Forty days after she celebrated her 100th birthday, Coon Rapids businesswoman and humanitarian, Margaret Tjosvold, passed away November 24th. Her daughter and partner in business, Mary Tjosvold, was by her mom's side during those final moments.
“Grief is hard for everyone,” said Mary Tjosvold. “But we’re lucky, we have the support of so many people.”
As the Tjosvold’s mourn, so too does the Coon Rapids community – and people throughout the world.
“We say, she is the mother that everybody deserves,” said Mary.
Alongside her daughter, as well as her son, Dean Tjosvold, Margaret founded the Camilia Rose Care Center in Coon Rapids and Mary T. Inc. They built a sprawling network of senior housing, health and hospice services, and assisted living for seniors and people with disabilities.
Margaret became the life force of business. Leading with her heart, she always had a smile to share, the time for a touch of a hand, and the motivation to roll up her sleeves.
“My mother would say, ‘I have a plan. I have an idea.’ And invariably, it was a great idea and it was a lot of fun to do,” explained Dean Tjosvold. “She cared about other people and she was smart enough to get things done too.”
Margaret’s dreams and ideas took her to far flung places in Africa and Asia as a devoted humanitarian. Of her many good works, Margaret collected thousands of toys for refugee camps in Thailand, she helped distribute eyeglasses in Uganda, and opened a school in Cameroon.
Margaret traveled the world well into her 80s and 90s. All the while, inspiring a company of devoted employees here at home... And a family of worldly and accomplished children and grandchildren.
“Our staff members genuinely, really, care for her,” said Jason Tjosvold, Margaret’s grandson. “People around the world really care for her. People she's met once will still remember her. I think that's what's touching to me, is to see how she can impact people with her presence because she had just the right demeanor for making people feel comfortable – making people feel welcome.”
Jennifer Anderson reporting