Margaret “Maggie” Neva Brandon
Margaret “Maggie” Neva Brandon, the matriarch of a very modern family, was the only child of Orrin and Effie Brandon and was born October 4, 1946 in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. Growing up the daughter of a border patrol agent she lived in a variety of places such as Douglas, AZ, Nogales, TX, New York, NY, Hansboro, ND, Noyes, MN, Springsteele Island, MN, Ross, MN, Pinecreek, MN finally settling in Roseau, MN where she graduated from high school in May, 1964. That same year she joined the Women’s Army Corps receiving an honorable discharge in 1965 when she married James K. Goodboe and moved to Norfolk, VA. It was to this union a son, Shawn, was born in 1966 after which the family moved to Silver Spring, MD and later to San Diego, CA. Following a divorce in 1969, Margaret and Shawn moved to Minneapolis, MN where she met Henry (Hank) Butler with whom her second child, Chris, was born later that year. Seeking to provide for him a better life than she thought she could provide she allowed for his adoption by Bill and Verna Bork. Margaret and Chris would later become reacquainted and a part of each other’s lives. In 1970, Margaret and Shawn moved to Graceton, MN and later to Baudette, MN where she married Martin Ramberg. They lived in Williams, MN and then Baudette, MN. There were three children born of this marriage: Scott Alan, Shelly Rae and Sandy Lyn. In 1978, a house fire from which Margaret and Shawn escaped would claim the lives of those three children as well as Margaret’s mother, Effie. Following her divorce from Martin, Margaret married Edward Sonstegard in November of that year. They were married for 8 ½ years until his death in 1987. Margaret continued to live in Baudette until 1992 when she moved to Waite Park, MN and later to neighboring St. Cloud, MN where she made many lifelong friends and created many cherished memories. In January of 2016 she moved to Arnold, MD to live with her son, Shawn, and his husband Mo (Morris Goff) so that they, along with her care-giver Brenda May and close friend Kathy Rentfrow, might assist her in navigating her multiple health issues. On November 23, 2018 she made the decision to transition to palliative care surrounded by family and friends. On November 29, 2018 she peacefully entered into the promises of eternal life in which she had been assured through her Lutheran faith – reunited with her children and all those who had gone before her. Throughout her working years, Margaret worked at Tom’s Café, The Lighthouse Restaurant, the Pioneer Nursing Home and Lake of the Woods County Social Services in Baudette, MN, Marvin Windows in Warroad, MN, and for Stearns County in St. Cloud, MN as a child support officer from which she retired in 2007. In retirement, she served as a rather notorious jury attendant. Some of the things for which she will be remembered include her love of her Norwegian heritage (especially the lefse), butterflies in any form, strong opinions (don’tcha think?), serving as the first and only female commander of the Baudette American Legion Post, blackberry brandy as the cure-all for whatever might ail you, being the life of the party, swimming with her friends at her condominium pool in St. Cloud, irreverent joy (don’t ask how she liked her coffee or what illness she didn’t have), witty limericks, and taking care of any in need of being taken care of. She is survived by her son, Shawn, and his husband, Morris Goff (and step-grandson Ted), grand(nana)daughter, Emma Grace, daughter-in law-forever, Kim (Mike Lundberg), son Chris and his daughter Amanda, honorary daughter and grandchildren Trisha Pankonen (Joel Vaske), Gabriel, Johanna, Jens, many beloved cousins and many beloved “in-laws” and friends. The “Maggie Tour” will begin at Gloria Dei! Lutheran Church, Arnold, MD on Friday, December 8 at 4:00 pm (with a one hour visitation prior) and will continue with a memorial gathering in St. Cloud, MN on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 at Trisha’s and will conclude in Baudette, MN on Saturday, July 6, 2019 at 1:00 pm the Winter Road River Cemetery in Pitt, MN where she will be interred with her children and mother. Memorials may be made to Gloria Dei! Lutheran Church, Arnold, MD or the Lindwood Laughy American Legion Post, Baudette, MN. Blessed be her memory for which all who knew and loved her might proclaim – Thanks be to God!