Margaret Brummell passed away January 3, 2022 in her home with her grandchildren, Brian and Bhree, by her side. Margaret was born February 8, 1925 in Nashville, Arkansas, the youngest of 4 children. Her father worked in the lumber mills during the 1930s and 1940s, her family making it through the Great Depression by growing their own food and finding jobs wherever they could. They moved from lumber town to lumber town, eventually ending up in Wright City, Oklahoma where, in her junior year of high school, she met the love of her life, Clyde V. Brummell.
In 1942, both Clyde and Margaret's families ended up moving again in the hopes of finding a better future in the lumber mills out West. Grandpa moved to Klamath Falls and Grandma moved to Weed. They kept in touch, mostly through letters, even during the years Grandpa served in the Marines during World War II. When Grandpa got back from the war in 1945, they were married almost immediately!
In time, they settled in Sellwood, buying their first house in the area on Malden Street. Their two children, Renda and Kevin, went to school in the area, Grandma raising them while Grandpa worked around the US and world for Bob Johnson managing construction projects.
In the 1960s, Grandma and Grandpa started their own business and built the first A&Ws in the area, running the one on 17th for years. This was just the beginning! Grandpa and Grandma continued to build and buy properties in the area, running Brummell Construction into their 80s. Grandpa was the visible community member and businessman, but Grandma was the foundation upon which their life and the business was built.
Grandma took in the rents, kept the books, and made sure every staff member had a cake on their birthday and a ham or turkey for the holidays. She hosted Rosarian, Lions Club and veteran's gatherings, usually at their home next to Westmoreland Park. She made sure every family member knew that hard work and humility were her core values by living a life of examples. And she always had the final word.
After Grandpa died in 2009, she volunteered at Loaves & Fishes, giving rides to her homeless friend, Lou. She continued keeping up her oasis in the backyard of her last home on Clatsop, planting green beans, tomatoes and cucumbers every year and keeping the poppies from taking over the rest of the yard. And her neighbors never went hungry; she always had a tuna casserole or dump cake to share.
She was able to continue living at home thanks to her loving caregivers, Bob Cadwell and Molly mHensa, as well as the many neighbors and community members who watched over her, especially in her final years. Grandma gathered a lot of family-by-choice (people she loved like family) throughout her many years, and they loved her back. A true measure of a life well lived.
Margaret is survived by her son, Kevin, Portland; grandchildren, Bhree Roumagoux and husband, Rob Hensch, Homer, Alaska; Shelby Gales, Lake Oswego; and Brian Brummell and wife, Veronica Brummell, Silverton; and numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family, including her "family-by-choice". She was preceded in death by her husband, siblings and daughter.
To celebrate her life, there will be a catered, casual dinner on February 5th from 4-6pm at 8524 SE 17th (The Living Room). We will be sharing stories of her life, as well as her recipes! In lieu of sending flowers, please consider making a donation to a homeless shelter or a charity that provides meals to those in need.