September 18, 1925 - March 3, 2014
It is with great sadness to announce the passing of Margaret Rummell due to the complications of breast cancer. She was surrounded by her children and family at the time of her passing.
Margaret, a loving wife and mother, was 88 years old and had a very full life of blessings and accomplishments. She was born Margaret Elfreda Johansen on September 18, 1925 to Norwegian immigrants, Ovidia and Herlof Johansen in Astoria, Oregon. She was the 7th of 8 children. Brothers and sisters who preceded her in death were Haakon, Alfred(Knute), Arthur(Art), Carl, Helen, Lily, and Evelyn.
Margaret was raised and schooled in Astoria. While growing up in Astoria, she was known by many nicknames which were: Margo, Maggie and Peggy. Her favorite over the years was Maggie. Like many young teenagers of the Depression Era, She had to quit school and work to provide for her family. Her earliest jobs were working for the local skating rink and movie theater. Then she spent a few years working in the fish canneries. As World War II was in full swing in '43 and '44, she relocated to Portland/Vancouver area and worked as a welder in shipyards. She was known as "Margo the Riveter".
After the war, she moved back to Astoria and landed a job as a sander at Uptegrove Lumber Mill. This is where she met Frank Rummell. After their three month courtship, they would be married for 50 years until Frank's passing in 1998.
In 1957, Uptegrove was forced to shut down leaving Margaret and Frank to seek new jobs and a new location. They moved to Salem and started a hamburger drive-in business called the "Storybook Kitchen" located on 12th Street near Morningside Elementary School. The Storybook Kitchen's "hand patted" 25 cent burgers, with all the fixin's, had the best tasting burgers around. However, competition from Bob's 19 cent hamburgers, during that time, forced the Storybook Kitchen to eventually close after 3 years of business.
In 1960, Margaret quickly found work after the closure of the Storybook Kitchen. She landed what would become her career for the next 27 years. She was a House Mother/group supervisor at Hillcrest School for Girls in Salem. She described her job as very stressful and yet rewarding. Many times she stated some of the young women who were incarcerated there as being "the roughest and toughest" in State of Oregon. The overall majority of the young women respected and loved Margaret, even though she had to be strict and stern. Her motherly compassion for each young lady was truly felt by them. Throughout the years she would bring some of the young ladies from Hillcrest home for weekend passes. She would treat them to good home cooked meals and out to Bob's for burgers/fries and shakes. Their biggest thrill was when she took them to the latest Elvis Presley movies at the Elsinore. The girls were always so grateful for the kind and royal treatment they received on these special weekends at her house.
Margaret was a member of Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Salem. She belonged to many of the organizations including the Altar Society and 39ers Club. She will be remembered at the church for one of her biggest talents, her baking. Her cakes and pies will never be forgotten by all those who ever got to partake of them. Years after when she was unable to bake, her God-given talent of baking is still fondly remembered by parishioners, family and friends.
Margaret's favorite recent memory was her opportunities to travel throughout Europe on several occasions which were organized by Queen of Peace. During these tours she visited many European Catholic churches and cathedrals. She was truly inspired by these trips.
Margaret is survived by her three children and their spouses, Mark (Clarissa), Robin (Terry) and Chris (Terese). 10 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, and 3 great-great grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews and in-laws.
Mass of Christian will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, March 15 at Queen of Peace Catholic Church, 4227 Lone Oak Rd. SE. Arrangements by Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.
Published in StatesmanJournal on Mar. 12, 2014