ASHBURN, VA. — Margaret Dragon Krysiak, one of 10 children of parents who immigrated to this country from Austria, grew up on a farm in Albion, NY.
Besides being an excellent student and basketball player on her high school team, she helped harvest fruits and vegetables on the family farm and was known as a champion cherry picker. She was the first woman to be awarded a men’s scholarship to Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, where she received a degree in psychology. Margaret met her future husband, F. Bruce Krysiak, at Cornell. After marriage, she helped lead the Cornell University scholarship program in Western New York and suburban Chicago.
In 1971, she co-founded Vermont Originals, a wool hat company based in East Hardwick, Vermont. She grew and ran the company, whose wool and fleece hats became a mainstay in ski shops and outdoor stores, until her retirement at age 85. In her spare time, she enjoyed spending time with family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Margaret passed away peacefully of natural causes on December 16, 2020, at her home in Ashburn, Virginia.
She is survived by her children, Bruce W. Krysiak of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, Jeffrey A. Krysiak of Ashburn, Virginia, and Jane Krysiak Kirchner of Sterling, Virginia; her grandchildren, Bruce R. Krysiak of Venice California, Ben Krysiak of Ladera Ranch, California, Rob Kirchner of Richmond, Virginia, Bill Kirchner of Reston, Virginia, Dave Krysiak of Glen Mills, Pennsylvania and Andrew Krysiak of Ladera Ranch, California; and her great-grandchildren, Hailey Krysiak, Emmy Krysiak, Bennet Krysiak, Liv Krysiak, Clark Krysiak and Anderson Kirchner.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions in her name to the Cornell University Botanic Gardens Future Forests Initiative, Cornell Botanic Gardens, Attn: Lynn Swain, 40 Cayuga Street, Trumansburg, NY 14886.
A graveside service to celebrate Margaret’s life was held at Mt. Albion Cemetery on Monday, December 21, 2020 at 9 a.m.
Margaret’s arrangements have been entrusted to the Christopher Mitchell Funeral Homes, Inc. Albion, NY.
To share a special memory of Margaret, please visit www.mitchellfamilyfuneralhomes.com.