Margarita Zarraga O'Donnell, 91, formerly of Cheltenham, a concert violinist and music teacher, died Wednesday at Sentara Leigh Hospital in Norfolk, Va.
Mrs. O'Donnell began to study music when she was 7, after a man carrying a violin knocked on her parents' door in Fishtown and offered lessons. She was selected by her father from family's seven children to take the lessons, said her granddaughter, Margarite Zettervall.
After graduating from Frankford High School, she continued to take private lessons and eventually learned to play the piano and cello as well as the violin.
In 1933, she performed as a violin soloist at a Philadelphia Orchestra youth concert conducted by Leopold Stokowski. In the 1930s, she was also a soloist with the Northeast Philharmonic Society.
After her marriage to Daniel O'Donnell, she and her husband raised their daughter in Cheltenham, where she taught piano and violin to neighborhood children for many years. She continued to play in concerts and was a member of the Philadelphia Musical Society, American Federation of Musicians, Local 77.
Her husband died in 1964, and in 1984 she moved to San Diego to be close to her daughter. She moved with her daughter to Norfolk in 1991.
She was proud of her Spanish heritage, her granddaughter said, and was devoted to her family.
In addition to her granddaughter, Mrs. O'Donnell is survived by two sisters, and nieces and nephews. Her daughter, Margarita "Maggie" Cash, died in 2003.
A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Monday at First Presbyterian Church in Kensington, where she was baptized, 418 E. Girard Ave., Philadelphia.