About Marion Matters

It’s hard to know where to start. First of all, Marion was an active member of the profession and especially an active member of MAC. A member from sometime in the mid-1970s until her death in 1998, Marion was a program participant 11 times, designed and oversaw the printing of the 1980 MAC brochure, was a spring 1989 Program Committee member, served as a member of the Archival Issues Editorial Board and as production editor from 1990-1993, ran for Council in 1987 and, as many of us remember her most fondly, was the creative leader, chief writer, and lead performer of the four critically acclaimed versions of Raiders of the Lost Archives. Marion was also a wonderful person and friend—with a dry sense of humor and a quick helping hand. You have only to read any of the lyrics she did for the numerous reincarnations of Raiders to see that she loved to play with not only the language but with the listeners. We know Marion played the guitar, recorder, and keyboard (and there might have been other instruments). She composed, she sang like an angel (although she didn’t always act like one), she acted in community and church productions, she was very active in her church and annually directed the Christmas pageant even though she had no children of her own (and speaking of children, both Cheri’s daughter and the daughter of a colleague loved her-she never talked down to them, was always interested in what they had to say, and was never, never above being silly), loved clothes and particularly shoes (she always had great shoes), was always willing to explain an archives or computer answer to a colleague, and loved traveling to England with John.

Marion, though always gracious, did not, however, suffer fools gladly. She was opinionated and was occasionally pointed and acerbic in expressing her opinions. And we who knew her best, loved her for it. (And, to tell the truth, she was usually right—dang!!)

Marion was a real person, with her good and not-so-good qualities, just like everyone else. But mainly she was a good friend to many, a wonderful acquaintance to more, and a talented archivist, musician, and actor to even more. She touched many of us and deserves to be remembered by us all. And as Wilbur the pig eulogizes Charlotte the spider in Charlotte’s Web, “She was in a class by herself It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.” What else can we say?

by Cheri Thies and Dennis Meissner


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