Family and friends are trying to come to grips with the unexpected death of Marg Runstedler.
The Wellesley resident and former Citizen of the Year died around noon Tuesday. She was 69 years old.
“It is really difficult, she was the core of the family and so we’re just trying to cope and focus on making funeral arrangements,” said her son Greg.
“It’s a tough time and a very sad time for our family,” said her other son Chris.
Visitation will be held at the Futher-Franklin Funeral Home in Wellesley on Monday from 2-4 p.m. and again from 7-9 p.m. The funeral is scheduled for Tuesday at 11 a.m. at St. Agatha Catholic Church.
Marg Coulter was born in Milverton on Oct. 16, 1942 and moved to Wellesley with her husband Ed 35 years ago. Chris said that after moving to Wellesley she quickly became involved in all aspects of the community, first with the Apple Butter and Cheese Festival.
Over the years her list of activities grew to include organizing the Art Round the Pond and the Wellesley Christmas Thyme Parade, starting the popular Wellesley Idol singing competition, she began the popular ladies breakfast program back in 2009 which she followed up with a luncheon last winter, and she was very active on the Board of Trade and with the horticultural society.
“She was a very giving person,” said Greg. “Her mantra was to always put others before herself. She was very passionate about community involvement.”
In 2005 Marg was recognized for that dedication to the community when she was named as the Wellesley Citizen of the Year by the Board of Trade, presented annually to a Wellesley resident in recognition of outstanding achievements and unselfish contributions to their fellow citizens.
About two weeks ago Marg first fell ill with what her family believed was a minor stroke, but after her condition continued to deteriorate the family rushed her to Grand River Hospital, where an MRI and CT scan revealed she was suffering from a rare degenerative neurological disorder called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Greg said the doctor had seen only three cases in his career, and that odds of contracting the disease were one in a million.
“Her presence will certainly be missed throughout the community. She had her finger on the pulse of the community and wherever help was needed, she was there,” said Wellesley Mayor Ross Kelterborn.
“It’s a real sad situation and a great loss to the township, the village, and of course her family.”
Donations in her name can be made to the Wellesley Tree of Light campaign at the Futher-Franklin Funeral Home, or to the Grand River Hospital Foundation.
Runstedler leaves behind her husband Ed, her sons Chris and Greg, her daughter Nancy, two granddaughters Aidan and Savannah, and grandson Dryden.
“We just want everyone to know how much she was loved by her family and how much she loved her time in Wellesley,” said Chris.
“It meant everything to her.”