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Buffett family member proposes before 35,000 at Berkshire Hathaway meeting
Meeting ends with a proposal

 Alex Rozek (left) grandson of Doris Buffett (center), proposed to girlfriend Mimi Krueger at the meeting.
MIKE ZITZ/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 5/3/2009

OMAHA--

Warren Buffett fielded dozens of questions yesterday from Berkshire Hathaway shareholders all over the world.

But the most memorable one had little to do with Buffett's investment conglomerate.

The last question of the annual Berkshire shareholders meeting came from Alex Rozek, the grandson of Doris Buffett, who is Warren's sister and a longtime Fredericksburg resident and philanthropist. Rozek's mother is Fredericksburg resident Robyn Wood.

Rozek flew to Omaha from Stafford County on Friday with Doris Buffett and his longtime girlfriend, Sarah Gibbs "Mimi" Krueger.

Rozek, in front of about 35,000 people at the Qwest Center, asked Warren Buffett what people could do to improve the U.S. economy. Buffett, showing no evidence that he knew Rozek, answered that it would be important to increase the number of households.

Earlier in the meeting Buffett had explained that household formations are critical to soaking up the excess number of homes on the market. That in turn would stabilize the housing market and the broader economy.

Buffett, still not tipping his hand, then asked Rozek if the answer gave him any ideas.

Rozek, a 30-year-old who lives in Boston but spends a good amount of time in Fredericksburg, then turned to his girlfriend, got on his knees, told her she was his best friend, and proposed.

She said yes.

Buffett then revealed to the crowd that Rozek is his sister's grandson.

The moment brought cheers from the crowd and ended the meeting on an upbeat note.

Rozek said he came up with the idea about a month ago. He pitched it to Buffett by e-mail; Buffett liked the idea and thought it would be a good way to end the meeting.

Buffett told Rozek to ask a simple question about the economy right at 3 p.m. as the meeting was ending, and said he'd take it from there. "He's a showman," Rozek said.

Rozek said Krueger had no idea it was coming.

"It was fun," he said.

--Bill Freehling