Obituary of Margaret Middlebrook Stuermer
Tarzy Stuermer, beloved mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend, died on January 18, 2023, at the age of 87 in Paynesville, Minnesota.
Tarzy, never a ‘Margaret’, gained her nickname from her two older brothers, who, having just seen the latest Tarzan movie, determined that the tanned toddler swinging from her playpen was a miniature version of the jungle denizen. The name fit the adventurous, loving and free-spirited woman throughout her lifetime.
Whether on the golf course, at the bridge table, playing pool or paragliding off the Tetons in Wyoming, Tarzy found the balance between being competitive and having fun. She was a proud mother and ever the cheerleader at her grandchildren’s sporting events and graduations. She was never without a pet – spoiling at least seven of them at last count.
Her adventurous spirit and love for nature took her across the world, travelling to the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica and Alaska to see birds and animals in their habitats. Fiercely liberal, she gave generously to causes to protect animals and the environment, knowing that many ecologically sensitive places she loved might soon be destroyed. Tarzy’s love of nature, especially the deep woods of Minnesota and Wisconsin, was born of many happy days spent with her father, Bill Middlebrook, at their cabin on Whitefish Lake, MN. She found her true home at Voyager Village in Siren, WI, where she lived for more than 30 years, surrounded by her wild birds, golf course and many cherished friends.
Tarzy was born in St. Paul, MN, on April 20, 1935. She graduated from Northrop Collegiate School, now The Blake School, in 1953 and attended both the University of Colorado and the University of Minnesota, joining a proud family legacy at the school where the Middlebrook name is part of the fabric of the University.
She was preceded in death by her beloved daughter Lisa, son-in-law Christopher Smith, husband David Stuermer, parents Bill and Margaret Middlebrook, and brothers John and Bill Middlebrook. She is survived by her daughter Kathryn Strate Smith (Litt Clark) and son Larry Strate, MD., her sister Anne ‘Brooke’ Moedritzer (Kurt), grandchildren Tyler (Sinzi Cornea), Brook and Kelsey Miller, Emily, Connor (Allison Courtin) and Natalie Smith, Mason Marshall and Paige Strate, great-grandson Blake Miller, former husband Richard Strate and many beloved nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on February 25 at 11:30 AM at the Cremation Society of Minnesota, 7110 France Ave S, Edina, MN (952) 924-4100. Memorial gifts can be sent to the Nature Conservancy (Attn Treasury, 4245 N Fairfax Dr, Ste 100, Arlington, VA 22203) or to a wild animal conservation charity of your choosing.