Margaret Wiltse Rappole, 93, of Alexandria Bay

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Alexandria Bay, NY - Margaret Wiltse Rappole, 93, passed away on Tuesday, September 10 at her home.

Margaret was born at home on Crossman Street in Alexandria Bay, on October 17, 1919. Her parents were Ula Van Dresar, also a Girl of the River, and Clinton Wiltse, a local Bay attorney known as the "Little Giant of the Thousand Islands." He was also known for defending the local "rum runners" during Prohibition. The family home backed onto Hutchinson's Boat Works, where Margaret absorbed the lure of boats and the River, as a young child.

As a teenager Margaret loved to swim, canoe all over the river, and also to dance and play basketball. She would often canoe to the Boldt farm, pull up her canoe, and then walk to the Lake of the Isles to swim. Margaret graduated from Alexandria Bay High School in 1936 and she was an outstanding basketball player. Coach George Brown remarked that Margaret was the most competitive athlete he had ever coached, male or female.

Margaret attended Cazenovia Junior College and Cortland State University. In 1939, Margaret married John Rappole, a standout athlete in football and wrestling at Alexandria Central School as well as the University of Buffalo. They lived in Buffalo, New York and Lansing, Illinois, but returned to Alexandria Bay in 1946 to bring up their three children on the river.

After running the Alex Bay Lumber Company, the Rappoles decided to develop their prime riverfront property across the river from Boldt Castle into a small resort. John, with Margaret's help, single-handedly built the complex, docks and all, with three expansions over the next two decades. The original nine units opened in the summer of 1954, and the Pancake House opened in early spring of 1963. Rappoles' original Riveredge and Pancake House was a popular destination for tourists and Islanders throughout the Thousand Islands for many years. Margaret was the manager extraordinaire for 23 years and she was known by many as the hardest worker in Alexandria Bay.

In 1977 the Rappoles sold the Riveredge to Jim Donegan. Margaret retired but then worked at the Riveredge from 1980-1999, serving as concierge and overseeing her signature beautiful flowers and landscaping by the river into her eighties. John Rappole died in 1980.

Margaret is survived by her three loving children, Clint Rappole (Leigh), Sandy Peck (Ted), and Karen Parker (Jim); her eight grandchildren, Micky, Krissy, Brita, Signy, Teddy, Hickory, Jamie, and Matt; her nine great grandchildren, Talon, Talia, Cole, Austin, Rosaleigh, Jordan! Evan, Brenna, and Bryson; her nieces and nephews, Ula Alton, Lois O'Brien, Milt Wiltse, and George Wiltse, children of her two brothers, Milton and Don; and by her cousin, Sherman Ward (Ann).

The St. Lawrence River will never see the likes of this unique Girl of the River again.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 26 at 2:00 pm at Costello Funeral Home with Father Doug Comstock officiating. A Celebration of Life reception, will be held for Margaret on Saturday, October 26.

Flowers or a contribution to the MacSherry Library, Alexandria Bay, the Riveredge Resort would be appreciated.

All arrangements are with the Costello Funeral Home, Alexandria Bay.
 

 

Saturday, April 19, 2014
, Watertown, NY
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Funeral Homes Listings

Jefferson County:

Bossuot-Lundy Funeral Home, Carthage
315-493-3710

Calarco, D.L. Funeral Home, Watertown
315-782-4910

Costello Funeral Service, Alexandria Bay
315-482-5840

Cummings Funeral Service
Watertown - 315-782-0830
Clayton - 315-686-5101

Frederick Bros Funeral Home, Theresa
315-628-4451

Hart & Bruce Funeral Home, Watertown
315-788-3351

Johnson Funeral Home, Dexter
315-639-6257

Reed & Benoit Funeral Home, Watertown
315-782-6580

Cleveland Funeral Home, Watertown
315-788-6180

Cleveland Funeral Home,,Cape Vincent
315-654-2681

Becker-Cleveland Funeral Home, Chaumont
315-649-2912

Bezanilla-McGraw Funeral Home, Carthage
315-493-2621

Carpenter-Stoodley, Belleville
315-846-5211

T.R. Jetty Funeral Home, Clayton
315-686-2414

Piddock Funeral Home, Adams
315-232-4000

Lewis County

Adirondack Funeral Home, Croghan
315-346-6511

Iseneker Funeral Home, Lowville
315-376-8009

Scanlon Funeral Home, Croghan
315-346-6311

Sundquist Funeral Home, Lowville
315-376-2665

St. Lawrence County

IslandView Funeral Services, Morristown
315-375-8258

Hammill Funeral Home, Winthrop

Buck Funeral Home, Norwood
315-353-2112

Fox-McLellan Funeral Home, Ogdensburg
315-393-4870

French Funeral Home, Gouverneur
315-287-2810

Green Funeral Home, Gouverneur
315-287-1330

Phillips Memorial Home, Massena
315-769-3549

Allen-Nichols Funeral Home, Ogdensburg
315-393-2220

Frary Funeral Home, Ogdensburg
315-393-1414

Lawrence Funeral Home, Canton
315-386-8513

O'Leary Funeral Home, Canton

Allen-Denesha Funeral Home, De Kalb Junction
(315) 347-2122

French Funeral Home Inc., Gouverneur

French Funeral Home Inc., Edwards

French Funeral Home Inc., Star Lake

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