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1933 - 2020

Marguerite Corinne Blais Dannemiller, 86, passed away on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at her home in San Antonio, Texas. She was surrounded by family and friends during her final days. Marguerite was born December 10, 1933, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, to the late Wilhelmina Gertrude Tougas Blais, a homemaker, and Bertram Edward Blais, a baker. Marguerite was the youngest of three children. She was of French-Canadian ancestry, and was raised in the Roman Catholic Church.

Marguerite had a fairy tale upbringing. The family lived on Ridge Street in Pawtucket, but also owned a summer home on the water at Touisset Point. She spent summers on the water, and had a lifelong love of swimming and being at the pool. Her dad's bakery produced "Bambi Bread", from which came her nickname. Her Rhode Island family and friends still call her Bambi.

She graduated from Elmhurst Academy of the Sacred Heart High School in 1951, and Boston College School of Nursing in 1955 with a bachelor's degree in nursing. When Marguerite was a senior in high school, her brother Bert brought home his college roommate for a holiday. Francis Joseph (Joe) Dannemiller became her prince (her words) and, in 1956, her husband. She followed Joe through medical school, and to all the Air Force bases where he was stationed. They had 7 children in an 8 1/2 year period. She had planned to have a dozen, but her doctors convinced her to stop after 7.

Joe was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in 1970, and Joe and Marguerite built a house in Hill Country Village. The house was initially in the boonies, but subsequently became surrounded by San Antonio. Marguerite's primary purpose in life was to care for her family. She was proud of the home environment she made (homemaker), which resembled TV shows from the 1950s. Her house in Hill Country Village was not only the home of her immediate family, but home to all manner of children from the neighborhood and school. She treated them all as her own, loving and scolding them as necessary.

Marguerite's children went to Holy Spirit Catholic School. Marguerite was the 8th grade room Mom for all of her children. A group of parents still meet monthly and call themselves the Holy Spirit Lunch Bunch. Marguerite was with Vivian Woodard Skin Care and Cosmetics for 35 years. The hours were more flexible than nursing. She taught many women the art of skin care and cosmetic application, both at their homes and in her kitchen.

When the Archdiocese spawned off what became Saint Mark The Evangelist Catholic Church in 1976, Marguerite was a founding member. She said she was a member of the parish before it had a name. She became the first choir director when, as she described, the choir needed someone to provide a downbeat so everyone would start singing at the same time. She was active in the choir for the rest of her life, becoming an Emeritus member only a few months ago when her lungs got to the point where she could no longer sing. She was also a member of the Women's Guild and managed the table settings and decor for the annual parish fundraiser. Marguerite knew how to set a table, and made sure all the volunteers under her direction did things properly. She would stand at the end of table and "sight in" the exact location of the silverware, often breaking out her measuring tape to ensure all pieces were placed the same distance from the edge. Her standard was perfection, which she learned from her mother, and which she passed on to all members of her family.

Marguerite loved arts and crafts. She did just about all of them during her life, but settled on knitting and ceramics. She knitted a dish rag for a nurse during one of her final hospital stays. She made many ceramic items through the years including yearly Christmas ornaments for all her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Marguerite was the matriarch of the neighborhood. She met all the new families as houses were bought and sold. She could tell you the history of every house - every owner, every fire, every remodel.

The Village honored her in 2006 when she was a VIP in the Village parade. Many adult gatherings occurred at Marguerite's home. Church members were frequent visitors. Marguerite hosted many neighborhood Christmas parties. In later years when she could no longer host, she was the itch that encouraged others to continue the tradition.

Christmas/New Year was always a busy family time at Marguerite's. Her children returned annually after they had moved out to attend college or work. They returned with spouses, significant others, and eventually Marguerite's grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The question was not "are you coming" but "when are you coming"? With rare exception, everyone came (a grandchild missed one year when he was deployed overseas). The 2019 gathering was attended by all 29 of her family, which she thoroughly enjoyed. She was energized by interactions with everyone, but especially her family. She used to say "I love to see you come, and I love to see you go."

As Marguerite proudly said often, "all 7 of my children are my favorites." She kept an article titled "Firstborn, middle, baby: All were loved", and had a sticky note on the article that said "I've never been as good at writing as Erma Bombeck. Each of you has been my FAVORITE. Lots of love. Mom"

Joe died in 1983. As Marguerite's children moved away to have lives of their own, she "adopted" some of the younger neighbors as her children, and they "adopted" her as their second mom. Unlike some other neighbors who moved out to downsize, Marguerite stayed in her home. She loved her home, and made it clear that she wanted to die there. Marguerite lived in her home for just shy of 50 years, and died there as she wanted.

Marguerite was loved by her family and friends, and we will miss her dearly.

Marguerite is survived by her son and wife David and Lisa, her daughter Patty, her son Bobby, her son Jim, her daughter and husband Barbara Roche and Kevin, her daughter

and husband Denise Pressnell and Wayne, her daughter and husband Elaine and David Davalos; plus 9 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren, and her many nephews and nieces.

Marguerite is predeceased by her husband Joe, her parents, her brother Bert, her brother Bob, her daughter-in-law Peggy (McLaughlin) Dannemiller, and her best friend since childhood and sister-in-law Dodie McCarron.

In lieu of flowers, Marguerite requested that donations be made to a ; or to Saint Mark The Evangelist Catholic Church organ fund, 1602 Thousand Oaks Dr, San Antonio, TX 78232.

Due to current limitations on group size caused by the coronavirus, Marguerite's Celebration of Life service is delayed until a TBD future date.

You are invited to sign

the Guestbook at


Arrangements with

Published in Express-News on Mar. 22, 2020
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