Margaret Rose Tuma, age 72

Margaret Rose Tuma was born in Webster Township on March 13, 1944, the daughter of William Sr. and Elaine (Parkos) Tuma. She passed away of a heart attack on December 23 a the age of 72.

Margaret was preceded in death by her parents and brother Neil Tuma. She is survived by daughter Mercedes Tuma-Hansen; and brothers Keith, Marvin and William Jr.

Speaking Bohemian as a child, Margaret always remained connected to her Czech heritage. She grew up farming with horses and without running water. Margaret began her education at Rosary School and Northfield High School, graduating in 1962. Margaret earned a BA in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota and MA in K-12 Counseling from the UofM, Duluth.

In college Margaret sang in Chamber Singers, the top UofM choir, which her daughter Mercedes sang in decades later. Out of college she was a paid soloist at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and professional singer in the Unitarian Society Choir.

In California for a year, Margaret attended UCLA and worked for Price Waterhouse. There she met actor Walter Matthau and saw the sealed Academy Award envelopes being readied for that year’s Oscars.

Back in Minnesota, Margaret’s teaching career began at Bancroft School in 1967, followed by assignments at Bremer, the Southeast Alternatives program at Tuttle, the Free School and the Gifted- Talented Program. She excelled as a classroom teacher, often assigned the most challenging children because her calm demeanor, wide-ranging interests and curiosity engaged her students so completely.

Retirement in 2001 gave Margaret time to pursue her true passion of being Mom to her daughter Mercedes. She was Mercedes’ biggest fan, and anyone she talked with soon knew that they were mother-and-daughter soul mates. Together they undertook many adventures- a bluegrass music cruise in 2014, trips to visit California relatives, camping trips to music festivals, and much more. Margaret was an avid follower of music, especially bluegrass, classical and folk, and she was the biggest fan and dear friend of many local groups.

In retirement Margaret served on the board of the Minneapolis Retired Teachers Association in numerous positions, most notably her special love, the Program Committee. Her energy in following the Minnesota arts scene was indefatigable, attending three, four or more performances a week in search of interesting, educational and entertaining programs for the group’s luncheons.

Wake Fri, Jan 6, 4-7pm. Sat, Jan 7- 11am visitation, noon funeral mass followed by lunch. All at St. Leonard of Port Maurice Church, 3949 Clinton Ave S, Mpls.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to children’s and public education endeavors.

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