Margaret Naumann Keyes ’39

Educator and home architecture authority Margaret Naumann Keyes ’39 died Oct. 14, 2015, in Iowa City, Iowa. She was 97.

Margaret Naumann Keyes '39She grew up in Mount Vernon, Iowa, the daughter of Charles Reuben Keyes (Cornell Class of 1894), a prominent archaeologist and Cornell professor of German. After earning a master’s degree in home economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a doctorate in interior design and housing from Florida State University­ in Tallahassee, in 1951 she became a faculty member of the department of home economics at the University of Iowa, where she taught for 37 years. Keyes conducted the research for the restoration of Old Capitol (Iowa’s original capitol building in Iowa City) and coordinated the restoration process beginning in 1970. In 1975, she was named director of the Old Capitol. She wrote numerous scholarly articles and three books. Keyes was a member of the American Home Economics Association (now the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences), chaired the art section, and served on the executive board.

She also was a member of the State Historical Society of Iowa and a board member for 17 years, including serving as chairman. Other affiliations and board responsibilities included the Terrace Hill Commission and Authority, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Victorian Society in America, and the Cornell College Alumni Association.

Keyes received the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters in 1976 from Cornell College.

She was preceded in death by her friend and colleague, with whom she made her home, Floy Eugenia Whitehead.