Ausmus Stewart Marburger was born to Ausmus and Virginia Marburger on August 19th, 1947 in Belleville, PA. He attended Kishacoquillas High School and graduated from Penn State with a degree in Architectural Engineering in 1970.
Prior to graduating college, he met Laurie Lynn Wierzbicki. By 1974, they were married, eventually having two children, Ausmus Squire and Wilton Sloan. Ausmus passed away on November 29th, 2021, a day before their 47th wedding anniversary.
Ausmus spent his life taking on the status quo, tirelessly striving to make a difference and a positive impact on every organization and community he touched.
He began his career at Limbaugh Construction in Boston as one of their first ever college hires into the Project Manager position. Within a decade, he had served as their project lead on the Detroit Renaissance Center construction project (yep, the building featured in Robocop) and was offered their national head of operations position, but he declined, desiring to have his children grow up closer to their grandparents. This desire eventually landed him with Fire Protection Industries (FPI) where he spent the rest of his career.
Over the next 34 years, Ausmus became the President of FPI and made a significant and lasting impact on the fire protection and life safety industry and those affected by building fire related tragedies. He continually challenged all stakeholders in the fire and life safety industry to be better and manufacturers to be invested stewards of their life safety products. He made significant contributions to the reach and efficacy of the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) culminating in his being elected Chairman of the Association’s board of directors. As Chairman, he redefined the position, taking an active role in the organization and setting a precedent for succeeding chairmen.
One of the things he was proudest of was his involvement in the creation of Common Voices, an organization dedicated to saving people’s lives by spreading awareness of the importance of life safety systems in buildings. Among their most significant achievements was partnering with mothers who had lost children to dormitory fires to force colleges across America to address deficiencies in their dormitories. Since then, the organization has grown and continues to carry out its mission to make our buildings safer.
Ausmus was proud of his positive relationship with trade unions, being requested by name to represent ownership in annual negotiations, not because he was a pushover, but because they trusted and respected him a great deal.
Ausmus’s accomplishments were acknowledged by NFSA when he was elected into the Hall of Fame and received the “Golden Sprinkler Award”, the industry’s version of the lifetime achievement award.
During the course of his career, Ausmus became a member of the Penn State College of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Board, helping to identify and select bright and deserving young candidates for engineering scholarships.
After retirement, Ausmus remained active in his local community, serving on the West Brandywine Township Board, and continuing to participate in his industry functions.
In his personal life, Ausmus knew how to have fun. He went to Woodstock in 1969. He was on the receiving end of Marstock in 1983, his legendary surprise birthday bash. And, for several years after retirement, he planned and hosted Shire Fest, an open party with live bands, food trucks, fireworks, and local craft beer.
Ausmus became an accomplished chef, wowing friends and family with his culinary skills and creativity. In the summer, he loved to grill. Grapevine smoked jerk chicken and ribs were among his specialties. In the fall, his family benefited from his Thanksgiving turkey dinner and Christmas ham dinner. Ausmus loved participating in the Wierzbicki family Christmas Eve tradition of Vigilia for many years as a guest, eventually taking the reigns as host when Laurie’s parents were older. Ausmus’s passion for good food was well paired with his love of good refreshments. Whether having a beer by the grill or sitting on the porch with a glass of wine in his hand, food and drink were always a special occasion to bring people together.
Together with Laurie, Ausmus was a great host and expressed his deep appreciation for family and friends through marking an occasion and cooking for others. He also possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of all manner of subjects, and easily became the center of attention at parties and gatherings with his knowledge, wit, and humor. With a smile and mischievous twinkle in the eye, Ausmus just loved engaging with people.
A lifelong fan of Penn State football, Ausmus inspired the next generation of tailgaters with his wonderful tailgates. One of his protégés went on to win a National tailgating award.
One of his greatest personal achievements was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in his 60’s, which was preceded by a grueling six months of personal training!
In 2016, Ausmus was blessed with his first grandchild, Hunter James Marburger, followed by Avery Jane Marburger in 2019. “Pop-Pop”, as they call him, was a wonderful influence on both. On many Tuesdays, Hunter would spend the day at Ada’s (Laurie) and Pop-Pop’s house. Pop-pop would take Hunter to the local baseball field and play for hours, somehow never once winning a game! Pop-Pop would take Hunter down to the stream behind their house, digging up worms and catching fish together. In Hunter’s first two seasons of baseball, Pop-Pop and Ada never missed a game. With Avery, he played endless games of peek-a-boo, did “big pushes” on the swing, chased bubbles in the driveway, and did “uppies” (as in ‘lift me up, Pop-Pop’) every time she asked. Pop-pop was a great playmate and really shined in retirement at being a loving family man.
In conclusion, Ausmus was a person of deep conviction with an uncompromising moral code. He inspired many and made his share of enemies along the way. Regardless of where one might fall, there is one thing everyone would agree upon: Ausmus was truly unforgettable and had an outsized influence on everything he touched.
Ausmus was stolen from all of us prematurely and shockingly, and the many people he has touched are deeply affected by his loss.
Ausmus is survived by his wife Laurie, brothers Dwight and Henry (Kathy), sister Barbie, and his brother-in-law Teddy (Debbie). He also leaves behind nieces Amelia and Louise, nephews Alex, Philip, and Garrison, sons Ausmus and Wilton (Brittany), and grandchildren Hunter and Avery.
A memorial service with a time of sharing will begin at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, December 9, 2021, at the James J. Terry Funeral Home, 736 E. Lancaster Avenue, Downingtown. There will not be a formal receiving line prior to the service, but guests will be able to enter the funeral home starting at 10:00 a.m.
The family invites you to gather for food and drink after the service at the Desmond Hotel, located at 1 Liberty Blvd., Malvern, PA 19355.
The family has asked if you are able to join at The Desmond, to please RSVP to Wilton Marburger at firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, December 6th.
The Marburger family will be placing a bench in Ausmus’s honor at the West Brandywine Park. The bench will be located by the baseball fields where Ausmus could be found playing with his Grandkids. Anyone wishing to contribute may do so via PayPal by sending to email@example.com