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1923 Marguerite 2022

Marguerite Sarah Ross

July 5, 1923 — April 11, 2022

Obituary of Marguerite Ross
July 5, 1923 – April 11, 2022

Marguerite Sarah Ross (known to many as Aunt Mary) was born in Quincy, MA, on July 5, 1923 to Alexander and Bernice (Clark) Ross. Her father, who lovingly called her Maggie, passed away when she was five years old, leaving her mother to raise Marguerite and older brother Francis. His passing was traumatic because he had such a huge influence on her life. He planted deep Scottish roots in her soul/soil.

After his death, they moved to her grandfather’s farm in Barre, VT. They moved frequently during her elementary school years with one year, attending school in three different school districts. To attend one school, she had to walk two and a half miles in both directions on a lonely road. She used that time to memorize reams of poetry.

At the age of fourteen she determined that life would be better if she set out on her own. She had learned to be very independent, however, being still young, she ended up moving in with another family in town and finished up eighth grade.

The next year was a turning point in her life when enrolling in the West Lebanon Adventist School. What made the world of difference was meeting her beloved teacher, Violet Hall. With Mrs. Hall’s love, nurture, and encouragement, she gained a healthy self-worth and her eyes were opened to a fascinating world that she could discover through books and learning. She was always an avid reader.

At the end of the first year in West Lebanon, one of her classmates planned to get baptized. One evening Mrs. Hall was talking with Marguerite and said, “Carlene would like you to be baptized with her.” So she decided to be baptized!

Mrs. Hall gave her little jobs to do. For every load of firewood that Marguerite could carry up to the third floor to fill the wood box, where Mrs. Hall lived, she was paid ten cents. Mrs. Hall suggested that she open a bank account so that she could save her money in order to attend Union Springs Academy her junior and senior years. That’s exactly what she did graduated on Mother’s Day in 1941.

Close friends of hers expected her to marry a good-looking gentleman named Arnie Sparks. Tragically, that never happened. Mary (as he called her) often talked about her one-and-only sweetheart affectionately. She had other interests over the years but remained contentedly single.

Hugh and Ida Bailey also made a significant difference in her life when she became their foster daughter. Aunt Ida (as she called her) became a true mother figure and taught her how to cook, sew, and about how to be part of a caring family. She was always there for Marguerite.

Miss Ross began teaching in the Seventh-day Adventist denominational schools in 1943 at the age of twenty. This was in spite of the fact that she had no interest in teaching nor had she taken courses to prepare for teaching. There had been a desperate need for teachers and after being repeatedly asked to consider teaching over the course of a year, she relented and started a teaching career that began with five years in Bridgeport, CT and Pittsfield, MA.

The Atlantic Union Conference sent her to Emmanuel Missionary College (EMC) for the summers of 1948 and 1949 to develop a new third grade reader. That second summer, she was encouraged to stay at EMC to complete her college studies and was promised that a job would be waiting for her upon graduation. She graduated in the summer of 1950 with a degree in English and Elementary Education with minors in Math and Science. She began teaching Math and English for the seventh graders on a part-time basis at the “demonstration school” of EMC during the 1949-1950 school term. Those seventh graders loved her and she loved them. She was their first teacher who didn’t look or act eighty years old and came to school dressed in flashy high heels and sharp looking matching outfits. She promised them that they could all come dance at her wedding someday. That group of students had reunions with her every year for many years after.

It was also in 1949 that she met the Augsburger family and adopted Lydie as her honorary daughter. Lydie’s brothers, Michel and Danny were also taken under Aunt Mary’s wings. She considered it very special living next door to the Regazzi’s for twenty years. Their close friendship endured to her dying day.

She taught every grade except eighth grade and kindergarten at the “lab school” from 1949 to 1988 when she retired. She ended up teaching sixth grade for sixteen years. Some students were fortunate to have her teach them for three grades. She was pleased to teach the children and grandchildren of some of her first students and kept in touch with many of her students over the years. She also served as Vice Principal for one year. She spent a summer in Chiapas, Mexico to improve her Spanish. She taught in the Republic of Ireland from 1989-1991 and taught children’s literature at Pacific Union College for two summers during the eighties.

During the summer of 1952 she began her Masters studies at the University of Michigan, which included children’s literature, since she was being asked to teach the course at EMC. She completed her Masters’ degree in 1955. She continued teaching children’s literature at EMC for the next thirty-five years.

Miss Ross couldn’t stay out of the classroom. After retirement, she volunteered at Ruth Murdoch Elementary School for close to thirty years. She especially loved reading story books to the third and fourth graders and enjoyed tutoring students in Math. International students from Korea, Brazil and many other countries benefitted from being tutored in English by Miss Ross. They all were so grateful for her patient teaching, love, and care.
She loved to travel, especially with her beloved Violet Hall and other friends to places like New England, Eastern Canada, China, Europe and especially her beloved Scotland. One of her favorite trips to Scotland was with Mark Jr. when they explored Fyvie Castle together. This was special because her grandmother had worked at Fyvie Castle before immigrating to America.

She loved baking cookies: Aunt Ida cookies, Blizzard cookies, fifteen Christmas varieties for Arlene Friestad, scones and many other new recipes that she discovered in the current women’s magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens. She loved antiques, collecting Christmas creches, spoons from her travels, and everything Beatrix Potter.

Most of all, she loved Jesus and had a close walk with Him and an amazing prayer life. This included going through all fifty states and praying for everyone she knew who lived there every Sunday morning. In her Bible was found a pale blue heart with the title, “Kids Need Lots of Love! Underneath, written in her beautiful handwriting, “Samuel’s Farewell Speech… As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you.” (2 Sam. 12:23) She was an active member of the Pioneer Memorial Church and would faithfully attend church and many events. She was a deaconess, visitor greeter, and served in the Sabbath Schools.

She lived a very long and fulfilling life of ninety-eight and a half years and prided herself of remaining mentally alert. (Two weeks prior to her passing, she was balancing her own checkbook during rehab.) She often talked about her father, even to all the care-givers at Caretel Inn. One day, she told Karen that her father would sing Annie Laurie, a particular Scottish song to her every time he looked in the mirror and tied his bowtie. Karen found the music and played it to her and Aunt Mary sang along with it. She knew every word. She died peacefully on the evening of April 11.

Marguerite Ross is survived by her younger foster brother Roy Dickerson and her “adopted” family. Honorary Children: Lydie (Mark) Augsburger Regazzi, Michel (Shirley) Augsburger, Dan (Rose) Augsburger Honorary Grandchildren: Marla (Ryan) Regazzi Melnick, Mark D.J. Regazzi, Tricia Jean (Alvin) Augsburger Jornada, Stephanie (Earl) Augsburger Passamante, Alisa Augsburger Waldrup, Leslie Kay (Robbie) Augsburger Meyer Honorary Great Grandchildren: Penelope, Andrew, and Benjamin Melnick, Avery and Caden Jornada, Dylan, Madison, and Jilian Passamante, Toby and Josie Meyer, and Zoe Augsburger

The family warmly invites you to celebrate a life well-lived on Saturday, April 30, 2022 at 4:00 PM at Pioneer Memorial SDA Church on the campus of Andrews University. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the RMES Worthy Student Fund in Marguerite Ross’ honor.

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Saturday, April 30, 2022

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