February 9, 1924 – November 4, 2018
On Nov. 4tt 2018 Margaret Kremsreiter Hieggelke left her earthly body into the open arms of the Lord. Margaret was 94 years and 9 months old and passed during a short stay at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, WA.
Margaret was born February 9, 1924 in Puyallup, WA the ninth child of Louis and Teresa Kremsreiter - immigrants from Breitenberg, Germany. She was the only child of nine born outside of Odessa, WA where the Kremsreiter’s had originally homesteaded as dry-land wheat farmers.
In 1919 most of the Kremsreiter family moved to Puyallup where they purchased a raspberry farm next to the Washington State Fairgrounds which would have been in its 19th season. Margaret told stories of helping her older siblings flag automobiles into their pasture to park for a fee – just as they still do today. However, the car park business came to an end when in 1929 the raspberry farm was sold to the fairgrounds making room for expansion to the south.
The 1929 sale of the Puyallup farm again changed the direction of the farming business of Margaret’s family as they purchased a chicken ranch in Auburn on the hill by the Adventist Academy on the Muckleshoot Reservation. The farm had two very long chicken houses and the person collecting eggs pushed a large basket on a conveyer down the middle gathering eggs from under the hens. Margaret and her cousins spent Saturdays in the candling room cleaning and sorting the eggs for market and weeding the huge vegetable garden. It was here on this farm that Margaret learned from her mom to garden, to can and pickle veggies and bake the best apple pie on earth.
As Margaret got older she spent part of her summers in Odessa working for her brother as a farm cook. She graduated from Auburn High School in May of 1942 six months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. While school was still in session she had to sit idle and watch as her Japanese friends, and their families, were removed from their Auburn valley farms and sent to internment camps. Her sister Annie was sent to France to work in a mobile medical unit as an Army Registered Nurse.
In September of 1942 Margaret enrolled in Knapp Business College in Tacoma where the tuition for 12 weeks was $72.00. She had her own car from her work savings and drove daily from Auburn to Tacoma to attend classes. After graduating from Knapp, Margaret went to work for Knickerbochker & Agee, Attorneys at Law in the Masonic Temple Bldg. in Auburn.
In 1951 Margaret hired into the Northern Pacific Railroad, eventually becoming the Burlington Northern, as a clerk on the rip track. On July 14, 1954 Margret was married to Allen Hieggelke who also worked for the railroad. She retired from the railroad in 1983 with 33 years of service. In retirement Margaret and her husband Alf enjoyed hanging out in the warmer climates of Hawaii, Arizona, and Southern California.
In 2009 Margaret moved from Auburn to a retirement community in Redmond, WA. Margaret is survived by her sister Annie Kremsreiter McDonald of Auburn; daughter Cindy Hieggelke; Grandchildren Tori and Tony Stevens and Berit and Lars Godo; and Great grandchildren Zaid and Layne Stevens.
Donations may be made in her honor to the Auburn Food Bank.