Ronald F. and Margaret V. Seubert

The children of Ronald and Margaret Seubert formed the non-profit organization Marshfield Area Purple Angels in their honor, and in special memory of Margaret who passed away in 2014 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. As a family, we had the honor and privilege of caring for both of our parents and allowing them to stay in their own home. This is our story of how the lives and deaths of our parents inspired a legacy of caring and love. 

Mom and Dad taught us a volunteer work ethic from a very young age. It probably helped that we lived across the street from our grade school and church or that Dad was in the Knights of Columbus and Mom was eager to involve the family in church activities and community events. She was involved in the ladies’ missionary society, Dad ushered at Mass, and it seemed if there was a picnic, an event that needed serving food, cleaning up or both, the Seubert family was there!

Mom and Dad’s kindness never stopped at church or through organizations. They helped their neighbors and families whenever there was a need. Green beans from the garden and homemade bread and jam went to shut-in neighbors, and Dad never cut just one lawn or shoveled just one driveway. There was always work to be done for someone. That’s just what they did, and taught their children through their example.

Before Marge met Ron, she grew up on a small farm in the town of Little Black in Taylor County. After graduation from high school, she moved to Chicago and worked in restaurants and retail before returning to Dorchester upon the death of her mother. She stayed to take care of her father, and after his passing, moved to Marshfield and again continued working in retail and in restaurants before owning the Horseshoe Café in the late 1950’s on the south side of Marshfield.

It was there she met the love of her life, Ronnie, when one day he walked into the Horseshoe.  Years later she brightly stated, “It was those blue eyes” that sold her on Dad.  And in August 1959, they became Mr. and Mrs. Seubert.

Growing up near Dorchester, Marge had two siblings. Ron on the other hand grew up with 14 siblings. His father’s first wife died, leaving him with five children. Then he married Ron’s mother and they had ten more with Ron leading the pack. Ron was born on a farm in Hewitt and moved to Marshfield at a young age and grew up on the land where the Marshfield Clinic is today. In fact, he slid down the snow hill where the helicopter launch pad of the Spirit of Marshfield rests.

His early life included taking care of his younger siblings and joining the service during the Korean Conflict, stationed in Norfolk, VA. Ron worked at 3 employers his whole life, Normington Cleaners, McClenan’s Five and Dime, and with his last being over 30 years as a buyer at Distributers Warehouse, now CarQuest. Ron and Marge lived their entire lives together in Marshfield and raised four children. Ron had an adventurous sense of humor and both he and Marge enjoyed many laughs and good times with friends and family.

In late 1990, only days after his 60th birthday, Ron was diagnosed with kidney cancer. For three years, with humor and courage, he fought a strong fight, facing three major surgeries and plenty of pain. During that whole time, Marge was right by his side, caring for his every need and showing what true, unconditional love is all about.

Cancer took many things from him, but not his choice to die at home. Honoring his wishes, and with the help of home hospice, we were at his side when he passed away. One of the things Dad told us during the last weeks of his life was, “we raised four good kids; promise me that you will take good care of your mother.” When the time came, our family was able to keep that promise. 

Our mother, Marge, worked hard all her life, always in the caretaker role whether it was for her family, neighbors, those at church or in the jobs she worked.  Early in life she worked in retail and restaurants, and in marriage provided childcare in the home for over 30 years.  In her later years, she returned to retail and was a part-time cashier at Shopko.  Once again she returned to helping friends and neighbors and those she did not know with their purchases, sharing stories, smiles and that "extra mile" service she had been accustomed to unconditionally giving her whole life.  Marge retired from Shopko in March of 2005 and already had signs of short -term memory loss.  Over the next nine years she traveled a new journey that would eventually take her from her family.

Alzheimer’s disease is not a diagnosis anyone wants to hear, but that is what we heard in spring of 2007. Even though we already knew dementia crept into Mom's life, it was hard to accept. But now, after all the years of care Mom had given to others, it was time she was well-cared for in return. Our promise to Dad to take care of Mom was now more important than ever. Caring for Mom throughout all the stages of Alzheimer’s was an honor and a privilege. Mom passed away on December 7, 2014.

The lessons we learned from our parents, and their strength, courage, and endless giving to others, now continues through the Marshfield Area Purple Angels. We formed this organization because we found there were few resources in the community for families caring for someone who has dementia. Most of our support was self-discovered by digging deeper into issues and learning along the way.

We honor both of our parents through this grass roots organization by serving others just as our mom and dad taught us to do. We want other families in the community to know they are not alone, that they are cared about, and that others truly do understand what they are going through.

~The Ron and Marge Seubert Family~

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