Borgo, Margot Blue died peacefully with her son at her side on September 16, 2020 at her assisted living residence at Traditions of Wayland. She was born May 1, 1925, in St Louis MO to Luther Avon Blue and Margaret Blue (nee Scott). She was a resident of Wellesley since 1972.
Margot attended the Rossman School and John Burroughs School (’42), both in St Louis. She moved to New York City after graduating high school where she graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She was multitalented, a very good singer, opera and contemporary, sometimes accompanying herself on guitar. Margot also acted and did summer stock, appearing at Tanglewood.
In 1952, Margot met her future Italian husband Ludovico in the Colosseum in Rome. After they married, Ludovico began working in her family’s real estate business in St Louis, but went on to became an art historian, specialising in the late Florentine Renaissance. This led to the family living many years in Florence, Italy. She learned Italian fluently. The family moved around a bit in the US as the job took her husband to various universities, before he became a professor at Brandeis University in Waltham and the family finally settled in Wellesley. Margot taught drama at the prestigious Mary Institute in St Louis and later at Walnut Hill School in Natick. She edited many of her husband’s articles, gaining a co-authorship on at least one. She worked at Teledyne Philbrick for a few years, helping her sons go to those good schools. Thrifty, and living on a professor’s salary, she redecorated many parts of her house herself.
A devoted wife and mother, Margot exhaustively nursed her husband through his cancer until he passed at the early age of 59. For years she also took the best care she could of her first-born son Damon through his bipolarism until he too passed at an early age. She herself survived breast cancer in her later midlife. She also spent 20 years with spasmodic dysphonia, which affects the larynx: often she couldn’t be heard when trying to speak. This was cured by Botox in 1990. It seemed like a miracle. She liked to say she had broken every bone in her body, some more than once. When in her 80’s her dominant left arm no longer functioned because of various accidents and other vagaries, she learned to write and draw with her right. In her later years, she had many falls, one time breaking her neck and collar bone. But, as usual, she just got right up again, this time to have knee replacement surgery at the age of 92. She only stopped driving finally at that time also, when she reluctantly entered assisted living.
After her husband died, Margot focused more again on her artistic talents. She became an accomplished portrait artist, particularly in pastels. She won various prizes for her portraits, including several 1st places. She was a voracious reader, probably read the entire Wellesley library, and War and Peace several times. She wrote several novels, but these didn’t fair with the same success of her other artistic endeavours which she fretted a bit over. Margot loved to figure skate and was a mainstay of the Babson skating rink for decades. She went swimming in the cold Maine waters. She loved sailing and had great sea legs: once, coming back on a small ferry to Naples, Italy from Panarea island, the weather was so terrible, most of the crew got sick as well as practically all the passengers, Margot however had a wonderful time. And she travelled, and always wanted more. At the age of 93, she went with her son and daughter-in-law on a trip to the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, and took a helicopter ride over the Canyon. When she got home, she already wanted to know when the next trip was.
Forever a champion of women’s rights and capabilities, she nevertheless always kept her age a secret. She once told the EMT personnel who came to help after a fall in her late 80s to mind their own business when they asked her her age. This is remembered with a hearty laugh by her neighbours who were there. They also remember her drinking Jägermeister shots from an ice sculpture at one of their parties. She could be a character and had a sharp wit for which she became well known at her assisted living residence.
Friends have been weighing in with their thoughts. One says, her life was not always easy or joyful, but she loved it and cherished it to the max. And someone else reflects that, “I loved and admired her indomitable spirit and her enormous appetite for life, ideas, creativity, and her numerous artistic and personal passions. She had so much to share and so many stories to tell! And she always kept me “honest.” I believe she always will”.
Margot had a full and varied life and had friends and admirers everywhere. She is survived by her son Louis (Gino) Borgo, daughter in law, Birgit, and grandchild Linnea (Linus) Borgo. She was predeceased by her husband, Ludovico Borgo and her first born son, Damon Borgo. She was also predeceased by her sister Joan von Bucher and her brother William Blue. She is survived by many nieces and nephews, in particular Sybil Holland and her daughter Frances Lloyd, who loved her dearly and provided her with years of support. She is also survived by her beloved cousin, Scottie Skinner, and his children, Katherine and Charles, and their children.
The family would also like to extend a special thanks to the many professionals who ensured her comfort round the clock: Traditions of Wayland, Every Step Home Care Inc., and Continuum Hospice and Palliative Care
A memorial service will be held when the pandemic has dissipated, it is hoped in the spring.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making contribution to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston or any environmental cause.