Margaret Mason Denton Khayat

Published 11:16 am Friday, February 26, 2021

Margaret Mason Denton Khayat passed away on Feb. 22, 2021 surrounded by loving family. Margaret was known for her gracious spirit, deep faith, and a delightful sense of humor. 

Born on Sept. 23, 1942, Margaret was the daughter of Ira and Margaret Denton of Memphis, Tenn. As a child, Margaret loved spending time with her brother, Ira, exploring the outdoors around their home. Before attending the University of Mississippi and joining the Chi Omega Sorority, Margaret attended the Hutchison School, where she established lifelong friendships. Her high school classmates admired her kindness and grace and elected her May Queen in recognition of their affection.  

During her freshman year at Ole Miss, friends introduced her to her future husband, an Ole Miss football player who had joined the Washington Redskins but was back on campus to complete his senior year. The two were married in 1962, and lived in Washington, D.C., Moss Point, Miss., and ultimately settled in Oxford, where she was active in her children’s lives, friendships, her church, and other community support efforts. She delighted in bringing joy to others. With her young daughter, she made frequent trips to Memphis to visit beloved grandparents. She loved driving around Oxford with her son when he was a young child singing Elvis songs together. After raising two children, Margaret re-enrolled at the University of Mississippi, earning her degree in 1993. From 1995 through 2009, Margaret served as the first lady of the University of Mississippi, during which time she connected with the Ole Miss family through events at the Chancellor’s Home such as concerts, watching the Super Bowl with students on the back lawn, and bonding with guests from near and far over many breakfasts on the back porch. Margaret was blessed with a wonderful sense of humor, great beauty, an appreciation of the funny moments in life, and a great many cherished friends.  

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A devout Christian, Margaret took great solace in her faith. Margaret is survived by her husband, Robert, her children Margaret Denton Khayat Bratt and Robert Khayat, Jr., their spouses David Bratt and Susannah Khayat, her grandchildren Margaret Khayat, Ben Khayat and Betsey Khayat, and her brother Ira Denton. In lieu of flowers, those who wish to honor Margaret’s life may donate to the Margaret Denton Khayat Ole Miss Women’s Council Scholarship, a scholarship the family hopes will inspire recipients to replicate Margaret’s kindness toward and great respect for people, her commitment to dignity for all, and her strong spirit of love. Donations to the scholarship can be made online at 

For additional information or to leave an online condolence, please call 662.234.7971 or visit