Marjorie "Margie" Luceil Martin Altenhoff, 80, of New Braunfels, passed away (Tuesday, March 15, 2011) at her home after battling brain cancer.
She was born February 2, 1931 in George West, Texas, to June Travis Martin and Luceil Blackmon Martin. During Margie's childhood, she and her family moved around Texas frequently, as her father oversaw construction of new roads as an engineer for the Texas Highway Department. Margie graduated from PSJA High School (Pharr San Juan Alamo) in Pharr, Texas in 1948. She had many happy memories of her years in "The Valley," but always considered George West, Texas her hometown. That is where she had the most family ties, and where she spent many happy childhood years.
Margie attended what was then Southwest Texas State College in San Marcos, where she received a Bachelor's Degree in Education in 1952. She met Darvin Altenhoff while at Southwest Texas, and they were married on March 14, 1953 in Pharr. They moved to Sugarland, Tx. and began their teaching careers in Fort Bend ISD. They had three children while in Sugarland: David, Dwight, and Martha June. In 1968, Darvin accepted a job as principal of Goodwin Elementary School (Comal ISD) which was an answered prayer for Margie and Darvin, who longed to be closer to family in central Texas. Margie began teaching English at Canyon Junior High School, where she remained for 20 years, many of those years as head of the English Department. She coached UIL competitions, helped produce literary magazines and school newspapers, took a personal interest in her students and encouraged them to be their best. Margie loved her profession, and was a creative, dedicated and passionate teacher, respected by her peers and beloved by her students. She returned to Southwest Texas to obtain her Master's Degree in English in 1980. The last two years before her retirement in 1990, Margie taught at Canyon High School. She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, an honor society for women educators.
Margie was a very involved and beloved member of New Braunfels Presbyterian Church, where she and Darvin had been members since 1968. To list all the ways that Margie blessed the church and its members, and to list all the activities and Bible classes she was involved in, would be near impossible. But one aspect of her faith journey that she especially cherished as her "renewal group": nine women who have been meeting for over six years to pray and support one another spiritually. They include Lynda Dinsdale, Sue Dittman, Emily Riding, Aline Schoch, Kathy Schock, Nancy Stewart, Suzanne White and Bettye Warren.
Margie's zest for life was infectious, and she enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren (she especially loved watching grandson Mark play baseball), going on outings with her friends, gardening, cooking and watching cooking shows, learning about native Texas plants and birds, reading, painting, and doing creative things. Family was very important to Margie, and she cherished family gatherings. She was a wonderful friend, mother, grandmother, neighbor, teacher, encourager, and "sister in Christ" to many people.
Margie was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in March 2005, and after surgery and several round of chemotherapy, she continued to live a full and active life until her more recent diagnosis of brain cancer in November 2010.
She is survived by her husband, Darvin L. Altenhoff of New Braunfels; son David Altenhoff and wife Patsy of New Braunfels,; son Dwight Altenhoff and wife Diana of Lewisville: daughter Martha Cole and husband Terry of Austin; grandson Mark Altenhoff of New Braunfels; granddaughters Lucie and Laura Cole of Austin; brother Travis Martin and wife Dita of George West, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws. She was especially close to her niece, Marcia Lynne Dirks, who was like a daughter to her. She is preceded in death by her sister Billie June Dirks of George West.
Visitation will be Friday, March 18, 2011 from 5-9 PM at the Zoeller Funeral Home with the family present from 5-7 PM to greet friends. Funeral services will be Saturday, March 19, 2011 at 2 PM at the New Braunfels Presbyterian Church 373 Howard St. Interment will follow at 4 PM at the Comal Cemetery. The family requests that memorial contributions be given to Hope Hospice, New Braunfels Presbyterian Church or charity of one's choice.