and I were heartbroken to hear about the loss of your precious daughter Maggie. I cannot imagine the sadness that you and your family now feel. We are here for you, love and support. We will make sure Maggieรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs name and life are remembered for the tremendous good that she brought into this world.

  • Brooke Bohnet says:

    Maggie and I taught together in Baltimore and shared a room at Fordham University in the Bronx in the summer of 2004 during TFA summer institute. She dealt with the ups and downs of teaching from the first summer and stayed passionate to the mission of educating our kids. This is a very big loss. My thoughts are with her family and friends.

  • Susan Perham says:

    My deepest condolences are with your family at this time of overwhelming heart break. May God hold you close. You have my prayers.

  • Cassie Hart says:

    I was lucky to have Maggie in the very first class I taught at UC Davis. She was a truly outstanding student and a wonderful person and she will be deeply missed at the university. I am so terribly sorry for your loss.

  • Nicole Fernandes says:

    I had the pleasure of getting to know Maggie at UM’s Ford School. She was a wonderful soul, whose humor, intelligence, and kindness I fondly recall. I send healing thoughts and prayers. May your family find peace during this difficult time.

  • Elizabeth couture says:

    I knew Maggie in undergrad at the university of Michigan. She was the sweetest and smartest girl. She grew into a beautiful woman who’s loss will be felt deeply in her community. My deepest sympathies to her loved ones.

  • Michal Kurlaender says:

    I was fortunate to get to teach Maggie at UC Davis, where she was not only a star student in our PhD program, but also a generous spirit with all her colleagues. My deepest condolences to her family, and to all who knew her; what a tragic loss of such a special woman.

  • Leonor Ehling says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Maggie’s passing. Maggie’s work was very important; it made a big impact here. To her family, friends and colleagues: my sincerest condolences for this tragic loss.

  • Pat and ralph bush says:

    Thinking of you. Our prayers with you and your family. So sorry for your loss of such a wonderful person. I will always remember the thank you note she wrote to me for doing her taxes. Love from a fellow quilter Pat and Ralph

  • Valerie McGaughey says:

    We are sending you all of our love and hugs. Skip and Val

  • Linda Cantell says:

    The grief you must be feeling makes me unsure of what to say…in a time like this there are no words. If it helps in anyway to know that I’m thinking of you and my heart is broken in tiny pieces for you and your family….know that much is true. I’m so sorry the loss of your Maggie.

  • Penny Schwinn says:

    Maggie was an incredible friend and champion of children. She was a Founding Board Member at Capitol Collegiate and a fearless leader on behalf of closing the achievement gap for children. We will miss her terribly and send our prayers and deepest condolences. She has been my friend for ten years and I will miss her dearly.

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