Margarita Trautmann was as self-assured and comfortable at a formal dining table with politicians as she was sitting next to her husband on the banks of a Minnesota river.
Her success never got in the way of her hospitality, and she was adept at making others feel welcome.
“As accomplished as she was, she never thought herself better than anyone,” her husband, Daniel Trautmann, said. “Everyone loved Margarita.”
Margarita Trautmann died at a Minneapolis nursing home on April 18 of complications of COVID-19 and Alzheimer’s disease. She was 67.
She was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and grew up in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, as part of a U.S. Army family. The high school valedictorian was selected as a Puerto Rican student representative sent to the U.S. Congress, her family said.
She obtained a full scholarship to the University of Puerto Rico and in her senior year moved to Minnesota to attend a missionary training program. She also studied at La Universidad de las Americas in Mexico. As an adult, she graduated from St. Catherine University in St. Paul with a communications degree.
Daniel Trautmann met Margarita in school. She was accomplished and from a military family and he was a self-described “wannabe hippie.” They balanced each other out and even worked together for a time at a publishing company, where she began her career as a nonfiction editor and translator.
She also served as a bilingual contract analyst for Northwestern National Life Insurance Co. before leaving to home-school her two sons and found her own Spanish editing and translation service. After purchasing, expanding and selling a math and reading franchise, she became a high school teacher at Vessey Leadership Academy.
She enjoyed travel and the family spent time living in Mexico and China. She lived for years in a communal missionary society and later in multigenerational extended households, where her hospitality was extended to friends, family, church members and strangers from around the world.
Daniel visited his wife nearly every night she was in the nursing home. Each time, it was difficult to leave, and he’d take a long walk after saying goodbye. He said he’s still working through the anger of not being able to be with her as she died because of COVID-19.
“She was my sun and my moon,” he said.
In addition to her husband, survivors include sons Simon Trautmann and Byron Trautmann, both of Richfield, brother Juan Cordova III and sister Luisa Watson, both of Minneapolis, and two grandchildren.
Mara Klecker 612-673-4440