Margareta Barbara Kidwell

October 19, 1928 ~ March 22, 2022 (age 93)


Margareta Barbara Gebauer Scroggins Kidwell, 93, of Fayetteville, NC, passed away March 22, 2022, from suffering a stroke.  She was preceded in death by her first husband, Gene A. Scroggins, and her second husband, Jerry G. Kidwell.  She is survived by her daughters, Barbara Anderson and Stephanie Reed; a granddaughter, Linnea Anderson; and a niece, Evelyn Wilhelmseder of Vienna, Austria, and her daughters, Lisa and Kyra.

A Celebration of Life will be held 2-4pm, October 19 (her birthday) at Jernigan-Warren  Funeral Home.  The family requests that, instead of flowers, donations be made to the Sandhills Chapter of the Red Cross; 807 Carol St, Fayetteville, NC 28303; Phone: (910) 867-8151  or

Margareta lived an adventurous life until the end.  No challenge, hardship, or physical limitation could keep her from making the most of every moment of her life.  She would not accept any shortcomings from those around her either – she was always one to encourage others to make the best of any situation and often would say, “it was meant to be”, whether a good or bad event occurred.  She was also known to say, “put a smile on – you will start to feel better.”

Margareta was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1928, and lived through WWII engulfed by  Hitler’s dictatorship and then terrorized by Russian occupation of her sector of Vienna for a period after WWII.  After which, she and her sister, Johanna Wilhelmseder, would work for the American occupying forces.  She became a telephone operator for the Army and this is when she met and married Gene Scroggins, a soldier in the US Army Signal Corps.  This began her adventure as a WWII bride on a transport ship with all the other WWII brides heading for the United States.  Gene was stationed in Ft Bragg NC; but somehow sent his bride to Ft Bragg, Northern California instead.  Not to worry though, Gene’s family were migrant farmers in southern California picking cotton at the time.  So, Margareta (always ready for an adventure) lived in a tent with Gene’s family picking cotton until money could be saved for her to join Gene in Fayetteville, NC.  Margareta went from frequenting the Viennese opera before WWII, to being indoctrinated into the Youth group under Hitler  during WWII, to hiding from the Russian soldiers in bombed-out buildings after WWII, to working for the Army in Vienna after the Russian occupation, to the cotton fields of  California, and lastly to the Army town of Fayetteville, NC. 

Margareta grew to love Fayetteville, NC, and all it had to offer as the years passed.  She was the first telephone operator receptionist at Cape Fear Valley Hospital when it opened in 1956.  She then became a telephone operator at Ft Bragg and worked there until she retired.  During this time (in her free time), she became involved with the Ft Bragg Playhouse and the “Fayetteville Little Theater” (predecessor to the Cape Fear Regional Theater) – in the box office, as House Manager, and at times on stage.  After retirement, she became a travel agent specializing in cruise vacations and would volunteer for Rape Crisis and the Red Cross Disaster Support Team.  After the travel agent business, she would work for Staff One and travel where needed to provide support during college move-ins or provide security services during concerts at the Crown Complex or other venue as needed.  Margareta only slowed down a bit when her diminishing vision kept her from driving (about 2015).  Margareta was very proud to have received recognition from President Obama for her dedication to  volunteer work.

Margareta was a frequent traveler during her life – especially with her second husband,  Jerry Kidwell, former Golden Knight (The Army Parachute Team’s parachute & skydiving show team).  They would travel the globe together until his death.  Margareta was always seeking ways to help those around her; she was a life-long learner and became proficient in researching any topic to know more about the world around her.  She also was a meticulous organizer of home and activities, searching for excellence in all she did.  Margareta is sorely missed by her family and friends who would like to hear her voice one more time offering advice and words of comfort.

Arrangements by Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home, 545 Ramsey St. Fayetteville, N.C. 28301

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Celebration of Life
October 19, 2022

2:00 PM
Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home
545 Ramsey Street
Fayetteville, NC 28301
Guaranteed delivery before the Celebration of Life begins

Visitation Following Service

Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home
545 Ramsey Street
Fayetteville, NC 28301

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