Marge was the quintessential Midwesterner. She would smile at everyone she passed, accepting people with a warm wave and a kind word.
Marjorie Diane (McKenzie) Stundze died quietly at home after a long illness on Sunday, Oct. 30th, 2022. She was 89.
Marge was born in Waukegon Ill. on Oct. 7th, 1933 during the Great Depression. When her father lost his job, as so many did, they moved to Wonewoc WI where their family of nine lived in a four room farmhouse. Marge recalled shaving ice from the ice house for homemade ice cream, running through the bull pasture while avoiding cow patties, raising chickens in homemade incubators, sleeping four girls to a bed and sharing an outhouse.
But it wasn’t until she took a job in Chicago, that she met the love of her life. While traveling to the city by train, she was approached by a young sailor, offering to light her cigarette (probably the only time she ever smoked in her life). This led to a marriage of over 68 years, and a love of travel which she and Ron shared. Together they journeyed to every state in the US and traveled throughout Europe, including her family’s heritage of Sweden and Scotland. She also cruised through the Panama Canal and visited Aruba with friends.
Marge wanted to be a nutritionist. Although unable to attend college, she was a life long learner through books and magazines about nutrition, health, psychology and exercise. She was a member/leader in TOPS for over 50 years, supporting others in their health and wellness goals. Whenever there was a need, she would step up and volunteer. Throughout her life she taught Girl Scouts, 4H, Sunday school and Boy Scouts. She volunteered for Meals on Wheels, census counting, the church thrift shop and numerous church charities. She ironed uniforms for servicemen in the Navy, worked as a waitress, made pies for local restaurants and worked at Sears Department Store.
Moving to New England in 1964, Marge became an avid Boston sports fan. Once in the heyday of Boston wins, she turned their basement into a sports hall of fame, practically wallpapering it in posters and pennants, with a large projection TV (rare in those days) to watch the playoffs. She was also active in sports herself, participating in bowling leagues with Ron, as well as fishing, metal detecting, playing golf and walking. Marge was proficient at crochet and leather crafting. She made afghans for every family member, as well as donated them to police, hospitals and charities. Her love of birds showed up in her art, and in her daily attention to her bird feeders.
She adored her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, lighting up whenever they were around. Her home was the hub of the universe for birthdays, celebrations and holidays. Marge would plan child centered events such as hay rides, pumpkin carving and bingo, making sure everyone went home with a gift.
When Marge became ill, Diana Stundze (daughter in law) and Rhonda Gudath (daughter) provided excellent home health care, affording her three additional years with her family.
Marge’s husband, Ronald Stundze, passed away in Feb. 2022. She is survived by a brother, Howard McKenzie, and her three children, Diane Davis, Thomas Stundze and Rhonda Gudath, as well as her grandchildren, Patricia (Patsy) Alusick, Colin Davis, Christopher (Chris) Gudath, Rebecca (Becki) Harrington-Davis, Heidi Munoz, Stephen Stundze, Benjamin (Ben) Stundze and Nicholas (Nick) Gudath. She has nine great-grandchildren and many life long friends.
Marge was predeceased by her parents, Marie (Johnson) and Angus McKenzie, and her siblings, Donald McKenzie, Evelyn Shore, Carol Mulligan, Laura Burris and Kenneth McKenzie.
In celebration of Marge’s life, services will be held at the Whitman United Methodist Church, 503 South Ave. Whitman, MA on Saturday, Nov. 12th at 11:00. A short burial will be held at the Colebrook Cemetary, with a luncheon following at Adria Restaurant, 436 Oak St. East Bridgewater, MA
In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Whitman United Methodist Church.