Margarete Waltraude Viola Brescia, age 95, passed quietly on Thursday, February 14, 2019, just short of 96 years young. A Memorial Service will be held Thursday, May 2, 2019, 11:00 a.m. at FRENCH - Wyoming, with a reception to follow.
Margarete was born in Elsterberg, Germany in 1923, a small town in Saxony. Her early years were spent growing up during the Weimar Depression, she and her family raising most of the food they ate. Margarete began working as an apprentice seamstress at the age of 12, a skill that served her throughout her lifetime. Through WWII, she worked in a silk factory, then later a clock factory near Dresden, the capitol of Saxony.
As the war was ending, she fled Germany on a bicycle to Czechoslovakia, making a 13-day journey through active battlefields as Russian troops were flooding into what would become East Germany. Refugees were not welcome in Czechoslovakia, so she was forced to return to Germany, again on a bicycle, hiding during the days and traveling at night to avoid military patrols. After being captured by American forces, with a brief internment, she resumed life in the American Sector.
Germany was soon divided and her home was located in what became the Russian sector, East Germany. Soon after the hard border was established, she fled again, this time to an island in the North Sea where she worked with a friend who owned a jewelry store. Eventually, she made her way to Nuremberg where she met her husband Gus, a soldier in the US Army, and finally arrived in the United States in 1954.
She quickly became a US citizen in Fayetteville, North Carolina, then spent the next 30 years as an Army wife, traveling the world with Gus and their four children, August, Rosemarie, Katherine, and Michael. Military tours included Japan, several U.S. army bases, Germany and France. After uprooting the household every few years, the family eventually settled in Ft. Collins, Colorado. After retirement, Margarete moved to Albuquerque.
In 1965, she began finely detailed, professional quilting, for which she is well known. She spent her retirement years hand-making quilts, mostly for charities. She was known for the over 250 quilts she made for the Quilts of Valor Foundation. She remained active in the Albuquerque quilting community throughout the remainder of her lifetime, and was an active volunteer at the Oso Canyon Senior Center.
In the care of hospice and the loving, thoughtful staff at ABQ Life Care residential care facility, she passed in her sleep. Survived by her four children and three grandchildren, Erik, Melanie, and Joshua. Margarete will be missed by all her life touched.