A Family Full of Pharmacists and a Thirst for Adventure

One family with a commitment to the profession of pharmacy and a thirst for adventure.

Carrie Margeson '15 (PharmD) and her grandmorher, Rosa Maria Puget Garcia, graduation in 2015.

Carrie Margeson '15 (PharmD) and her grandmorher, Rosa Maria Puget Garcia, at graduation in 2015.

It may be hard to believe, but Carrie Margeson really didn’t have a major in mind when she arrived at UConn in the fall of 2009. The fact that she ultimately chose pharmacy may not have surprised anyone else in her family, but she says, “Really, I didn’t know what I wanted to major in, and then one day it just hit me. Pharmacy. Maybe it’s genetic!”

And she may be right.

Carrie Margeson '15 (PharmD) and her grandmorher, Rosa Maria Puget Garcia, at graduation in 2015.
Carrie Margeson ’15 (PharmD) and her grandmorher, Rosa Maria Puget Garcia, at graduation in 2015.

Margeson represents the sixth generation of pharmacists on the maternal side of her family tree. (The pharmacy connection might actually go back seven generations if not for her mother’s decision to become a physical therapist. She graduated from UConn with her Master’s degree in 1988.)

The journey begins in the early 1800s in Barcelona, Spain when Esteban Puget Rabell became a medical doctor and pharmacist. He subsequently moved to the island of Ibiza in the Mediterranean where he practiced medicine.

(If you’re starting to count, Puget Rabell is Margeson’s great, great, great, great grandfather.)

Puget Rabell’s son, Jose′ Puget Corrons, was born in the 1840s and when he was 19 he moved to Havana, Cuba where he studied pharmacy at the Universidad de La Habana. He remained in Cuba until 1877 when he returned to Ibiza, later returning to Cuba where he opened his own pharmacy.  Eventually, he went back to Ibiza where he died in 1901.

Puget Corrons had fathered a son named Jose′ Puget Casuso who also graduated from the Universidad de La Habana and who ran his father’s pharmacy in Camujuani, Cuba.  One of his sons was Jose′ Puget Romañach.

Puget Romañach was sent as a child of 12 to a boarding school in the United States and he subsequently attended the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. Following graduation, he returned to Cuba to run the family pharmacy, the third generation to do so.  His daughter, Rosa Maria Puget Garcia (Margeson’s grandmother) was born in 1932 and she also graduated from Universidad de La Habana with a degree in pharmacy.

She says, “There were five of us girls who were good friends and we all decided to study pharmacy together in Havana. Those were the days when women were just beginning to enter the health care fields and our knowledge of pharmacotherapy was very limited. It was mostly organic chemistry.

“Later, when I worked in the family pharmacy, we would make our own formulas and compound ointments and creams by hand with a mortar and pestle. I wish I had gone to school when Carrie did; there have been so many advances!”

Carrie Margeson and her grandmother look back through one of the family's scrapbooks.
Carrie Margeson and her grandmother look back through one of the family’s scrapbooks.

Rosa Maria Puget Garcia worked with her father until 1965, the height of the Cold War. When the political situation in Cuba deteriorated to the point where she and her husband decided to flee with their daughter, they were unable to travel directly to the United States. Instead, the family went first to Madrid, Spain and eventually immigrated to Hartford, Conn. where they had friends and family. She became a chemist for the Connecticut State Toxicology Laboratory, a position she held for 24 years while working in the areas of forensics and criminology.

And this is where the story takes an ever so slight detour. Her daughter, Rosa Beatriz Kavanagh Puget, decided to forego pharmacy for a career as a physical therapist. Still, a worthy profession that is not too far from the family tree!

Kavanagh Puget is the family’s first UConn graduate and her son and daughter, Owen and Carrie, are the second generation — Owen with his BS in Marine Sciences ’12 (CLAS) and officer ranking in the Air Force from the ROTC program, and Carrie with her PharmD in 2015.

Margeson says, “When I graduated from the School of Pharmacy I thought that there might be some good opportunities for post graduate work in Florida, plus my grandmother now lives here. I was able to do my PGY1 at Arventura Hospital and Medical Center in Arventura which is just north of Miami and I’ve decided to stay here. It’s nice to have career opportunities, family, and good weather all at once,” she says with a smile.

And maybe it’s no surprise that she chose to settle in Arventura.  It’s the Spanish word for ‘adventure’ which suits this family well.