Rendahl with dangling earrings
Margery Rendahl. Family of Maggie Rendahl

Margery (Maggie) Crouch Rendahl passed away peacefully on Nov. 25, 2022, in Tacoma, Washington.

An avid reader of poetry and literature, follower of news, politics and history, and lifelong naturalist, Maggie was interested in the world around her and loved to share her discoveries. Maggie was an engaging conversationalist, a caring friend, and a loving mother and grandmother.

Born in Gardner, Massachusetts, on July 15, 1936, to Robert Milo Crouch and Marian Edgell Crouch, Maggie graduated from Gardner High School in 1953, and from Wellesley College in 1957 with a major in mathematics and studies in astronomy.

She moved to San Francisco in 1957 to work for IBM as one of the first women to program and code — a true “hidden figure”. She worked on development of the 1410 mainframe computer, released in 1960. She also installed 1410 computers around the country, including for the Air Force. She met her ex-husband, Gerald (Jerry) Rendahl, when she taught IBM salesmen how to program these machines. Living and working in San Francisco as the Beat Movement developed was a highlight of her life.

After their marriage in 1960, the couple made a series of moves for Jerry’s career at IBM, and returned to their beloved Bay Area in 1971, settling in Berkeley to raise their family before divorcing in the 1980s.

Maggie followed in her father’s footsteps working at the Elmwood Wells Fargo Bank in Berkeley. She then worked in local bookstores for many years, with her longest tenure at Cody’s Books. She was at the Telegraph Avenue and Fourth Street stores for about 25 years, beginning in the early 1980s. Her special skill was helping customers find books, even when they could not remember the author or title. Maggie was part of a community of friends passionate about literature and poetry, who gathered to study the works of James Joyce. Maggie regularly attended music, theater and dance performances around the Bay Area. 

Maggie is survived by her sister, Roberta Hayes (Casey) of Needham, MA, and her brother, John Crouch (Poppy), of Poland, ME, as well as her children, Katherine Rendahl (Don Rio) of Berkeley, CA, Ann Rendahl (Paul Sachs) of Tacoma, WA, and Justin Rendahl (Suzanne Spencer) of Plainfield, NH, four nieces and nephews, and seven grandchildren.

Maggie was Nonna to her grandchildren, Nicholas and Anthony Rio, Sarah, Samuel and Nathan Sachs, and Anya and John Rendahl. She loved being a grandmother, doting on each one, encouraging their interests and supporting them in their achievements. She shared with her family and friends her love of reading, arts, politics, and nature. From hiking in the Sierras to appreciating flowers growing in the neighborhood, Maggie showed us all how important it is to notice the world around us. 

The family is planning a memorial at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023, at the Temescal Beach House in Oakland.  For more information, please contact Katherine Rendahl at In lieu of flowers or donations, please support your local independent bookstores and the arts.

“Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.” — Rumi