Cover photo for Margaret Ellen Alt's Obituary
Margaret Ellen Alt Profile Photo
1940 Margaret 2023

Margaret Ellen Alt

February 5, 1940 — March 15, 2023

Margaret Ellen (Gilligan) Alt, born February 5, 1940 in Yonkers, NY, died on March 15, 2023 in Post Falls, Idaho. Margaret was born to James T. and Marion P. Gilligan. Margaret had two siblings, sister Mary McNeill and brother James Gilligan who both preceded her in death. 


Margaret grew up in Yonkers, NY and graduated from Oswego State University in 1962. She was a lifelong elementary educator. In Bonner County, Margaret taught at Northside Elementary, Lincoln Elementary and Farmin Elementary schools, retiring in 1997. Margaret was most proud of teaching her 2nd grade pupils the “3R’s” between 1978 and 1997. Margaret’s passion for education intensified with the collaborative efforts of the “Lincoln Crew” whose friendships and inspiration sustained her well into retirement. In 1992, Margaret received the Bonner County School District Outstanding Educator Award.


On June 22nd, 1967, Margaret married Alfons Alt in Yonkers, NY. Al and Margaret made their home in Sandpoint, Idaho in 1970 with sons Michael and James. Al and Margaret were married for 39 years before Al’s death in 2006. Margaret continued to live in the Oak Street house that Al built in 1971 until 2019 when it became time to downsize. Margaret loved the summers and her time at the city beach where she went every day in the summer since moving to Sandpoint. 


Margaret loved the beauty and nature of North Idaho. Al and Margaret spent their time hiking, huckleberry picking, mountain stream fishing, and relaxing at the cabin on the Kootenai River in Bonners Ferry. Margaret believed in humanity, kindness and equality for all.


Grammy Alt was a very special person to Jakob and Fischer. She loved their visits for birthdays, Christmas, and many other occasions. She loved to plan treasure hunts and show them the garden and help them plant, nurture, and harvest the fruits of their labor. 


Margaret was a devoted Catholic and member of St. Joseph’s parish in Sandpoint, Idaho and attended Mass weekly, if not more.


Margaret was a fighter and survived 2 bouts with cancer, both of which she overcame with great dignity. 


Our family would like to extend a special thank you and debt of gratitude to Jackie and Herb Alt who housed, cared for, and advised Margaret through her most difficult health challenges. 


Margaret was preceded in death by her husband Al in 2006 and they will now lay in eternal rest together.


Margaret is survived by her 2 sons, Michael (Kristie) Alt, Hauser, ID and James (Kari) Alt, McCall, ID, 2 grandsons, Jakob and Fischer Alt, brother-in-Law Erwin Alt, Bonners Ferry, ID, brother-in-law and sister-in-law John and Linda Alt, Bonners Ferry, ID, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Herb and Jackie Alt, Spokane, WA, and sister-in-law Rita Gilligan, Boston, Mass., sister-in-law Ella Bauer, Neustadt Germany, brother and sister-in-law Sepp and Tina Alt, Waldmunchen Germany, and brother-in-law Karl Alt Wassertrudigen Germany, along with numerous nieces and nephews who she cherished dearly.


Please join us in celebrating Margaret’s life at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Sandpoint, Idaho on Saturday, March 25, 2023 at 10:00 AM. Margaret will be interned at Pinecrest Cemetery immediately following the services.


In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Bonner County food bank “Weekend Food for Kids” program, or St. Joseph’s Altar Society.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Margaret Ellen Alt, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Prayer Service

Friday, March 24, 2023

Starts at 5:30 pm (Pacific time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Pacific time)

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