In Memorium — Heidi Mugler
The month of October has always been one of my favorite months. The leaves are still changing, and…sports! The St. Louis Cardinals are usually playing post season baseball (wait ’til next year!), my St. Louis Blues still have a chance at Lord Stanley’s Cup, and college and pro football are rolling along.
This year things are a bit different, and hopefully it won’t sully my feelings for this wonderful time of year. On Wednesday morning, Oct. 18th, my mother and owner of this company, Heidi O. Mugler, was called to Heaven. She had battled tirelessly a blood disease, MDS, over the last 8 or 9 years, a disease she contracted from the chemo drugs she had to take while battling breast cancer many years ago. Mom died peacefully and pain free in the city and state she wanted to, Durango, CO., in the care of a brand new beautiful facility, Mercy Hospice House, and on her own terms. My two sisters and I were on our way to see her when she passed. Mom knew we were in transit and had repeatedly told us she did not want any of us to see her on her death bed, so when her Hospice staff reminded her Tuesday night that we would be seeing her Wednesday morning (the next day), she told them she knew we were coming, but that she would not be here when we arrived…and she wasn’t. Mom had all her wishes answered, again on her terms.
To all our readers who own your own companies: if you have not written out and discussed your succession plans with your families and staff, please do it. Many of you won’t know when death comes knocking at your door, and without extensive, well thought out succession plans, nothing but chaos and pandemonium could be the order of the day for your survivors and staff. Whether you choose to leave your business to your spouse, family members, siblings, a trusted member of your staff, or even to the entire staff, ironing out all the details prior to your passing will save everyone involved a ton of heartache! You’ve worked tirelessly to build an empire, or at least a fine business, and passing it on to someone as your final wish can and will change their lives, usually for the better. Consult your attorney for all the legalities that will be necessary to transfer your business to whomever. Make sure that whomever retains your business when you pass is at least aware of your plans so that it is not a shock!
As for a will, if you don’t have one, get to work on one ASAP! Again, having a will locked away in your safe, safe deposit box, or with your attorney will save your loved ones (hopefully) from additional heartache, hand-wringing, second guessing, and infighting. You are probably not going to make everyone happy—someone in your family is almost always going to get the short end in their mind, but you can only do so much while here on terra firma, so do the best you can BEFORE you get your wings.
Dad had a will, and everything went to Mom. Mom’s will is something she worked on for about two years with about 10 different drafts, but in the end, it is exactly what she wanted for her children and trusted friends. I will do my best to honor every wish in her will, I will do everything in my power to run this company to the best of my ability, to the benefit of our readers, our advertisers, and my staff. Mom was a big believer in these magazines. She loved the fact that we try every month to give independents a leg up on the big box stores, and try to help them to be the very best they can be. She may not have understood everything about this business, but she did love being a small part of it!
Heidi Ochsner Mugler…1937-2017. Rest in Peace.