Marguerite Stroede passed away on Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at home surrounded by her family. She was a fierce defender of social justice, an expert nurse, world traveler, and a loving friend, mother, and wife.
She was born Marguerite Anne Sommers on June 14, 1965 in Detroit, Michigan to Joe and Joan (Fitzpatrick) Sommers. She was the eighth of thirteen children.
Her family moved to Wisconsin where Marguerite attended Oregon High School, graduating in 1983. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Edgewood College in 1988 before volunteering with Frontier Nursing in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky. Ever the adventurer, she took many trips with her siblings and friends, including biking down the Oregon coastline, hiking through Kenya, and horseback riding in Ireland.
In 1989, Marguerite realized her childhood dream of living in Alaska when she packed up her little Dodge Omni and drove all the way up to Anchorage. There and in Sitka she worked with the Indian Health Service, making lifelong friends and hosting her sisters and brothers for visits. She loved her time in the wilds of Alaska, only returning to Wisconsin to help care for her ailing Gram.
Trading one dream for another, she fell in love with the boy next door, Jim Stroede, and they married in 1995. Marguerite always wanted to be a mother; she and Jim raised seven children in northern rural Wisconsin. Together, they wandered through the woods for wild berries, walked barefoot on the cool shores of Lake Superior, and convinced Jim to adopt an assortment of animals. She found joy in homeschooling her children, caring for her patients, reading, gardening, baking, cross country skiing, exploring wild places, and listening to WPR’s Simply Folk on Wednesday nights. She could often be found catching up with close friends over a good cup of coffee.
Over the years, lupus took away the ability for her to do much of what she loved. It was with courage, gratitude, and love that she sustained her spirit; she never stopped dreaming.
Marguerite is survived by her husband and soulmate, Jim; her children Lucia, Willow, Bridget, Catriona, Forrest, Violet, and Linnea; her siblings and many, many nieces and nephews; and all the friends she made along the way. She is preceded in death by her parents and her brother Joe Sommers.
Her family will always miss her. They see her in snow flurries, in wool sweaters, in wild raspberries, in everything.
A small funeral will be held on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. A celebration of Marguerite’s life will take place on Saturday, June 12, 2021 at the Stroede home. Thank you to all the family and friends who reached out in the final months and who continue do so. Marguerite loved and appreciated you all.