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Marcia was truly one of God’s gems. She was a bright light in our family and to her friends. People were important to her. She talked to people in the grocery store, serving people behind the counters, people in waiting rooms in doctor’s offices, etc. People were not strangers to her.
She was a joy to be around as a child. It was devastating when at age 9 she was diagnosed with type I diabetes. Her whole world changed trying to stay alive. We were told 20 years after diagnosis was the average life span and she might be blind and have limbs removed by then. Knowing that, we tried to make her life interesting and fun. Swimming, diving lessons, waterskiing, bike riding, girl scouting, backpacking the Grand Canyon, Hawaii, the Sierras, Mt. San Jacinto, etc. She was chosen for a girl scout “wider opportunity” for 2 weeks in Mexico with girls from around the world. Marcia was in the concert band and marching band at Villa Park High School. She was able to study for a semester at Oxford University in England. She went on three choir tours of Europe with the Presbyterian Choir of Orange. We spent 5 weeks meeting and visiting her dad’s relatives in Denmark and touring Europe. She was able to go with the 8th grade class to McFadden Intermediate School in Santa Ana where I taught to their Washington DC trip to visit the Statue of Liberty, George Washington Home, an Amish School, the Smithsonian Library, the war memorial, etc.
Marcia didn’t miss much in life except meeting that special man to be her husband. While working at Cal State Fullerton to help pay for her education, she met and became friends with Lucille La Vine. During one of their “girl talk” sessions, Lucy said that she had a cousin that would be just right for Marcia. During their first meeting over coffee they decided that Lucy was right, they were meant for each other. Shortly before they were married, Eli Lilly decided that “Beef insulin” was no longer necessary to type I diabetics, that synthetic insulin would work. Marcia explained to Howard she could and probably would have serious complications due to the change and that he could back out of the marriage if he wanted to. He said no, he was in it for the long haul. August 1st will be their 25th anniversary. They were 2 of the happiest people I know.
Little did they know that Howard, too, would have some health problems with heart failure. They took care of each other with love and kindness.
After they came to live with us, they again experienced some good years, then breast cancer reared its ugly head. There was another downturn. The cancer then spread to her brain and on to her bones. With chemo every three weeks with no end in sight, times were hard. Howard was a dedicated caregiver, attending to every need medical and personal. Unfortunately, her body gave out.
Marcia has great attentive doctors over the years and she has had a wonderful caregiver, Elvia Sanchez, who has also been a special friend to her. Elvia has been like the sister she never had. They shared confidences. Elvia paints her fingernails, styles her hair, puts her lipstick on, etc. She has been a wonderful friend. Marcia and Howard both loved their cats and dogs and were always reassuring one or the other. The animals calm them and were a major joy in their lives.
Marcia valued family and friends greatly.
For a little girl that was not supposed to live beyond age 30, she fought the good fight and made it to age 59 (60 years on October 22). But now it is time to say “good bye” we love you, and we’ll miss you, but we plan on seeing you again in a few years, when it is our turn to rest and be at peace.