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Margaret  Jane Turnquist Grothus

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Margaret Jane Turnquist Grothus passed away of natural causes in Albuquerque on March 13, 2012. A long-time resident of Los Alamos, she was born on May 28, 1922, the only child of Dr. Herbert E and Leona M Cavanaugh Turnquist of Minneapolis, Minnesota. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1943 with a BS in Dietetics. Because her father was stationed in England with the US Army, she elected to serve her internship at the University of Minnesota Hospital to be with her mother. Jobs followed at the Mayo Clinic and at the VA Hospital at Ft. Snelling, Minnesota.

When the war ended she adventured to Hawaii with two girlfriends. She supported herself in Honolulu with jobs at Sears and the YMCA, and enjoyed Hula dancing – "lovely hula hands". Dutifully returned to Minneapolis in 1950, she was informed of a job opening for a dietician in Los Alamos by a cousin, Dr. Paul Noth, who was on the medical staff there. Imagining it the first step back to Hawaii, she gained the position as the first dietitian in the Station Hospital, later renamed the Los Alamos Medical Center.

She met Edward B Grothus, a Los Alamos laboratory machinist, at a bridge game. In addition to a mutual enthusiasm for bridge, they both owned cars, were Catholic, and owned typewriters. They married on September 1, 1951. Margaret and Ed raised a family of five children and together built a house on Barranca Mesa. While raising her family, Margaret volunteered with Cub Scouts, Brownies and Girl Scouts. She volunteered in the schools and for the Humane Society. She knitted countless pairs of baby booties for the hospital auxiliary. She was a master of all things in the kitchen and enjoyed entertaining, baking and candy making. She did not like to see things go to waste, making apricot jam from the tree outside her garage and applesauce from fruit fallen over the fence from the neighbor.

When Ed resigned from 20-years of employment at the laboratory, Margaret and Ed operated The Shalako Shop in Los Alamos, a gift store dealing primarily in Native American jewelry and crafts. After working in the shop all day, Margaret kept the books at night.

Margaret was known for her sweet nature, her calm demeanor, dedication to equality among their children, and especially her graciousness. She was not a procrastinator, and she never quit a task once her mind was made up. While Ed typed letters to the newspapers, she typed letters to her family. Single-spaced, multiple-page letters, every week, for years and years. Talent and persistence also gained her the title of Life Master in the American Contract Bridge League.

Margaret was preceded in death by her son Theodore (1976), her grandson Preston Burns (2002), and her husband Edward (2009). She is survived by daughters Barbara Grothus and Susan Burns, by sons Tom Grothus (Wendy Slotboom) and Michael Grothus (Nancy Heidi Whitmore Grothus), and grandchildren, Casey and Michelle. The family would like to thank Sandra, Teri, Rachel, Matthew, Wendy, Lanie and the Los Alamos Visiting Nurses for the loving care they provided over the past 2+ years.

Services will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Los Alamos. Following a 6:00 PM visitation, a rosary will be said at 7:00 PM on Sunday, March 18. A funeral mass will be held on Monday, March 19 at 11 AM, followed by a reception at 12 noon in the parish hall. Interment will be at Guaje Pines Cemetery in Los Alamos at 1:30 PM.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Service 116 Central Park Square Los Alamos, NM 87544 (505) 662-2525 or donations of time to a cause of your choice.