Real-life Marge Simpson, Linfield alum dies

Margaret Ruth Groening, a ’41 Linfield graduate, died in her sleep at the age of 94, April 22 in Portland.

Groening, mother of “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening, was born March 23, 1919 in Chisolm, Minn., as Margaret Wiggum, according to a paid obituary in the Oregonian.

Margaret married Linfield classmate Homer Groening, “whom she chose because he made her laugh the most,” according to the Oregonian obituary.

Margaret Groening said that the highest honor she received throughout her schooling was being named May Queen of Linfield College.

After college, she taught high school English before starting a family.

Margaret and Homer Groening supported the Oregon Symphony, the Portland Trail Blazers and many local yarn shops, according to the Oregonian obituary.

Margaret’s son, Matt Groening, said on several occasions that he named Marge and Homer Simpson after his parents, and Lisa and Maggie after two of his sisters. His other sister, Patty, shared a name with Marge Simpson’s sister.

Additionally, he used his mother’s maiden name, Wiggum, for “The Simpsons” character, Chief Wiggum, chief of police in Springfield, according to an article in the Oregonian.

Margaret Groening is survived by her brother, Arnold; her children, Mark, Matt, Lisa and Maggie; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren, according to the Oregonian obituary.

Jessica Prokop


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