Marguerite was born on March 13, 1899 in Emporia, Kansas. She was the eighth of nine children. Her parents were Alvin Henry Fry (1855-1936) and Martha Jane Fugit Fry (1862-1940). Her nickname in the family was 'Happy' -- a name she kept throughout her life.
She attended the Emporia school system and obtained a Bachelor of Arts from the College of Emporia in May of 1922. She had previously married Fred A. Brandner - in December 1921. In 1925 she obtained a Master of Science in systematic botany from Iowa State University (then College). Her class work for the master's degree was held primarily in "Old Botany." She had two children - Carl in 1924 and Keith in 1926.
In addition to her work in botany, she took extra classes in mathematics so that she could help her husband Fred grade papers. During the Depression and during World War II, she tutored students in mathematics. Many of these students remained her friend through their college career and afterward. I remember a number of VEISHEAs where we had 14 or 15 people sleeping in the house each night. Most were family of present or past students. For the sixty plus years she lived in Ames, she was active in the Collegiate Methodist Church and the Faculty Women's Club. She was definitely a people-person with a delightful sense of humor. It seems fitting that a brick in the Plaza at "Old Botany" be named in her honor.