Margaret ‘Marge’ Muus

Margaret “Marge” Muus, a resident at Brentmoor Assisted Living, Minot, passed away Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, in a Minot hospital.

Marge was born April 18, 1918, in Fargo, the daughter of John and Mary (Flynn) Pfeffer. She grew up in Fargo and attended the parochial schools, graduating from Sacred Heart Academy in three years at the age of 16. High school interests included playing the cello in the orchestra and artwork, mainly watercolor and oil painting.

The youngest of three girls, Marge was a pal to her father, enjoying hunting, fishing and water sports with him at their summer home in Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Marge continued her studies at North Dakota Agricultural College, now NDSU. While in college she was a member of the Edwin Booth Dramatic Club. In her senior year Marge wrote, directed and produced a musical comedy with a cast of 60, a dancing group of 16 and a complete orchestra. She was also a member of Alpha Theta Sorority. In addition, she worked for her father, an attorney, where she developed a love of law. Marge graduated from NDAC in 1939 with a bachelor of science degree. She then taught high school in Buffalo, N.D., for a short period.

Marge was accepted into the law school of the University of North Dakota in the fall of 1939 where she studied for 1 1/2 years. Upon receiving an appointment as Clerk of Court in Cass County, Fargo, she left UND Law School but then passed the North Dakota bar exam in 1942 at the age of 24.

In 1943 Marge enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Women’s Reserve as the first North Dakota woman to receive a commission. She served our country with pride and honor during World War II where she served as a legal advisor, an instructor in naval law and as a military intelligence officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Office. Marge was promoted to the rank of captain prior to her honorable discharge in 1953. While serving in the Marines, at the age of 27 she was presented by Senator Langer of North Dakota and certified to practice law in the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. Upon return home from the Marines, Marge worked in Fargo at the Department of Education as an attorney for the Veteran’s Administration. It was there that she met Magner J. Muus, also a lawyer employed in the same department. They were married Aug. 17, 1946, in Fargo. They eventually moved to Minot, residing there the rest of their lives. Marge and Magner reared six children, the highlight of their lives. Happy times were spent with the family at their Rice Lake cabin. They were often joined by other family and friends, especially for 4th of July celebrations.

Marge enjoyed her avocation as mother and homemaker. After 13 years of marriage she was named Mrs. North Dakota. She competed in the national contest at Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and was named one of the five finalists for Mrs. America in 1953.

Marge was a self-taught seamstress who enjoyed sewing a unique wardrobe for herself and her family. She also sponsored a Girl Scout troop for many years. Marge was an avid reader; she was thankful for good eyesight and carried a book wherever she went. She loved playing cribbage with Magner and the kids and in later years, with her grandchildren.

In Minot, Marge was a lifelong member of St. Leo’s Parish. When spending winters in Florida she and Magner attended St. Brendan’s Catholic Church in Clearwater, Fla. She was also a member of the American Legion Post 26, the Elks Club and Minot Country Club.

Marge is survived by: daughter, Mary Louise (Arlo) Tonnessen, Burnsville, Minn., son, John Einar (Doran) Muus, Englewood, N.J., son, Carl (Kris) Muus, Missoula, Mont., daughter, Laura (Dick), Wohl, Minot, son, Paul Magner (Joan) Muus, Lousiville, Colo.; son-in-law, Dick Butts, Minot; grandchildren, Troy (Stacy) Tonnessen, Tracy (Todd) Cogan, Jack and Nicholas Muus, Erin Twomey, Megan (Shaun) Grindal, Julianne (Yon) Ubago, James, Jennifer and John Magner Muus, Adam (Jill) Wohl, Annie (Steven) Wood, Alex Wohl and fiancee, Megan, Kalen, Keelee and Kam Muus, Nathan (Lindsey) Butts, Jessica (Jeff) Scott; great-grandchildren, Brooke and Brittni Tonnessen, Ivy Wohl, Amaya Ubago and Ella, Reece and Liam Butts; and several nieces and nephews.

Marge was preceded in death by: her parents; two sisters, Mary Clare Pfeffer and Eloise Clower; her husband, Magner; and one daughter, Martha (Penny) Butts.

Mass of Christian Burial: Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Minot.

Visitation: Today from 4 to 7 p.m., with a prayer service at 7 p.m., all at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home Chapel, Minot.

Burial: Rosehill Memorial Park, Minot

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