MOULTONBOROUGH — Marguerite L. Gruner, 90, of Moultonborough, New Hampshire, and Bradenton, Florida, passed away on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018, in the company of her family after a short illness.
Marguerite was born in 1928 in Mulhouse, France, and spent her childhood in Basel, Switzerland. In the early 1950s, she looked for a way to improve her English, so she applied for and got a year-long job as a nanny for a wealthy family in New York City. It was while that family was summering at the Bald Peak Country Club that she met and fell in love with “Harry” Gruner who was working on a summer job there. The romance blossomed and, when her nanny job ended, Marguerite decided to stay in the U.S., move to Boston, and become a U.S. citizen. The couple married in 1953 and moved permanently to Moultonborough, residing on the family property (Greene Bay Lodge on Greene's Basin on Lake Winnipesaukee), where the family ran a summer cottage rental business on the lake.
While raising her two children with Harry, Marguerite became an active member of the Moultonborough community, taking part in the Red Hill Ski Club, Cub Scouts, the Methodist Church, elementary school programs, and even leading and growing the local 4-H club to nearly 100 kids. It was during this time that she took up tennis, a sport she loved and actively played past her 90th birthday. She also began working for the Town Clerk, and when the then clerk decided to leave office in the mid-1970s, she ran for the position and won. She continued serving as the Moultonborough Town Clerk for 18 years.
In 1993, Marguerite decided to retire and began snowbirding between New Hampshire and Bradenton, Florida. In Florida, Marguerite was as active as ever, joining a tennis league, where she made many great friends and even captained a team to three state championships. She was also active in the church choir, led a bridge club, ushered at the local playhouse, took part in the Red Hats, worked on her golf game, and was a patron of the local arts.
During her life, she was also blessed with two wonderful granddaughters and loved sharing her passion for the lake, crafts, travel, and sport with them.
She is survived by son Elliott Gruner of Moultonborough; daughter Heidi Southard of Canterbury; daughter-in-law Jane Thomas; son-in-law Russel Birdsey; and granddaughters Lydia Gruner of Barre, Massachusetts, and Lara Gruner and her husband, Rob Orf, of Waterville Valley; along with many nieces and nephews who will miss her.
A Celebration of Life will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, in the Center Harbor Congregational Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations on her behalf may be made to the Moultonborough Recreation Department Scholarship Fund or the NH SPCA.