Margie Washichek: The Untold Story of Jimmy Buffett’s First Wife

Picture this: a sun-drenched beach, the soft strum of a guitar, and the clinking of margarita glasses. You’re probably thinking of Jimmy Buffett, right? But before the world knew him as the king of laid-back tunes, there was a woman by his side, supporting his wild dreams.

Let’s dive into the story of Margie Washichek, Jimmy Buffett’s first wife and the unsung hero of his early career.

Early Life and Education: Roots in the Gulf Coast

Born on December 25, 1946, in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Margie Washichek grew up with the salty air of the Gulf Coast in her lungs. Imagine a young girl, barefoot on the warm sand, dreaming of adventures beyond the horizon.

Little did she know, her life was about to intertwine with a future music legend.

The College Years: Where Jimmy Met Margie

Fast forward to the late 1960s. Picture this scene:

A bustling campus at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. Two young students cross paths – Margie, an English major with a passion for words, and Jimmy, a journalism student with a guitar always at hand.

It was here, among the oak trees and academic halls, that their love story began. Margie, standing at about 5 feet 5 inches, might have looked up at Jimmy, but she saw eye-to-eye with his ambitious dreams.

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The Buffett Years: From “I Do” to “Margaritaville”

Tying the Knot and Chasing Dreams

In 1969, Margie and Jimmy said “I do,” embarking on a journey that would take them from college sweethearts to a struggling couple in Nashville. Here’s a quick look at their early years:

  • 1969: Wedding bells ring for Margie and Jimmy
  • 1970-1972: The couple moves to Nashville, chasing Jimmy’s music dreams
  • Margie’s role: Works as a secretary to support their household
  • Jimmy’s gigs: Open mic nights, small venues, and lots of rejection

Imagine Margie, typing away at her day job, while Jimmy scribbled lyrics about beach bums and boat drinks. It wasn’t glamorous, but it was the foundation of something big.

The Lean Years: Hot Dogs and Big Dreams

Life wasn’t all “Cheeseburgers in Paradise” for the young couple. In fact, one Thanksgiving, they found themselves heating hot dogs over a hotel bathroom sink. But Margie stood by her man, even when the going got tough.

Margie’s unwavering support included:

  • Lending Jimmy gas money for gigs
  • Being his biggest fan at sparsely attended shows
  • Believing in his unique Gulf Coast sound when others didn’t get it

Life After Jimmy: Charting Her Own Course

Life After Jimmy: Charting Her Own Course

In 1972, just as Jimmy’s star was beginning to rise, Margie and Jimmy’s marriage came to an end. It’s a bittersweet twist in their tale – Margie had weathered the storm, only to part ways before the sun came out.

Margie’s Post-Buffett Journey

While Jimmy went on to become a household name, Margie chose a quieter path. She may not have ridden the wave of his success, but she built a life of her own:

  • Career: Continued in professional roles, leveraging her skills and experience
  • Personal life: Maintained privacy, steering clear of the limelight
  • Net worth: Estimated between $500,000 to $1.5 million as of 2024

Margie’s story reminds us that sometimes, the real heroes are the ones who help others achieve their dreams, even if they don’t share in the glory.

Margie Today: Living Life on Her Own Terms

Margie Today: Living Life on Her Own Terms

Now in her late 70s, Margie Washichek continues to march to the beat of her own drum. Unlike her ex-husband’s larger-than-life persona, she keeps things low-key:

  • Age: 77 years young (as of 2024)
  • Social media presence: Minimal, with a modest Twitter account
  • Public appearances: Rare, preferring to stay out of the spotlight

Margie’s Legacy: More Than Just an Ex-Wife

While she may not have children of her own with Jimmy, Margie’s impact on his life and career is undeniable. She was there for the creation of classics like “Margaritaville” and “Son of a Son of a Sailor,” even if she didn’t stick around for their chart-topping success.


Let’s clear up some common questions about Jimmy Buffett’s personal life:

Who are Jimmy Buffett’s wife and kids?

Jimmy’s current wife is Jane Slagsvol, whom he married in 1977. They have two daughters, Savannah Jane and Sarah Delaney, and an adopted son, Cameron Marley.

Who is Jimmy Buffett’s first wife?

That would be our star, Margie Washichek. They were married from 1969 to 1972.

What was Jimmy Buffett’s childhood like?

Jimmy grew up in Mobile, Alabama, with a love for the Gulf Coast that would later inspire his music. He had a fairly typical Southern upbringing, complete with sailing and fishing adventures.

Did Jimmy Buffett ever marry?

Yes, twice! First to Margie Washichek (1969-1972) and then to Jane Slagsvol (1977-present).

Conclusion: The Woman Behind the Legend

Margie Washichek may not be a name that tops the charts, but her role in the Jimmy Buffett story is crucial. She was there at the beginning, believing in a sound and style that would eventually captivate millions. While their paths diverged, her impact remains:

  • She supported Jimmy through the lean years
  • Her belief in his unique style helped shape his confidence
  • Their relationship likely inspired some of his early songwriting

So next time you’re sipping a margarita and swaying to “Come Monday,” spare a thought for Margie. She may not be in paradise with Jimmy anymore, but she helped build the foundation for his tropical empire.

Margie Washichek’s story reminds us that behind every success, there’s often an unsung hero. In the end, she chose her own path, proving that sometimes, the real adventure isn’t in reaching the destination, but in the journey itself.

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