This is what our daughter, Michelle, who was not able make her mom's 70th birthday party, wrote about her, which I read to the 50 or so who were there: 

Margit Hannelore (Schuster) Roach
Happy 70th Birthday

My mom, Margit Hannelore (Schuster) Roach, is an enigma. She does not fit into the standard flow of life. She lives her life in her own way, and it is a good way. Growing up in post-WW II Germany where at the age of two, she, her mother and her 5 older siblings had to flee from their home town to another part of Germany that they were completely unfamiliar with, loosing most of their worldly possessions along the way, and ending up sharing an old school house with three other families for several years. This harsh life-style developed in her a resiliency and a resourcefulness that is quite admiral. She also has a hidden toughness that shows through as needed. As many people know, Germans have a reputation of being quite harsh and direct in their way of interacting with others, and on occasion people misunderstand this and take offence, but I know without a doubt that she has a heart of gold and would sacrifice everything for those she loves, and she would help a person in need every time.

I have always admired her wonderful domestic engineering skills (aka, housewife skills). She has always run a tight ship and has created a beautiful and orderly haven for all of us to live in. And the best part is that it was always filled with her special love. Regardless of any other thing that I may have ever experienced in my life, the one thing I knew beyond any doubt is that my mom loved me and would always be there for me. She was always such a sweet “Mommy” too, always so nurturing and cuddly.

And one thing I have never quite been able to figure out is how she makes money out of nothing. I think she may be an alchemist or perhaps she learned from Jesus how to multiply things. I really admire her master skill at budgeting and managing money no matter how lean the financial times.

And no man could ask for a more loyal and devoted wife. As my dad has, by nature, taken the role of being in the limelight and making special connections with people, and with his people skills, helping others in their lives, my mom has always been the strength and support behind the scenes making for a great partnership for each other and also in making a positive difference in the lives of so many people.

She is one of the hardest working people that I know, and she would never ask you to do something she was not willing to do herself. She’s not afraid to get dirty in the process of working hard to get a job done, and yet she is a princess at heart always enjoying the lovely fineries of a lady with all her pretty dresses and flowers, Victorian-style knick-knacks and furnishings, and beautiful gardens all around her. And in spite of the fact that she lives in harsh and barren New Mexico, she has always made the best of it in creating a home of beauty and maintaining her personal beauty (inside and out) at the same time. And by the way, if you haven’t seen pictures of my mom in her younger years, you should really check them out – She was one hot momma! And she is still a very lovely lady!

My mom is a lover of the earth and of nature. She is naturally a very joyful person and regularly finds pleasure in whatever situation she finds herself in, but she really blossoms and shines and seems to be restored when she is in nature - whether working the soil of the earth for a garden, picking tomato worms off the plants, harvesting a crazy, bumper crop of okra, enjoying a picnic in the mountains, hiking a trail in the foothills, looking for arrow heads, sliding down the dunes at White Sands or jumping in the swimming pool with her grandkids (even if it’s just a wading pool), she simply radiates!

I love her love of life and her positive attitude. I love how she never gives up. I love how she is always there for her husband and her children – and now her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And I really admire her spiritual devotion as a Christian. She sets a great example for all of us in how to live every day as part of that devotion and not just an occasional thought or something to do on Sunday. I often find her sitting in bed in the morning with a cup of coffee (which my dad brings her every morning, by the way) with her well-worn Bible before her.

Additionally, my mom is my greatest friend. I always enjoy hanging out with her whether it’s working or playing around the house, going shopping or whatever. I always feel at ease when I am with her. And she’s a lot of fun, always instigating some card game or organizing some outing to do fun stuff, decorating and planning gatherings for holidays, insisting that dad take her dancing at the Senior Center (and even taking her grandson, Alex, along). She (almost) never forgets birthdays and regularly sends cards for most occasions. As a matter of fact, I just got an Easter card in the mail from her just before coming down here, and she always adds the extra touch with fun seasonal glittery stickers on the envelope. So many things with Mom are a festival – she is the festival, she carries it around inside of her and brings it out for the rest of us to enjoy on a regular basis. But I would say one of my most precious times with my mom is our morning ritual of sharing coffee in bed together as we visit about what is going on in our lives.

She is a great support to me in so many ways, and I just hope that I can continue to be there for her in the same way. And I can never thank her enough for not giving up on us, and always being there for us. Even when my mom doesn’t know what the solution is, she remains by our sides with her constant love, and that makes all the difference. Here’s to you Mom! I love you!