The world lost a great woman on Sunday. She was many things to many people, but to me, she was Maggie.
Maggie Bruemmer was a very blunt woman who didn’t hesitate to give you her opinion. That’s not to say she was mean or unpleasant to be around. Quite the opposite, she was a joy to spend time with.
I first met Maggie in 2005 when I attended Thanksgiving at her house with her family. At the time, I was just what could have been any random boyfriend to her grand-daughter Laura, but she welcomed me and made me feel like this was just one in a long string of holidays that I had attended. That was the holiday I first learned how to play 31, which was one of the many card games Maggie enjoyed playing. We played it nearly every holiday get together since then.
Back when I worked at the Carlyle Union Banner, Maggie would provide me information about happenings around town. She used to serve on the city council and, at the time, was on the planning commission. Maggie cared about her town and wanted to make it a good place to live.
One Thanksgiving, Laura and I drove up to Decatur, as the get together was being hosted at Laura’s aunt’s house. When I arrived, Maggie could hardly wait to tell me about her trip on one of the Honor Flights to Washington DC. Maggie was a Gunnery Instructor in World War II. She taught the boys how to shoot. She was intensely proud of her service, and rightfully so.
Maggie was also an educator, who taught at Carlyle and Mater Dei for a great number of years. She was also a small businesswoman, who assisted her husband with running the family lumberyard.
Most of all, Maggie loved her family. She cared about each and every one of them, and welcomed new members with enthusiasm. She could hardly wait to hold Maxwell when we brought him over to see her for the first time. She kept insisting on putting him in a hat and booties because “Kids lose all of their warmth through their head and feet.” She insisted that we’ve got to keep him warm, even though it was a nice hot summer day. It became a bit of a running joke between Laura and I to see how long it would take her to mention an absence of a hat or socks.
She told me, right after I married her grand-daughter, that I had my choice and I could call her “Grandma” or “Maggie”. Every other husband who entered the family called her Maggie and I stuck with tradition.
Laura’s grandma, Maggie, passed away on Sunday at age 92. And while its ultimately a blessing, as she was a shell of her former self near the end, we selfishly all wanted more time with her. She lived a great life and I’m so blessed to have met her.
Godspeed Grandma Maggie.