We announce the passing of our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and aunt, Anne-Marie Puusalu on September 15, 2016. Her 85 years went by too quickly, but they were not quiet. All that knew of her extraordinary life will miss her.
She was born in Estonia, a free country then, and fortunately independent again at her passing. She left her homeland as a teen to escape the sad fate many were unable to avoid. She saw firsthand the cruelty of war and hardship in Europe and spent her teen years in Germany and Poland, during and after the war. Can you imagine how bad things were in Estonia if Germany and Poland were better?
She married in Germany and raised two children there until coming to America in 1961. She and her family joined her parents who had immigrated in the early 50's and they lived together until 1968 when her parents and husband died within 11 months of each other. Her employer, Hertz, transferred her to Oklahoma in early 1971 and she lived in Oklahoma City until her passing.
In the refugee camps in Germany she completed her high-school education, and thereafter continued her lifelong journey for knowledge by collecting stamps, reading extensively, being involved in organizations such as Sundowners, the International Visitors Council and the Oklahoma German-American Society (there are too many to list them all) and staying active in church as well as Estonian gatherings.
She was fluent in Estonian, German, English and her always expressive "dirty looks." She never hated anyone, but disapproved of a few. She preferred to be silent rather than say anything. If you wanted to talk about something not to her liking, she would prefer you be silent!
Anne-Marie had many interests and could speak on many subjects with authority. She loved needlepoint. She collected stamps since age five ("before I could read," she would say). She had an impressive library of art, cooking and needlepoint books. She was an international woman, as she knew so much about so many countries that it amazed her family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents Johann and Maria, her husband Erich, her sister Ellen and brother Michael and her grandson Robbie.
She is survived by daughter Dagmar, son Erik, niece Tiina, grandniece Trista, 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
A memorial service is scheduled for Friday, October 14, at her residence. Hours are 1:30 - 3 p.m. and and 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Pastor Henschel of Messiah Lutheran Church will provide some spiritual and personal thoughts during each session. Light refreshments will be provided by family and Messiah Lutheran.
Published on October 6, 2016