Author uses Kent alumna’s murder to educate about violence in relationships

Adam Griffiths

Author and KSU Alumna, Shamberger Prade, speaks at the book signing for her first book Remembering Margo. STEPHANIE DEVER | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

Margo Prade was a mother. She was a doctor. She was a wife. She was a friend, a friend who always giggled and brought a smile to the faces of those around her.

On Nov. 26, 1997, Prade, an alumna of Kent State’s class of 1983, was murdered by her ex-husband Douglas Prade in her minivan outside her Akron practice. He shot her six times.

“No one deserves to die through murder. There’s no excuse for that. Every death is a loss.”

That was the message Donzella Michele Malone, author of Remembering Margo: A Triumphant Life, a Tragic Death, and Life’s Greatest Deception, shared with an audience of 50 last night in the Student Center Ballroom Balcony. Malone was a personal friend of the woman who she called “a conductor of kindness.”

The presentation, sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center, University Health Services, Institute for the Study and Prevention of Violence, Student Multicultural Center and Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, was part of November’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month programming.

Marianne Kalbaugh, secretary at the Women’s Resource Center, said she hoped the presentation educated those in attendance about the dangers of domestic violence.

“We want them to walk away and know what to look for, what to do and what to say,” Kalbaugh said.

Malone made it a point, however, to remind the audience that Margo’s death was not a case of domestic violence. Margo and Douglas were divorced seven months when he murdered her.

“I wanted Margo to be remembered as a living person,” Malone said. “But I also wanted women to see some of these red flags if they’re involved in abusive relationships.”

Red flags to look for in a potentially violent significant other include low self-esteem, belief in violence as an effective means of control, anger, defiance and impulsiveness, Malone said.

Tiffany Peters, senior pre-medicine major, said the presentation struck her because of Margo’s prominence and proximity to the Kent State community. She said she feels domestic violence education is especially important because the majority of Kent State students are women.

“You can never be too careful,” Peters said. “(Malone) warned (Margo), and told her of the signs. You just can’t ignore them. You have to look into them, even if it turns out to be nothing.”

Margo was Candice Poole’s family practice physician, and since Margo’s death, the Kent State alumna, who was in attendance last night, has been an advocate for domestic violence education.

“It makes me very sad,” Poole said. “It’s very disappointing to know that we can make all these advances in quality of life, but we can’t improve how we treat each other as human beings.”

Malone said the impact of Margo’s story has changed over the past 10 years as more people affected by domestic violence, either directly or by association, are inspired to come out and change their situation. She said, even in death, Margo would be happy her story is reaching out to change the lives of others.

“I can hear her voice in my head saying, ‘Thanks, Don.'”

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Adam Griffiths at [email protected]