October 14, 1912 – January 26, 2020
Margrieta’s Bušs full and active life spanned three continents. She closed her eyes for the last time early Sunday morning January 26, 2020.
Margrieta Bušs was born October 14, 1912, daughter of Jēkabs and Elza Otlans in Valka, Latvia. Margrieta had an older brother Konstantīns, sister Olimpiade and younger brother Viktors. She outlived them all.
At the age of six, Margrieta experienced the declartion of independene of modern Latvia. This left a profound impression on her and was purposed throughout her entire life.
The family moved to Rīga in 1918. Margrieta graduated from Draudziņa High School, entered the School of Law at the University of Latvia, where in 1938 she was awarded a Master of Laws degree. During her student years, Margrieta was active in sports. She was a member of the University of Latvia Basketball team, which won 1st place in World Student Games in Torino, Italy in 1933. She also was part of the Latvian Women’s National Team. At the initial official competition in Rīga in 1938, SPORTA PASAULE (Sports World) praised Margrieta’s Otlans performance in that competition. Margrieta was a member of sorority Dzintra, remaining an active participant all her life.
Margrieta married Tālivaldis Bušs in 1939. They had three children - Inta, Gunta and Imants. At the outbreak of World War II, the family left Latvia and ended up in a refugee camp in Esslingen, Germany. At the camp, thanks to her knowledge of English, Margrieta worked at the IRO (International Refugee Organization) office. Margrieta continued her involvement in public service and continuing the tradition of friendship and cooperation among the Baltic countries together with women of Estonia and Lithuania founded the Baltic Women’s Council in the Spring of 1947.
The family left the refugee camp in November 1948 and traveled halfway across the world, settling in Chile. The family lived in Santiago. Again, thanks to her English and athletic skills, Margrieta found a position as a physical education teacher at Santiago College, an American private girl’s school. In Chile, the Bušs family was the core of the Latvian society.
When a change of power began to threaten Chile in 1962, the family emigrated to the United States. Margrieta said “Communism once is enough, never again!” The family settled in New York City. Margrieta worked at the Metro Goldwyn Mayer office, fulfilling orders for soundtracks. During the course of her work, she met several musical celebrities, including world-famous conductor George Solti. In New York, Margrieta resumed her active participation in sorority Dzintra. Together with Helgu Ozoliņa, she represented Latvia at the Baltic Women’s Council, paticipating in the International Federation of Women’s Organizations and disseminating information on the oppression of the Baltic countries. She continued this activity vigorously until the Baltic countries regained their independence.
Tālivaldis passed away in 1992. Thereafter Margrieta spent time not only in New York, but also with her daughters in Issaquah, WA and Kenilworth, IL.
Margrieta celebrated her 90th birthday aboard a ship in the bay of San Diego, CA organized by her granddaughter Anita, who incidentally was born on Margrieta’s 61st birthday. Margrieta’s 95th bithday celebration was organized by granddaughter Dagmāra in Chicago.
For Margrieta’s100th birthday, guests came not only from coast to coast, but also from Latvia and Chile. She received written congratulations from Latvias and US presidents as well. Margrieta moved to Kenilworth to live with her daughter Gunta, where she shared with grandchildren and great grandchildren her life experiences. Margrieta passed at home, just as she wished.
Margrieta is lovingly remembered by her children Inta, Gunta, Imants and their families in the US, Latvia and New Zealand, grandchildren Yvonne, Anita B., Ilze, Edgars, Dagmāra and Anita C., great grandchildren Darcy, Sabrina, Turner, James, Reilly, Theodore, Serena, Camron and Madeline.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the Laboratory for Oculo-Cerebrospinal Investigation, LOCI for short. After years of research, the laboratory has gained approval for phase 1 clinical trial with promising potential in the field of macular degeneration as well as Alzheimer’s disease and glaucoma. Please make the checks out to: University of Illinois at Chicago, c/o Dr. Paul Knepper, LOCI, 150 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611. Tax deductible under section 170(c) of the IRS Code, TIN:37-6000511
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