Cover photo for Margaret "Margo" Roper Nicoll's Obituary
Margaret "Margo" Roper Nicoll Profile Photo

Margaret "Margo" Roper Nicoll

d. July 26, 2022

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Margaret "Margo" Nicoll

On July 26, 2022 at age 67, she passed peacefully after a 9-month battle with cancer, on her own terms and surrounded by her three beloved children. Margo was a life-long Presbyterian, proud mother, voracious reader, and avid gardener.

Margo is survived by her children Victoria Lee Pyan (St Paul), Alexandra Murphy Pyan (Baltimore, MD), and Murphy Douglas Pyan (St Paul) and their father Steve Pyan. Also survived by brother Harlow Nicoll (Tallahassee, FL), several nieflings and many friends including lifelong friend Lt. Cmdr (Ret) Norma Lee Hackney. Preceded in death by: parents, Harry Nicoll, Jr and Patricia Wright Nicoll; brothers Harry Nicoll III and Robert Murphy Nicoll; sister Penny Nicoll; and nephew Perry Hickman.

Margaret was born on February 10, 1955 to Lt Col (Ret) Harry and Patricia Nicoll in Monmouth, New Jersey. Early in life, she lived in Germany and then Taiwan, where family legend has it she met Chiang Kai Shek. When she was about 6 years old, her father retired from the service and relocated the family to Atlantic Beach, Florida. There, she became deeply involved with the Girl Scouts.

After graduating from Warren Wilson College in North Carolina, she looked high and low for a job with the Girl Scouts and that search led her to an offer for a position in Redwood Falls, Minnesota of all places. One of her favorite aspects of her job was serving as the summer camp director at Camp Sanderson on Nest Lake, outside of Spicer Minnesota.

While in Redwood Falls, she met Steve Pyan and while it was not love at first sight, their relationship evolved and they were married on January 2, 1982, back in Atlantic Beach. They lived in a couple spots in Minneapolis before buying a house in the Como Park neighborhood in November 1983, where she lived out the next nearly 39 years, raising her children and becoming a valued and trusted neighbor on the block.

Her working career included stints with the then St Croix Girl Scout Council and Fingerhut. As a Unit manager at USBank for many years, she treasured the opportunity to manage a diverse work team and took great care in wanting to learn about different cultures - especially their food! She would encourage team members to bring in cultural dishes to office potlucks. She retired in July 2021 with hopes to spend many years traveling and more time with her children.

Faith and community found in church were important to her, leading her to join Central Presbyterian Church in 1990 where she served as both a Deacon and Elder and remained as esteemed and active member until her passing. She loved ushering on Sundays so she could welcome people into the church.

As a pillar of her faith, Margo was a devoted servant to others and she sought after and enjoyed many volunteer opportunities, including: Girl Scouts, Vocal Point, Open Arms, Project Home, Great River Greening, St. Mary’s Place, and various arts organizations in the Twin Cities.

While her work and faith were very important to her, they both paled in comparison to her love, devotion and support of each of her children in their own unique way. Endlessly curious about the world, travel provided her opportunities to learn.  She used her kids' experiences to travel to Ireland, England, Greece, Zambia, Hawaii and many trips to Baltimore, to “make sure the kids were eating their vegetables."

When not traveling, Margo enjoyed yelling at bunnies in her yard, working on her pollinator garden, watching WCCO news and obscure documentaries, sewing, needlepoint, an icy glass of tea, and talking to strangers.

Margo’s ability to connect on a human level made her a wide range of people’s favorite person. She was many, many people’s best friend and she will be dearly missed.

A memorial service will be held at Central Presbyterian Church, 500 Cedar St, St Paul, MN on Saturday, September 17th at 1:00 p.m. Parking is available in the WTC ramp. Please bring a memory of Margo to share.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Open Arms MN, Girls Scouts River Valleys or Central Presbyterian Church.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Margaret "Margo" Roper Nicoll, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Central Presbyterian Church, 500 Cedar St, St Paul, MN

500 Cedar Street, Saint Paul, MN 55101

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