Margaret A. Smith was born in Falmouth, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. Stanger grew up in Iowa with her pioneer parents. With a B.A. in hand, you're ready to take on the world. with a B.A. from Grinnell College and an M.A. from the University of Iowa Ms Stanger earned her registered nurse diploma from Boston Children's Hospital after graduating from Columbia University (where she also studied law).
She relocated to Orleans from the Cape, where she became one of Robert's closest human friends. Another of Robert's friends and neighbors, illustrator Cathy Baldwin, graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design.