is honored with a Brick from Sheri & Kenny Barnes, Ron Schaeffer, Chris Schaeffer
Margie Ellen (Hughes) Schaeffer was born in Hutchinson, Kansas, on September 22, 1923. Throughout her lifetime, she has touched countless people in so many ways. No doubt, there are other people who consider her a heroine, but four of us have chosen to honor her with a brick in the Plaza of Heroines and to highlight just some of the ways she has touched our lives.
Margie has long served as an inspiration to her oldest granddaugther, Sheri. She raised her two sons, Mike and Ron, largely on her own in an era when it was neither common nor popular to be a single mother. She made sure that her sons had a good and loving home by working hard in a variety of jobs. She spent 35 of her working years at Sears, where she managed several departments during her tenure. Because of her tenacity in the work-world and her apparent enjoyment of her work for most of her career, Sheri viewed her grandma as a strong and independent career woman and a role model while she was growing up. Among Sheri's fondest childhood memories are the times that she spent the night with Margie. It was from her grandma that Sheri learned to take care of her nails and her skin. Sheri has always considered Margie to be a beautiful person inside and out and aspires to age as gracefully and with as much class as Margie has. For many reasons, Sheri found Margie to be progressive and forward thinking and felt comfortable talking to her about some of the tough issues that girls face growing up. Margie never interfered but often advised and advocated, thus easing some of Sheri's growing pains. Although they now live several states apart, Sheri still feels a real closeness to Margie and will always be thankful for the role of heroine that her grandma has played in her live.
After her own mother died when Chris was 17 years old, Margie was like a mom to her, helping her plan and sew for her wedding. As the mother of Margie's two eldest grandchildren, Chris benefited from Margie's involvement in her children's lives. Both Margie and her mother, Juanita Hughes, helped Chris develop her cooking and sewing skills, and Margie also helped Chris with beauty tips. Chris learned a great deal from Margie about being a woman and about being a good mother. They have shared both happy and sad moments for nearly 40 years. Margie accompanied Chris and her kids on many fun day trips and vacations. She added richness to Chris's life and truly took her mother's place throughout the years.
For her grandson, Ronnie, the time he spent at Grandma's house and out on mini-adventures is among his most treasured childood memories. Ronnie's grandma was different. Whle friends' grandmothers seemed old and fusty, his was always fun, young-at-heart and stylish. He learned from her and the example of her life that it was okay not to follow the crowd. At the same time, she taught him that you shouldn't take yourself too seriously. Margie's famous ability to be seemingly hopelessly lost and then dramatically show up on the right route, sometimes with Ronnie in tow, never failed to amuse the family. As it turns out, it proved an appropriate metaphor for life. Ronnie remembers his grandma once saying to him, "Someday, you'll get too old to want to spend time with me." He was surprised at her words, as he'd never before thought that such a thing could come to pass. Happily, it hasn't.
Kenny, Sheri's husband, has only know Margie since 1998, but, even in that short time, she has made a strong impression on him, Kenny admires, respects and appreciates Margie for many things: for the pride and love she has for her family, for the confidence to be who she is and say what she feels, for knowledge and wisdom, for compasison and her kind heart, for proudly flying the U.S. flag at her home in Oklohoma and for letting him call her "Grandma."
Clearly, Margie Schaeffer is a special woman who has touched people in a variety of ways. For the four of us, she is truly a heroine, and we are proud to honor her with this tribute and a brick in the Plaza of Heroines.