Posted by: marthabernie | November 2, 2014

104th Anniversary of the Birth of Aunt Marge

Marguerite Shank, Phillipsburg, MOThis is my aunt, Marguerite Frances Shank Brammell Truitt.  Today is the 104th anniversary of her birth in Phillipsburg, Missouri.  She was five years older than my mother, and she was always my favorite aunt.  She came with her brother and sister to California in the 1930’s, and there she met Charles Brammell, whom she married and they had a daughter, Judith Carol Brammell.  Cousin Judy, who was more like an older sister to me than a cousin.  After Charlie died, Aunt Marge lived on her own for awhile and then married Bert Truitt.  After he passed away, she remained in her home in Albany, California, near Berkeley, until she fell and broke her hip at age 85 and quietly passed away a few weeks later.  This is an amazing photo of her taken before she was married.  Somewhere in the recesses of my memory, I remember a story about Marge writing to get a copy of her birth certificate after she left Missouri, and it was at that time that she found out that Marguerite Frances was not her full given name…I think it was something like Marguerite Lydia Frances, or Lydia Marguerite Frances.  She was named after her two grandmothers, Rebecca Frances Smith McMenus, and Lydia Margaret Massie Shank.  Anyway, if I have this wrong, perhaps one of Marge’s grand daughters will post and correct me.


  1. Thank you for posting on Aunt Marge’s 102 birthday! I am one of Aunt Marge’s grand daughters, and I can easily imagine her being 102:). She was so active at 85, that I truly expected her to live to 100. I didn’t know about the birth certificate incident and that Lydia was in her name. I just knew her as “Grammie.” 🙂 Grammie was one of my favorite people on the planet. Since she had just one child, my mother Judy, my sister and I were her only grandchildren and thus were the focus of much grandmotherly attention, love, care packages and worry:). Grammie took very good care of herself, and I was shocked when she died at 85. She ate home-prepared fresh foods, walked every day, worked in her small garden, read the Oakland Tribune, did the daily crossword puzzle and jumble, and listened to as much Major League Baseball as possible. Her “intellectual” passion in life was following MLB and the SF Giants.

    Grammie is buried next to Bert Truitt in a Richmond, California cemetery. The hillside she is on faces westerly towards San Francisco, and I KNOW her spirit was beaming with joy last week when her beloved SF Giants won the 2012 World Series.

    Happy Birthday, Grammie:)


  2. Lovely post.


  3. Hi Martha! I woke up late this morning and saw your post which reminded me it is Grammie’s birthday. I spent last week on the edge of my seat watching the Giants-Royals World Series, and obviously thought about Grammie a lot. Thank you so much for keeping her memory alive. A big hug to you from me. Sara


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