The most beloved wife and life-long companion, Margaret Ruth (Burt) Kohut, unexpectedly passed away into eternity early Saturday morning, Dec. 7, 2013.
At the young age of 59, this untimely loss occurred during her personal rebirth as a wife, student and successful freelance author-writer.
Pearl, to her husband and “Peg” to her two sisters, was born on April 10, 1954, in Tulsa, Okla., to Mary Joyce (“Nan”) and Richard Burt. She grew up there and in nearby Cleveland, Okla. She received baccalaureate degrees in criminal justice and English and her master’s degree in social work.
Margaret’s unique job history includes being a courtroom bailiff, a fugitive recovery agent (“bounty hunter”), and she spent a year in the private practice of clinical social work specializing in adoption studies, pre-sentence investigations, probation and parole intervention, family therapy, and therapy with troubled juveniles. Margaret has a strong educational and vocational history in forensic counseling and addiction therapy.
Margaret served in the U.S. Air Force for 17 years as a highly decorated commissioned officer and clinical social worker providing psychotherapy services for active duty members, family members, and retirees.
She is a prolific writer, having penned many award-winning publications for the Air Force on mental health issues, domestic violence, workplace violence, chemical dependency, trauma therapy and adolescent acting-out behavior. Margaret initiated one of the first Animal Assisted Therapy programs in the Air Force at Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Her program received a commendation from the Joint Commis-sion on Accreditation of Health Care Organization, as well as, recognition in the military newspaper, Stars and Stripes.
Margaret met Tristan Kohut in Caribou, Maine, and they became husband and wife on March 14, 1992.
After having enjoyed her three and a half-year assignment at Malmstrom AFB, Great Falls, 1994-1998, she and her husband decided to spend the rest of their lives here in Anaconda in 2006. When she returned to civilian life, Margaret co-authored an academic textbook on sexual serial killers. She had been extensively published in the Canadian Journal of Adlerian Psychology and other academic publications. Margaret founded Rocky Mountain Way Freelance Writing in February 2006, after more than 20 of non-commercial writing. Margaret was selected for the 2007-2008 Cambridge Registry Honors Edition of Outstanding Business and Professional Women. She is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including the 2008 National Book Award, and Silver and Bronze Medal Awards from the Independent Publishers contest in 2008, for her book on school bullying. Her follow-up book on workplace bullying was also a multiple award winner. Her third book was written for inmates on how to survive in prison. In 2009, Margaret was selected for lifetime inclusion in the Cambridge Who’s Who Registry. Additionally, she was named Woman of the Year: 2013 by the National Society of Professional Women for her significant publishing achievements. It is sad that Margaret’s blooming career, which recently includes contracts for two new books, has been cut short.
Always in search of knowledge and education, Margaret enrolled at Walden University to pursue a Master of Science in criminal justice. She was very excited after the first week of online classes.
Her professional life never overshadowed her dedication to family and community. Pearl was initiated into the Order of the Eastern Star in Oklahoma in 1985. After about a 20-year lapse, she affiliated with Eureka Chapter No. 33 in Anaconda. Margaret loved the Order and served for two terms as Worthy Matron, side-by-side with her husband, Tristan who was Worthy Patron. Recently, she served as the officer, Princess Tirzah, in Tirzah Chapter, Daughters of the Nile, the women’s affiliate of Shrine, Int’l (aka The Shriners), which raises money for the Shriner’s Hospitals throughout the United States.
Pearl loved her family dearly. She and her husband, not having human children, dedicated their lives raising their dachshunds and African Grey parrots. Margaret worked hard to share the love of her dachshunds (several of which are International Canine Good Citizens) with others by having them visit the Masonic Nursing Home in Helena.
Margaret will continue to be loved and remembered by her husband, Tristan; sisters, Lynna Ausburn and brother-in-law, Floyd Ausburn of Cleveland, Okla. and Mary Ella Hollway of Desert Island, Maine, as well as all the nieces, nephews, great-nieces/nephews and the entire Kohut family, residing in Pennsylvania.
Although Margaret always loved “her pretty flowers,” she would greatly appreciate any donations, memorials and remembrances to be made to the Shriner’s, International or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
Due to Montana’s unpredictable weather and the travel difficulties this time of year, a memorial service celebrating Margaret’s life with us is planned for the springtime, a time she so dearly loved in Montana.
You may pay your condolences at www.longfellowfinneganriddle.com
Longfellow-Finnegan-Riddle Funeral Home is entrusted with Margaret’s funeral arrangements.
Express condolences at www.mtstandards.com/obits.