Sunday, December 03, 2006

Remembering Margo

The loss of Margo Prade stunned Akron citizens. This young, beautiful and talented physician was murdered by her police captain husband , Douglas Prade, on Nov. 26, 1997. It left two young girls without parents, as their father was sentened to a life in state prison.

As fate would have it, I had some dealings with both Margo and Douglas through one of their daughters. I had always thought of Margo as a strong woman in control of her life and at the top of her game. As is so often the case, I had no idea there was ongoing marital trouble. Both parents seemed dedicated to their children.

As the investigation disclosed the controlling and abusive relationship that Douglas Prade brought upon his marriage, I felt an even greater connection. I had been in similar circumstances and in fact, fled the west coast to get away from a potentially violent situation.

Now one of Margo's best friends has written a book about the short and inspiring life of Margo Prade. In Remembering Margo, Donzella Malone gives us an intimate portrait of a young African-American determined to make something of herself and in doing so give back to her community.

Donzella first met Margo many years ago when they were on a soft ball team competing for the same left field position. Margo was working her way through school and dating a police officer who was ten years older than she was. In one of life's weird coincidences, Donzella had had an encounter with Douglas Prade when she was still a youngster. Finding herself in a speeding car driven by some wild youths, she was relieved when the car was stopped by a police officer. Leaping out and grateful for rescue, she was stunned by the officer's screaming attack directed toward her. He used vile language, berating this twelve year old girl for something she had not initiated. It was an incident she never forgot, that was instantly recalled the first time she met Douglas as an adult.

Donzella's first hand account takes us through Margo's life, detailing her incredible fortitude in finishing her medical degree and residency, while marrying and giving birth to two girls. She eventually opened her own medical building on Romig Road, which was to become the site of her murder. We are given warm accounts of Margo's positive effects upon those who knew her. Donzella fleshes out and makes human the tragic figure that was soon put on tabloid television display via Hard Copy and other shows of that ilk.

Remembering Margo is published by Vantage Press and is the author's first book. Anyone who remembers the case ought to read it. In one way, it is very inspiring, as we follow along Margo's path to self-determination and career successes. On the other hand, it provides yet another horrifying account of male on female abuse. Douglas Prade was a user and a controller who had to have everything go his way.

I remember after the murder thinking so many if-onlys -- if only Margo had left earlier for her Thanksgiving vacation. If only Margo had moved far from Akron upon divorcing Douglas. If only she had resisted marrying him in the first place.

I found my copy at Barnes and Noble. You can order it online.


Anonymous said...

Dear Wendy:

This is Donzella Michele Malone, author of Rememberign Margo. Thank you so much for your poignant review of Remembering Margo. May we always remember her "Kindred Spirit," and the rich legacy she has left behind!

Village Green said...

Thanks for stopping by Donzella. Margo was such a wonderful role model for young girls. A terrible loss for all of us and especially for Sahara and Kenya.