Bruemmer receives Distinction award
MENOMINEE — Beta Sigma Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International has chosen Martha Jane (Guthrie) Bruemmer of Menominee as its Woman of Distinction for 2020.
She was given a keepsake personalized binder containing numerous written tributes and congratulatory letters from DKG members, members of her family, friends, co-workers, former students and others whose life she has affected. It also contained newspaper articles, and an audio file interview of her mentor, renowned astrophysicist Dr. Arthur Adel, which her son, Mark, secured for her. Bruemmer also was gifted with a watercolor painting of her view of the bay from her cabin. Her son, Eric, helped coordinate this with the artist, Karen Peterson, who also is a friend the family.
Bruemmer was initiated into Delta Kappa Gamma in 1985, and after retiring in Missouri and moving to Menominee, she transferred to Beta Sigma Chapter. She has served on the finance and scholarship committees, and as chairwoman for the World Fellowship Committee.
Bruemmer originally was from Gadsden, Ariz. She was a gifted mathematics student who due to advanced progress skipped a grade in elementary school. At age 15, she was working for the U.S. military on calculating rocket trajectories at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground that were near her home. At age 16, Jane graduated co-valedictorian from Yuma High School.
Bruemmer received a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and physics from Northern Arizona University, and her master’s degree in physics from the University of Michigan. At NAU, Bruemmer took classes from astrophysicist Adel and became his lab assistant. He influenced her decision to pursue her advanced degree in physics from University of Michigan.
Her first job as an instructor was teaching physics at NAU for Adel while he was experiencing health issues. Her publication of her research work is titled: “Polarization of Infrared Radiation by Reflection from Germanium Surfaces,” Journal of the Optical Society of America, Vol. 49, No. 9, 860-61, September, 1959 by Martha J. Bruemmer and D.F. Edwards.
While attending the University of Michigan, she met her husband, Jon Bruemmer, a U of M mathematics graduate from Menominee. After their marriage, they both worked for government aerospace contractors in Seattle. He accepted a job with IBM, so they moved to Hyde Park, N.Y., where she worked as a junior high math teacher at Poughkeepsie Day School Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Later, he accepted a job in Caracas, Venezuela, with Shell Oil, and she taught math and physics for grades 9 to 12 at Colegio Americano in Caracas. The family later moved to Kansas City, Mo., where he worked for TWA. For 20 years, she was a math and computer science teacher, grades 8-12, at Park Hill School District in Kansas City, Mo.
Some of her awards and projects while she was teaching in Missouri include:
— Incentive Grant, State of Missouri, Project Informatics, 1987. She participated jointly with a media specialist and a forensic teacher to investigate online database searches.
— Park Hill School District Grant, Build-A-Robot, where she participated in a joint project of computer science and industrial arts departments.
— MAST, NASA Summer Institute for Mathematics and Science Teachers. Two teachers from each state were chosen to attend a two-week seminar at the Huntsville Space Center in Huntsville, Ala. She was one of the two teachers chosen for Missouri.
— Supervised a beta-site cooperating with Carnegie Mellon Institute testing computer programs and educational materials for teaching AP Computer Science. Her classes were the first to have Apple II computers. She is referenced in the 1996 National Educational Computing Conference for her contributions to the MacGNOME group at Carnegie Mellon, in which they evaluated the application of computers in “virtual classrooms.”
They raised three accomplished sons — Mark of Georgia; Eric of Oregon; and Jay of Wyoming. She was widowed in 2013 after 55 years of marriage.