Saturday, April 26, 2008

In Memory

Some of you know that I lost my Grandma Stuart in March. She was a remarkable woman and my last surviving grandparent. I had the honor of co-writing her obituary, which was printed in the Gordon, Nebraska newspaper. It was an honor to be able to use writing as a tool to try and let the world know even a little about her full and adventure-filled life. Here it is in final form, a tribute to the woman from whom I get my name, eyebrows, and the inspiration to live a life filled with hard work and love and lacking regret and complaints.

Margaret Elizabeth Root Stuart of Rushville, Nebraska, died March 11, 2008 at the age of 90. She was born November 10, 1917 in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, to Mark Root and Nancy Harrod Root. She graduated from Scottsbluff High School at age 16 and attended junior college for two years before attending nursing school in Omaha. She received her R.N. in 1940 and worked in a doctor's office and as a Red Cross nurse in Scottsbluff, early in World War II. She met Wilfred (Bill) J. Stuart, an engineer for the Soil Conservation Service, in the spring of 1942. After a summer courtship, they were married on September 10, 1942 and started a life together in Scottsbluff. In the next four years, two daughters were born to Margaret and Bill. The family moved to Rushville in 1947, and in the next three years a son and a third daughter were born. Margaret and Bill made their home in Rushville for the rest of their lives and were actively involved in the community and Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.

Besides raising a family, Margaret worked part-time as a nurse for Drs. Hook and Crum and at the Rushville Hospital during the 1950’s and 60’s. Over the years, Margaret was a member of the Altar Society and Bible Study. She also joined the Ladies' Columbian Reading Club, RSVP, and bridge groups. She enjoyed gardening and propogating flowers and was always up for an adventure and willing to try something new. She travelled extensively, and after Bill's death in 1983, she made it a point to attend all of her grandchildren's high school graduations, making it to the last one in California in 2004.

Margaret lived the last few years of her life at Parkview Lodge Assisted Living in Rushville, where she enjoyed visits from family and was active in Parkview's social activities. In November 2007, family gathered from around the country to celebrate Margaret's 90th birthday.

Margaret was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Bill. She is survived by her children, Nancy (Dave) Fairchild and Mary Cay (Tom) Burger of Denver, Colorado, John Stuart (Carol Mack) of Newport, Washington, Susan Stuart (David Brundage) of Santa Cruz, California, three sisters, Kathleen Root and Jean (Dale) Onnen of David City, Nebraska, and Beverly (Morton) Tiensvold of Rushville, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A wake service and funeral mass were held at Immaculate Conception Church the weekend of March 14-15. Burial took place at Fairview Cemetery in Rushville. Father Tim Stoner officiated. Pallbearers were Margaret's grandchildren Scott, Jeff, and Lisa Burger, Jon Fairchild, Jonah Stuart Brundage, and Elizabeth Stuart.

The family suggests memorials to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Parkview Lodge, or the Rushville Fire Department & Rescue Squad. Donations may be sent to Security First Bank, PO Box 550, Rushville, NE, 69360.

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