Margaret Frances Samet, who moved here after retiring in 2009, died on Dec. 10 at the age of 96 following a brief illness.
She began her professional life as a medical laboratory manager and later worked in the field of interior decorating.
Mrs. Samet “had a natural sense of style,” her family said. “She was always well dressed, and her love of natural colors earned her the nickname Tan Fran.” She used those talents as an interior decorator for a small group of clients. She was a member of the Old Westbury Village Planning Board for a time, and after moving to Locust Valley she worked as the manager and buyer for Valley House Antiques there.
She was born in Fort Myers, Fla., on June 13, 1927, to Julius Troy Mayr and the former Margaret Elizabeth Peele. Her family moved to Rockville Centre and she graduated from St. Agnes Cathedral School there a semester early. After a short stint working as a driver for her father, who was a general contractor, she graduated from the University of Maryland School of Nursing and continued her studies to become a medical laboratory scientist, going on to manage the lab at Mercy Hospital in Rockville Centre.
“She delighted in telling stories of cleaning and sharpening medical equipment and carrying live mice in her lab coat pockets to conduct pregnancy tests,” her family wrote.
She married “the love of her life,” Dr. Morton Samet, on Oct. 28, 1953. They reared their children, Thomas and Jeanne, in Old Westbury, and “enjoyed a life of adventure with family and close friends.”
Mrs. Samet was “a talent in the kitchen, the garden, and on the tennis court,” her family recalled. She enjoyed taking cooking classes from Craig Claiborne and volunteering at Old Westbury Gardens, and was the president of the North Shore Women’s Tennis League.
“She also encouraged her children in their endeavors. Tom loved to try to get her feet wet when she joined him sailing, and she was not afraid to help dress the hooves of Jeanne’s horse before a riding competition.”
Her husband died in 2008. After retiring she moved first to Amagansett and 10 years ago to East Hampton. She “loved sitting on the boardwalk at Main Beach in East Hampton. She also delighted in walking her beloved rescue dog, Sawyer, along the tree-lined sidewalks in the Village of East Hampton.”
Her family said “her charm and humor always made her a popular party guest,” adding that she “will be missed by friends of all ages.”
She is survived by her son, Tom Samet of East Hampton, and her daughter, Jeanne Hicks of Nantucket, Mass., and by their husbands, Nathan Wold and Peter Hicks.
A celebration of her life will be held on April 4 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Hunter Restaurant in East Norwich, in Nassau County.
Her family has suggested donations to the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, P.O. Box 2616, East Hampton 11937, or online at arfhamptons.org.