Marie Brandt was born in Syracuse Kansas on Feb. 14, 1934. Her given name was Beulah Marie Thompson, the next to the youngest of 6 children born to Russell and Beulah Thompson. After the death of her Momma in 1937 she was adopted by Bun and Nettie Cole. Her Daddy died in 1939. They are resting in Minneapolis Cemetery north of Walsh.
She attended school in Springfield where many lifelong friendships were formed. Several teachers were influential factors in her life. Among them were Miss Olds, Mr. Heaney, Mrs. Wall, Mr. Hornbeck Mrs. Hanna, who was her first piano teacher, and Dr. Brico, who was her piano teacher in High School.
Marie started piano lessons at the age of five with Mrs. B.V. Hanna as her teacher. At one time she aspired to becoming a concert pianist. During her senior year in High School she was privileged to take lessons from Dr. Antonio Brico, who came to Springfield from Denver once a month.
Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas offered Marie a music scholarship. She spent two years studying music education in preparation for teaching music in the public schools. While at Southwestern she was an alto in the “Purple Robed A capella choir” and played flute in the band and orchestra. She transferred to the University of Denver in 1954, completing her degree with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Music.
In August of 1954 she married Conrad Brandt of Holyoke Colorado. Her son, Vernon, was born in June of 1957. What a delightful child he was with his big smile and clever ways of entertaining everyone in sight. Gayle, her daughter, was born in August of 1958. She was a beautiful little girl with brown, wavy hair and such a sunny disposition.
After graduation she taught music in Derby, Colorado in an Elementary School. In 1962-63 she was eighth grade music teacher in Edison , New Jersey. This was a real challenge because of the number of students. The thrill of this experience was directing a 60 voiced girls chorus which performed often for school and community events. Her next teaching position was in Hickman, Nebraska, having moved from New Jersey to Lincoln Nebraska in the fall of 1963. She was Band director, choir director and elementary school music teacher. Her daughter, Gayle attended kindergarten in Hickman, and Vernon was in 1st grade in Lincoln.
Marie decided to teach 3rd grade when she was offered a position at May Morley Elementary school in Lincoln since Vernon and Gayle were now in school and she could be home with them after school. During the next 20 years she taught in Lincoln, Nebraska, Decatur, Illinois; St.Louis, Missouri and Dumas, Texas. Teaching, to her, was rewarding. She often said,” There is nothing like the gratification of hearing a child suddenly say “I get it!” when accomplishing a particularly hard concept.”
In 1981 Marie left Dumas and moved to Denver. Vernon, Gayle and Steve, her husband, were living there. Also her younger brother, Wayne and his wife, Helen. During the 20 years in Denver she held many jobs. The most interesting was Administrative Assistant Consultant for a group of Psychologists. In this position for five years she traveled to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Texas, Washington and Southern California instructing office managers. Each assignment was for three to four weeks except Southern California which was a three month assignment. Foreign travel also was an interest having traveled to Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Yugoslavia, Spain, and Italy.
The birth of Travis, her only grandson, in 1990 was an event that enhanced her life. The Jackson family lived only a few blocks from Marie’s home in Denver so we were together often. Among the things Travis and I did together was take walks when he was still in the stroller. We looked at everything along the way. Travis particularly liked the “Dandy Lions” in many of the yards we passed. As Travis grew older we went hiking in the mountains, viewed the Denver Zoo Christmas lights, toured the Museum of Natural History(where we got lost the first time). Several successful visits happened later. One of the outings Travis remembers most was the trip to Buffalo Bill’s Grave on Lookout Mountain west of Denver. Our favorite place to eat was “Mackin Donalds” because of the play area in each one.
Semi-retiring in 2002 brought a move back to Springfield and renewing of old friendships. She was active in the Springfield United Methodist Church as choir director for several years. A member of several organizations and worked part-time in the office at Southeast Colorado Hospital.