Proclaiming Marge: Someone to celebrate in Morristown

HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEARTS: Wendell and Margret Brady. Photo by Berit Ollestad, july 14, 2015
HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEARTS: Wendell and Margret Brady. Photo by Berit Ollestad
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Video: ‘Proclaiming Marge’

 

By Kevin Coughlin

Thank God they didn’t deport her.

HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEARTS: Wendell and Margret Brady. Photo by Berit Ollestad, july 14, 2015
HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEARTS: Wendell and Margret Brady. Photo by Berit Ollestad

Margret Brady, who one day will have her own statue on the Morristown Green, came perilously close to being shipped to Nazi Germany during World War II.

“My father was an illegal alien, and Immigration had caught up with him,” Marge told a packed house at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Fortunately, saner heads prevailed back in ’43. And Morristown today is a better place as a result.

Marge’s civic service is so voluminous, in fact, that Mayor Tim Dougherty nearly needed a second parchment for his proclamation declaring Saturday, July 18, 2015 — her 80th birthday–as Marge Brady Day.

Describing Marge as a “tremendous vessel for history and culture,” the Mayor rattled off a series of achievements and positions that include…

  • Councilwoman from 1978 to 1985
  • Founder of the Historic Preservation Committee
  • Chair of the planning board’s long-range planning committee for the drafting of a town master plan and zoning ordinance
  • Morristown Parking Authority commissioner for 25 years, contributing to new parking deck projects, the Epstein’s redevelopment and the authority’s green office building on Maple Avenue
  • Trustee of the Passaic River Coalition, advocating for clean water and the preservation of historic Willow Hall, the coalition’s headquarters
  • League of Women Voters member
  • Phenomenal Woman of 2011, awarded by the Morristown Neighborhood House
  • Retired writer, researcher, consultant and designer
  • Mentor to residents seeking involvement with local government
  • Occasional correspondent for MorristownGreen.com (we added that one, proudly)

Not bad for someone whose first language was not English.

WITH HER 'BOYS' : Fire Chief Robert Flanagan and Police Chief Pete Demnitz with Marge Brady. Photo by Berit Ollestad
WITH HER ‘BOYS’ : Fire Chief Robert Flanagan and Police Chief Pete Demnitz with Marge Brady. Photo by Berit Ollestad

But Marge said Morristown has given her as much as it’s gotten, starting with her husband Wendell, who she met at Morristown High School.

“Everything I have is a benefit of all of you, because when you talk to people, they give back, and you learn things.  And I’ve been learning so much since I came to Morristown,” said Marge, whose remarks begin about halfway into the video (above).

Good things happen “if you’re curious, if you care, and if you realize how much love is out there,” she continued.

“I have received back for every single bit of interest that I’ve put out there.  I am most humbled and most grateful, because I am a product of all of you.”

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, Marge.

Mayor Tim Dougherty presents "Marge Brady Day' proclamation to the honoree. Photo by Kenneth Hoffman.
Mayor Tim Dougherty presents “Marge Brady Day’ proclamation to the honoree. Photo by Kenneth Hoffman.
Council President Rebecca Feldman and Mayor Tim Dougherty honor Margret Brady at town hall. Photo by Kenneth Hoffman.
Council President Rebecca Feldman and Mayor Tim Dougherty honor Margret Brady at town hall. Photo by Kenneth Hoffman.
Margret Brady has served on more boards than a champion surfer. Photo by Kenneth Hoffman
Margret Brady has served on more boards than a champion surfer. Photo by Kenneth Hoffman
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2 COMMENTS

  1. So glad that the town has seen fit to honor Marge for her many, many contributions to it. Those contributions are more than outstanding. Marge is one of a kind and richly deserves the honor.

    All of us who are Marge’s friends appreciate Mayor Tim Dougherty and Council President
    Rebecca Feldman’s actions for making tomorrow “Marge Brady Day.” Kudos also to Morristown Green for its wonderful coverage.

    Congratulations and happy birthday, Marge, and thank you for just being you!

  2. I had the privilege of being Marge’s (& Wendell:) neighbor for almost 2 years. I have always credited Marge for introducing me to the sweet side of this town. By the time I moved to Morristown; it was my 5th move in approx. 8 years and I was pretty disillusioned. The last thing I wanted to do was embrace New Jersey, I wanted to go home to Seattle.
    We had just moved in to our house across the street from
    Marge and I had a 3 & 4 year old at the time. I remember hearing the doorbell ring and when I answered it; it was Marge w/a card & a pot of flowers, welcoming us to the neighborhood.
    Then all of a sudden, Marge & I heard a crash & it was my 3 year old throwing her spaghetti against the wall. I started crying & Marge hugged me & promised me things would get better (I had my doubts). Then she asked me ‘if I’d like to join her at the council meeting later that evening’. Initially I thought ‘sure why not, I feel like my life is over already anyways’.
    Little did I know that staying close to Marge in the first few years of being in Morristown would take my life in the
    direction it has. When the Mayor emphasized ‘Phenominal Woman’ as it relates to Marge; he couldn’t have been more accurate!
    Thank You Marge for everything you’ve done for the town! But more important to me, thank you for always making us feel so special & loved…With Much Gratitude Berit Mateo & Annika….. Happy Birthday!

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