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Margie Lynn Inman, 76; Barnstormer Who Later Fought to Live Life Simply

October 09, 1987|From Times Wire Services

DAVIE, Fla. — Margie Lynn Inman, a daring barnstormer in her youth and a solitary figure in her declining years who battled local officials for the right to live simply in a lean-to with a menagerie of cats, dogs and even rats, died the day she was to have entered a nursing home, it was reported Wednesday.

Mrs. Inman, 76, widow of the founder of the Inman Brothers Flying Circus, died Sept. 30,after it was determined that her failing health prohibited her from living alone any longer, friends said.

She had performed with her husband, barnstorming pilot Rolley Roger Inman, as a wing-walker in the Inman Brothers Flying Circus, which was formed in the 1920s and continued performing across the country until the late '30s. He died in a crash in 1944.

Mrs. Inman moved onto herproperty in a rural area westof Fort Lauderdale in the early 1970s.

When her house collapsed in 1976, she began living on the ground in a lean-to, catching rainwater to bathe in and drink and spending much of her Social Security checks on food for her pet cats, dogs and rats, which she called "my kids."

Fought Officials

Neighbors complained, especially about the rats, but Mrs. Inman fought municipal and health department officials, and even a judge. They eventually backed down when other neighbors helped her clean up her land.

Marie Larkins, Mrs. Inman's mail carrier for nearly a decade, said her dying request was to be cremated and have her ashes spread on her land. Larkins said she will take up a collection at the Davie post office to fulfill that wish.

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