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'She was always about the people' | Family, friends remember beloved Northwoods alderwoman

"She had a calm spirit, but she always was willing to serve the people," said a friend of Maggie Strong

NORTHWOODS, Mo. — Outside Northwoods City Hall in North St. Louis County a flag is lowered at half-staff in honor of Board of Aldermen President Maggie Strong.

"She meant the world to me. We did everything together," said Strong's husband, Andrew.

Andrew Strong said about a week ago, his wife had a fall at their home and had to be hospitalized.

"She was in DePaul Hospital and they let her come home and she was home for two days and she was talking good," said Strong.

He said Maggie recovered and celebrated Thanksgiving. On Friday, there was another unexpected setback for the 80-year-old.

"I was helping her back to bed. She was talking and everything and then we got to a point where she just collapsed," Strong said.

The BOA President collapsed in the arms of her husband of 57 years.

A frantic Andrew could only pray.

"I said, 'God, don't let her leave me.' That's all I could think about. Don't let her die," he said. "I just couldn't fathom the idea of her being gone. I just miss her so much." 

Family and friends said Maggie Strong dedicated her life to her community. Strong spent nearly 25 years as alderwoman for Northwood's first ward and the last two years as board president.

She also served as long-time treasurer for the St. Louis County NAACP.

"We'll miss her organizational services, her community outreach, her fight for civil rights. Maggie really lived out her last name to the end. She was a very courageous servant," said John Bowman, the President of the St. Louis County NAACP.

"Maggie's always been about the people. She just enjoyed being on the front lines especially during our food bank giveaways. She loved being there serving the seniors, and they loved her back," said Former State Representative Sharon Pace, who previously served on the Northwoods Board of Aldermen with Strong.

"Her death is just an emotional shock. Going into the hospital and then out, we all thought everything was going fine with her. Maggie has a long history here and it's a good one. She always wanted to benefit her community in everything she did. She really cared about her community," said Pace.

"She is definitely one of those people who is truly going to be missed," Bowman said.

"And she was a fighter to the end," added Strong's husband.

A visitation for Maggie Strong will be held on Friday, Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. at McLendon Mortuary and Crematory Services, located at 12104 New Halls Ferry Road in Florissant.

Strong's funeral is set for Saturday at 10 a.m. at the same funeral home.