Margaret Fisher Soffin, 75, died peacefully surrounded by her daughters on October 17, 2022 in Switzerland. Margaret was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease earlier this year. A lifelong advocate for bodily autonomy, Margaret chose to end her life on her own terms.
Born in Hyde Park to Irene and Leroy Fisher, Margaret graduated from New Trier High School in 1965 and Michigan State University in 1969. She lived in East Lansing, Michigan until 1999 when she moved back to Chicago.
After teaching in the Lansing Public Schools, working for the Detroit News Lansing Bureau and volunteering to ensure reproductive freedom for women with family planning organizations, Margaret finally pursued her dream of attending law school and graduated from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School in 1988.
She worked as a policy analyst for the Michigan Senate Democratic Caucus in Lansing and then as Director of Policy Administration for the American Bar Association in Chicago.
Margaret had a passion for justice. She worked for Cabrini Green Legal Aid where she spent the rest of her career engaged in record expungements, sealing and clemency petitions.
She also volunteered at the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern law school where she worked with her dedicated colleagues on the successful clemency petition of an Illinois man who spent more than 19 years in prison.
Margaret was a voracious reader and a dedicated patron of her local libraries. She was endlessly curious about people and the world around her and traveled to the two places that intrigued her the most – South Africa and Chernobyl.
She loved all beaches and enjoyed searching for sea glass on the beaches of Chicago’s North Shore and Caribbean islands equally. She loved folk art and folk music, Bob Dylan, and the opera which she listened to every Saturday morning on her local public radio station with her beloved cats by her side.
Margaret is survived by her three daughters, Anne Soffin of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, Catherine (Mark) Smith of Evanston, Illinois, and Emily (Peter) Dove-Medows of Grosse Pointe Park.
She is also survived by her four beloved grandsons, George Smith, Major, Nigel, and Bear Dove-Medows, and her brother Daniel (Mary Michell) Fisher. She is preceded in death by her sister Susan (Steve) Bisgeier. Margaret will be missed by her extended family, neighbors and many friends.
Contributions in Margaret’s memory made to Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly, Chicago Chapter, 355 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60607. A memorial gathering will take place within the coming weeks in Evanston.