Margaret ‘Marge’ Brunell, of Dowagiac

Published 10:11 am Monday, July 6, 2015

March 20, 1946 — July 2, 2015

Margaret ‘Marge’ Brunell

Margaret ‘Marge’ Brunell

Margaret C. (Marge) “Nan” Brunell, 69, of Dowagiac, passed away at home surrounded by her loving family on Thursday, July 2, 2015, after a brief illness.

A celebration of life service will be held at noon on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, at Clark Chapel and Cremation Services, 405 Center Street, Dowagiac, with Pokagon Native American Tribal Elder Kevin Daugherty officiating. Burial will follow at North Shore Memory Gardens Cemetery in Coloma.

Friends may visit with the family on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, from 10 a.m. until noon at the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, PO Box 50, Memphis, TN 38101-0050. Those wishing to leave a memory or condolence of Margaret online may do so at

Margaret was born March 20, 1946, in Benton Harbor, Michigan to John and Theresa (Jackson) Alexis. Margaret married Paul Brunell on Dec. 14, 1973, in Pappilion, Nebraska. They spent 42 wonderful years together and she was a military wife of 20 years following Paul around the country as during his service in the United States Air Force.

Margaret was a devoted mother, grandmother, sister, friend and teacher of life. She was very proud of her Native American heritage and member of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians.

Margaret cherished her family and her special little furry companion Shih Tzu, Pugsley, whom she fondly referred to as, “Baby.” She taught her children to be self-sufficient, showing them how to cook, sew and make crafts. She was a crafter/vendor of many Pow Wow trails for over 25 years. Margaret was also a certified nurse’s aide.

For the past several years she collected precious gems to be a legacy to her grandchildren one day. Her children remember one special dish she prepared as her “Mexican” favorite that they all agreed on.

Margaret is survived by her husband Paul, three sons, Mark (Julie) Brunell of Dowagiac, Shawn Brunell of Watervliet, Derek (Heather) Brunell of Niles; one daughter, Rachel Hodge of Elkhart, Indiana; and seven grandchildren, Courtney and Gabriel Brunell, Kaitlynne and Zachary Schrimsher and Braxton Nimoketowa, Alexia Nukaneashiwin and Abigail Aayahyachachyaso Hodge. She also leaves behind one brother, Phillip (Melody) Alexis of Eaton Rapids and two sisters, Barbara Karsten of St. Joseph and Sue Wood of Benton Harbor. She also leaves her precious little dog, Pugsley (Baby).

Margaret is preceded in death by her parents and one grandchild, Derek “Diddy-Bug” Brunell.