In Memory of Libby M. Telford

April 7, 1931 - August 4, 2023

Libby Morgan Telford died with her family present on August 4, 2023.

She was born Elizabeth Pettit Cleveland, the 3rd child of Donald Charles and Elizabeth Douglas Cleveland on April 7, 1931. She was raised in Wayzata Minnesota. Her most vivid memory was living in the big white house on the hill overlooking Wayzata along with 5 siblings, Donald, Eleanor, Judith, George, and Richard. A menagerie of dogs, blue-eyed rabbits, chickens, and pigs completed the homestead. Her love of the outdoors began at home and deepened at Camp Danworthy and Bear Lake in northern Minnesota. From an early age she enjoyed reading and writing. A good book and creating poetry for loved ones brought her great joy her entire life.

She married Frederick Morgan on May 7, 1955. Their love of the Northwoods led them to Hayward, Wisconsin where Phoebe, Barnaby, and Benjamin were born. She raised her children alone, teaching them to love the outdoors, spending winters on the slopes of Mt. Telemark and summers at Round Lake. Remembering her long life recently, she said, “Being a mother was my greatest pleasure.”

Libby enjoyed her community, volunteering on the Hayward Library board, working as an American Red Cross Grey Lady, leading Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts, and working with Christian Women’s Club. She worked at the Hayward Hospital and Nursing Home, but her favorite job was playing electric bass for the Ernie Carroll Dance Band. Decades later she’d say, “I can still hear Ernie scolding me to “turn that bass down.” For several years she wrote for Tony Wise enterprises interviewing celebrities like Stan Kenton, The Monkeys, Franz Jackson and Duke Ellington who apparently offered her a job to play bass in his band. Her favorite local celebrity was Rich Elliker. She felt deep gratitude for her supportive friends in Hayward.

She married Dr. John Telford on December 20, 1978 moving to their log cabin outside of Bayfield where John built beautiful gardens and Libby, the first board member of Big Top Chautauqua, hosted her “Keeper of the Magic” brunches and teas. She served on the Bayfield Library and New Horizons boards and volunteered for CORE, a Senior Center. Libby helped John develop cross-country skiing at Mt. Ashwabay, bushwhacking trails alongside of him. They became Nordic Ski Volunteer Hall-of-Famer’s in 2020. Her love of the outdoors continued with sailing and kayaking on Lake Superior and Round Lake, skiing the Birkie and hiking. She cherished time with grandchildren.

Libby was a pilgrim who like to say, “take one step at a time.” She faced difficult times with an indomitable spirit and a twinkle in her eye. She provided spiritual strength to many over the years. She attended 1st Presbyterian Church, actively involved in children’s ministries, weekly Bible Study and missions.

She treasured and is survived by her children, Phoebe Love (Bob) and Barnaby Morgan (Beth); daughter-in-law, Mary Morgan; grandchildren, Haley, Andrew, William, Natalie, Jarod, Anna, and Nikolas; great-grandchildren, June, Wolfgang, Haakon, Magnus, Everett, Liv, and Eleanor. She is also survived by her loyal husband, John, his two children, David Telford and Liz McKay, her sister Judy and dear friends in Bayfield, Hayward, and Cable.

She was preceded in death by her son, Benjamin, and said a few weeks ago, “I know he will be welcoming me into the eternal and imperishable world.”

Funeral services will be on Friday, Sept 8 at Hayward Funeral Home. A visitation will start at 12:00 pm followed by funeral at 1:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Hayward Library or the Bayfield Library.

Last Update: Aug 10, 2023 11:33 am CDT

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