One of the Chaska Historical Society’s long-time members and supporters is Marcia Mittelsted Maguire, of St. Simon’s Island, Georgia. Though she lives far away now, Marcia grew up in Chaska, the daughter of Al and Edna (Glaeser) Mittelsted. She and her parents and her brother David lived at 217 Pine Street. Al Mittelsted owned the Motor Service Company located on the south side of Second Street. According to Marcia, her mother Edna could have been a career woman if times had been different. Her mother was active in the community during the 1920s and 1930s and served on the Welfare Board and was a GOP leader.
Sharing a back yard with Marcia, Tracey DuToit Swanson became her best friend. Other friends growing up were Janie Schimelpfenig, Janet Schlefsky, Marilyn Burkhart and the Kerber twins – Margie and Marie. Marcia has great memories of Camp Fire Girls activities and church-related outings. St. John’s Church conducted services in both German and English while Marcia was growing up. Honored as Chaska High School homecoming queen in 1954, Marcia then attended Macalester College and earned her teaching degree. One of the activities she enjoyed most during her college years involved flying with the college flying club. A Macalester College alumnus had donated a two-person tri-gear airplane to the school and provided instructors. Marcia and her college friends would go to the St. Paul airport for instructions and flying. She learned navigation and earned her solo pilot license. Marcia says she was a dreamer and when offered a position in California for two years, she immediately signed the contract. Teaching in the Los Angeles area took her away, but Marcia always returned home to Chaska in the summer. Marcia and her friends would go to Schneider Shores at Lake Bavaria and spend time at the Lake, but never learned the art of water skiing. After her California contract ended, she had heard about teaching opportunities overseas. She became a 5th and 6th grade teacher at military bases in Okinawa, Japan and later in Germany. In 1967 Marcia married Robert Maguire, who was an officer in the US Army. They were stationed in Washington, D.C., Panama and Atlanta. Marcia shared the story about how she came to live in her present location, on St. Simon’s Island, Georgia. A friend asked her if she would like to go on a retreat, sponsored by the Methodist church at St. Simons Island. Marcia said she fell in love with the beauty of the island and it eventually became her home. She now resides in a senior living facility and enjoys her interesting neighbors and friends. She remains committed to her community and works with restoration of a one-room school house that had been used during segregation. The restored building now offers monthly speakers, artists and a gathering place. Featured speakers have included Loretta Scott King. When asked about why she supports the Chaska History Center she responded that her favorite memories are from her Chaska days and the friendships that have remained with her over the years. She values the opportunity to connect and talk with her friends in Chaska and can be contacted through: MarciaMaguire@comcast.net She believes that people are fascinating, especially if you can get them to talk about their passions.
By Neil Wingert for the Chaska Historical Society