Our beloved Margrit Thomann passed away peace-fully on Friday morning, October 5, 2018 at the age of 96 at her residence at Frontier House in Payson, Arizona surrounded by loved ones. Margrit was born February 25, 1922 in the city of Dornach in Switzerland, a small village close to Basel. At the age of 10, Margrit and her 4 siblings lost their mother to cancer, and all 5 children were placed into separate foster homes. Margrit went to a foster family who lived on a big farm in Bern, but always kept in contact with her sister and brothers. Her sister Rosli encouraged her to enter nursing school in her late teens, and Margrit chose this path rather than remaining at the farm she was raised on where they would have employed her as a maid and housekeeper.
While in nursing school, Margrit joined the Basel Evangelical Mission in Switzerland, and was trained as a nurse and a midwife. Her first placement was in Ghana, western Africa, where she worked to care for people as well as delivering many babies for several years. While there, she survived both Dengue Fever and Malaria. She returned to Switzerland in the late 1950’s. In the early 1960’s, Margrit and another nurse decided to move to the United States with the intention of traveling by car as long as their money lasted. Then they found jobs as nurses for a while before traveling again. They worked in Missouri, Washington, and even Alaska before finally settling in Phoenix, AZ in 1964. Margrit always kept in contact with her siblings back in Switzerland and Brazil. She traveled to both continents to visit family, and they would also come to AZ to visit her. Margrit’s house was always open for guests, and she spent much of her vacations show-ing guests the beauty of the southwest, even in her 80’s. Margrit continued her career at St. Luke’s Hospital in Phoenix until she retired as an RN in 1987.
It was this time that she decided to retire in Payson, AZ, bought a home and enjoyed becoming a part of a community she had fall-en in love with years before.
In October, 2013, Margrit moved to Majestic Rim in Payson where she treasured her independence and freedoms, and enjoyed her apartment, the residents and staff, and all the activities they provided. Margrit moved to Frontier House in Payson 7 months ago, when she was in need of 24 hour care. She was able to adjust to the change due to the loving care and home environment in a Christian setting.
Margrit is survived by her sister Rosli Gerber, niece Kathi Gerber, nephews Kurt and Adrian Gerber as well as other relatives in Switzerland. She also has several nieces and nephews from 2 of her brothers who lived in Brazil most of their adult lives. Although Margrit never married or had children, she is survived by her “adopted” American family including Godsons Matthew Jackson and Scott Jackson, both from Mesa, AZ, Bill and Barbara Schibi of Flagstaff, and Ashley Schibi Dorrell and her husband Dominic from Flagstaff, AZ. She was preceded in death by her parents Joseph and Rosa (Bucher) Thomann, and brothers Werner, Herman, and Bruno Thomann.
Margrit was a special per-son and a joy to everyone who knew her. She was the Lord’s faithful servant, always put-ting others before herself, and was an outgoing woman who loved her friends, family, and helping others. Her incredible love for life, her beautiful smile, and her adventurous spirit will be greatly missed by all who knew her. No services are planned, however a Celebration of Life was held for Margrit at Majestic Rim in Payson on October 12, 2018. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that Memorial contributions be made in Margrit’s name to the Franklin Graham Samaritan’s Purse, an organization that is actively helping people in need all over the world which was her passion. Although it’s difficult to let her go, we know that Margrit is in her Heavenly home with our Lord whom she loved so very, very much.