If a person is lucky, he may in his lifetime, encounter a few truly remarkable individuals.

Recently, someone who ranked at the top of my list of exceptional individuals passed away.

Margaret "Margie" Hoelscher, lost her battle with cancer on May 25, 2009.

This lady is most deserving of a special tribute.

Her humble demeanor might lead one to believe she was just another ordinary American, but she was always doing extra-ordinary things for others.

Furthermore, she accomplished her goals cheerfully and without uttering a disparaging word, no matter how time consuming or difficult the task.

Margie was a devote wife of 57 years, a loving mother who raised 8 children, adoring grandmother of twenty seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, a world-class cook, phenomenal seamstress, skilled secretary and office manager.

Margie, with her positive attitude, always exhibited the highest degree of professionalism with a work ethic second to none.

This humble lady had an amazing ability to lead others by example and balance the demands of her family, church and professional life with grace and dignity.

I had the good fortune to work with Margie for just over 25 of the 27 years that she served as senior secretary and office manager for the Nueces County Extension Office.

It is likely that one of the more challenging aspects of her job was having to work as my secretary.

The tasks of keeping me on top of all dead-lines, re-occurring and special reports, educational event planning and frequent revisions the annual publication of test plot results were demanding.

For over twenty-five years, "Farm and Ranch Happenings" a column devoted to agricultural news and views related to the Coastal Bend region, appeared on a weekly basis in the Robstown Record and later the Nueces County Record Star.

As the composer of that weekly column, I would be less than truthful if I didn't admit that those deadlines for a new article each Monday could occasionally become a chore, especially, at times when the local agricultural scene was at a standstill from things like prolonged drought.

Preparation of those weekly articles was just as challenging during the busy harvest and plot planting seasons.

Margie Hoelscher's dedication and pride in her responsibilities were the major reasons for never missing a deadline.

Her stenography skills were truly exceptional as were her spelling and proof reading abilities.

Without the support she provided, the quality of the Farm and Ranch Happenings news articles would have suffered.

This is just one example of her devotion to her job and the difference she made helping our staff carry out the mission of Extension.

Margie was a lifelong resident of Nueces County and her experiences of growing up on a farm and being a homemaker proved to be valuable resource in assisting Extension office clientele.

It was evident to all who visited the office that she truly enjoyed her work and gained satisfaction from helping others.

Texas Cooperative Extension recognized Margie with its Superior Service Award in 2006.

She was most deserving of this award for her many years of exemplary service.

A blessing to us all, Margie will be missed by all whose lives she touched.

Harvey Buehring is the former Agricultural Extension Agent for Nueces County. He has contributed to the Nueces County Record Star for more than 20 years.