Marjorie Morris NeuhoffApril 19, 1941 - Nov. 17, 2012
Marjorie Morris Neuhoff died peacefully Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, at the home of her daughter in Austin, Texas. Throughout her illness, she displayed strength, grace and remarkable humor.
Margie was born on April 19, 1941, in Waukesha. She graduated from Waukesha High School in 1959 and from Methodist Hospital School of Nursing in Madison in 1962. While in nursing school, she met Donald Neuhoff, an engineering student at the University of Wisconsin, and they were married Aug. 25, 1962. During her nursing career, Margie worked as a psychiatric nurse in inpatient hospitals and outpatient clinics, was the director of a nursing staffing service, and was an elementary school nurse. After retirement, she volunteered, and also discovered a talent for renovating old houses.
Her greatest talent, though, was in “interviewing” perfect strangers and turning them into friends within minutes. She met several friends this way while walking her beloved Barbie (a black standard poodle) on the Ladybird Lake trail. Margie loved animals and was a parent to a succession of cats (including Barbie’s pal Ken), dogs and other furry creatures.
Margie lived in nine cities in five states (usually moving because of her husband’s career), and after being widowed, traveled to South Africa, Alaska, Rarotonga, the Netherlands, Hawaii, Italy and several Caribbean destinations, building numerous friendships along the way. “Grandma Margie” was also readily adopted by her daughter’s friends, and the phrase “bring your mother” was uttered so often, her daughter Amy began to suspect it was really Margie who was wanted at the parties.
Margie was proud of her Welsh heritage, and taught her daughters that her own and their love of music and literature stemmed from this. She was a proud liberal, and loved gardening, bird-watching, the daily paper and crossword puzzle and a nice glass of wine. Her favorite things of all, though, were children. Nothing pleased her more than to have the neighborhood kids playing ball or hide-and-seek in her yard, or climbing her magnolia tree, or ringing the doorbell for a visit to her always-full cookie jar. She loved to put her arm around one of her grandchildren and brag about them to whoever was present. In the last few months, it was difficult to tear her away from random babies in stores.
Margie is survived by her devoted daughters, Amy Robertson of Austin, Texas, and Amanda Newaira of Sherman Oaks, Calif., and by Amy’s husband Steve and their daughters Bryn and Arden, and by Amanda’s sons Devyn and Aidan Spillane. She is also survived by her sister, Janet Morris Fosdal and husband Fred of Middleton; brother-in-law, Fred Gutierrez of Waukesha; many beloved nieces and nephews; and her sweetie dog, Gracie.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Neuhoff; her sister, Ellen Morris-Gutierrez; and her parents.
The family wishes to thank the caring, supportive staff of Hospice Austin, the kind aides from Nurses Unlimited and Margie’s and our dear friends in Austin and across the country.
In lieu of flowers, please drink a toast in Margie’s honor. Or make a donation in her memory to one of her favorite organizations: Doctors Without Borders, or your local children’s shelter, hospice or public radio station.