Palo Alto Online - Lasting Memories - Margy Giles's memorial

Margy Giles
May 5, 1926-Nov. 4, 2022
Portola Valley, CA

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2

Marjorie was born to Earl and Grace Irvine in Pennsylvania, joining brothers Dwight and Edgar. She studied education at Occidental College, using life insurance money from Dwight’s death in WWII. Margy was a deeply loved and capable teacher. In 1955, she moved to Germany to teach and pursue “travel and further education,” fostering a decades-long love of adventure and learning.

She returned to California and in 1958, married Wallace Giles, whom she met at church. They added Nancy and Shirley to their family and later were transferred to New Orleans, where Ron was born. Margy—the consistent presence at home—also hosted gatherings, led her church’s Women’s Circle, and volunteered. Margy’s steadiness, patience, mercy, hospitality, and famous muffins defined her lifetime of service.

In 1979, Margy and Wally moved to Portola Valley, CA. She beat cancer—twice—and was a prayer warrior for her family and friends, loyally attending her 30-year-long prayer group. Her love and advocacy for Wally during his ten-year nursing home saga astoundingly fulfilled “in sickness and health” marriage vows. She always said, “The Lord promised to never leave or forsake me. He has kept that promise in amazing ways.” Margy’s sweet spirit, trust in God, and gratitude offered a unique ministry in her final years.

Margy is survived by daughter Nancy Giles Phillips (Don) of Los Altos, daughter Shirley Giles Davis (Robert) of Boulder, CO, son Ron Giles (Amanda) of Mountain View, grandchildren Matthew Phillips (Olivia) of Dallas, TX, Michelle Phillips of San Diego, Grace Davis of Konstanz, Germany, Allie Davis (Mike Tyska) of Washington, D.C., Ethan Giles (Mary) of Anchorage, AK, Elaine Giles of San Francisco, Laurel Giles of Mountain View, and great-granddaughter Maggie Phillips of Dallas, TX.

Tags: teacher/educator

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Memorial service
Memorial Services will be held at Menlo Church 950 Santa Cruz Ave on Dec 1 at 1:30 pm. Reception to follow in the fellowship hall across from sanctuary
Make a donation
Donations in memory of Margy can be made to Menlo Church ( or Bible Study Fellowship (

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