Longtime Maplewood resident leaves a legacy of community service


submitted • Annemarie Fosburgh smiled surrounded by flowers in September 2006 on the deck of her Maplewood home, in which she lived for 50 years.

file photo • Annemarie Fosburgh was the 2012 recipient of the Maplewood Heritage Award for positively influencing Maplewood’s past and strengthening the preservation of the city’s history through her longtime involvement in the Maplewood Historical Society. She was presented the award at an April 8, 2013, Maplewood City Council meeting.

submitted • Fosburgh served as an election judge for more than 40 years, which allowed her to closely witness the many changes in technology over the years. She’s pictured in 2005 with a recently upgraded voting machine.

Annemarie Fosburgh, Anne to those who knew her, passed away Aug. 3 at age 89, leaving behind a legacy of Maplewood pride and community involvement.

Fosburgh was born May 5, 1929, in St. Paul to Fred and Louise Isenberg and baptized that November at Faith Lutheran Church. She later graduated from Central High School.

Although Fosburgh was born in St. Paul, she moved to the Gladstone neighborhood in 1953 when it was still part of New Canada Township. She later moved to another house in Maplewood near Hill-Murray High School, where she lived for 50 years.

For many years, Fosburgh worked alongside her husband, George Wayland, running Virtue Printing from 1973 to 1981, and also running AnnWay Paper & Supply Outlet from 1982 until the early 1990s. Virtue Printing was located on Seventh Street in downtown St. Paul and AnnWay Paper was located on Roselawn Avenue East.

During this time, she helped put together “Maple Leaves,” the Gladstone School newsletter, and “Beary Facts,” the Webster School newsletter. Fosburgh’s friend and fellow historian, Pete Boulay, remembered that she also helped print “The Happy Pebble” in its final years.

“‘The Happy Pebble’ was a publication of the Gladstone Community Club, which was around long before Maplewood was incorporated in 1957,” said Boulay.

 

Maplewood Historical Society volunteer

Fosburgh and Bouley were both involved for many years with the Maplewood Historical Society. Fosburgh’s daughter, Linda Baumeister, a former longtime staff photographer for Lillie Suburban Newspapers, remembered her mother attending hundreds of Historical Society events.

“She was the membership chair, so she’d send out information and keep track of the members and if they’d paid their dues ... and then she took pictures, tons of pictures,” Baumeister said, adding her mother took photos of all the Historical Society events, Maplewood mayors, and businesses that were opening or closing in the community, among other things.

“She loved history and Maplewood too, and was with the Maplewood Area Historical Society from the start,” said Boulay. “She was one of our few viewing fans of the Maplewood Historical Commission, and I would get phone calls from her after commission meetings. I would always say ‘Hi’ to her looking at the camera. I considered her a good friend.” 

In a Maplewood Area Historical Society Census, filled out in 2000, Fosburgh wrote that one of her noteworthy Maplewood memories was “Watching New Canada Township become Village of Maplewood & then City of Maplewood.”

Another favorite memory she recorded was the close community and excellent emergency care offered in Maplewood.

She remembered “waving at all the police cars because all 4 policemen were neighbors,” adding, “Maplewood was always known for their quick police & paramedic response. Everyone said if you have an accident on the St. Paul side of Larpenteur — crawl to the Maplewood side for quicker care.”

 

Election judge

Fosburgh also served the community for over 40 years as an election judge, a venture she began in 1968.

“She’s seen a lot of [voting] machines over the years,” said Baumeister.

Fosburgh was clearly passionate about elections and voting, and recorded some of her thoughts on the subject in the Maplewood Historical Society Census.

“People always used to say ‘Why vote — my vote doesn’t make any difference’ — yet when Maplewood voted on whether to put swimming pools in the Jr. High Schools or not, the pools won by 1 vote,” she wrote.

 

Other accomplishments

Fosburgh’s civic accomplishments also include flying in airplanes as a member of the Civil Air Patrol, which is a public service organization for carrying out emergency services and disaster relief missions. 

When her children were in school, Fosburgh was an involved member of the Gladstone PTA and spent time as a room mother. She was also a volunteer for Listening Post, a community group that offered students an opportunity to talk to an unbiased and caring adult volunteer. She was one of several Listening Post volunteers recognized by the District 622 school board in 2007 for their work.

Fosburgh often wrote letters to the editor and submitted news tips to local news organizations, though Baumeister noted that her mother didn’t only write political letters. She also wrote an annual letter to the editor thanking the school district for hosting the Golden Prom for seniors in the community.

Baumeister remembered one of her mother’s favorite parts of Maplewood being the time spent getting to know and talking politics with the city’s various mayors. Fosburgh especially enjoyed when the mayors hosted open office hours, or even bonfires, to get to know residents personally.

“She was passionate about Maplewood. That’s for sure,” Baumeister said.

Fosburgh’s passions also included animals, especially cats, and time spent with her family. Baumeister noted that that in particular, Fosburgh’s great-grandchildren “were a special joy in her life.”

After experiencing a massive stroke, Fosburgh moved to Boutwells Landing in Oak Park Heights for about a year, where she was regularly visited by family. 

“She was different post-stroke [than] before, but she still had her sense of humor,” Baumeister said, remembering the bonus year of good memories and regular family gatherings held in Fosburgh’s suite.

Fosburgh was preceded in death by her husband George Wayland and infant twin girls. She’ll be dearly missed by children Raymond (Laurie), Clayton (Daphne), Linda (Bruce) Baumeister, and Marianne Ross; grandchildren Ginny (David) Runeberg, Jill (Andy) Ditty, Kyle (Kelly), Ted, Tess (Kris) Mellinger, Julie Baumeister (Erik Baker), Ian (Brittany) Ross, Rachel Ross, Dylan Ross; and great-grandchildren Isaiah, Ava, Maddox, Ellie and Braxton.

Her funeral was held Aug. 10 at Bradshaw Celebration of Life Center in Stillwater, and she is buried at Elmhurst Cemetery in St. Paul.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to go to the Maplewood Area Historical Society, Lakeview Health Foundation-Lakeview Hospice, Presbyterian Homes and Services-Employee Education Assistance Scholarships or the National Stroke Association.

 

– Aundrea Kinney can be reached at 651-748-7822 or akinney@lillienews.com

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