Marjorie Marks

From our first encounters, I was attracted to Marge’s spirited personality.  Plus I found her to be very cute. We started seeing each other during the summer of 1971 and we fell in love to eventually marry and raise a family together. Marge loved Yale.  The educational, cultural, and Yale community stimulated her active intellect and imagination.  I miss her. 

 Allen Carney, her husband 


My memories of Marjorie are based on working together on a class project in a City Planning course.  The class was with Alex Garvin and was exciting partly because he was a thoughtful practitioner of the trade in New York City, still a very big apple for me then fresh out of the industrial Midwest.  To Marjorie it was home, however, and she very graciously introduced it to me, including a visit to her family household.  The class project took us through a study of planning theory, some New York City history and a field trip to assess community development needs in the South Bronx and what kind of planning might help people realize those needs.  The course and its context was the best of late Sixties/early Seventies education, really, a mix of classroom work, advocacy and professional planning for the Lindsay administration in New York.   It would have been harder for me to handle without Marjorie, however.  She knew the Bronx, our neighborhood of focus, as I could not.  She knew how to get into and out of the City, as well as how to ride the ever-bewildering subway system, and she knew something about New York’s complicated and Byzantine political topography, all essential to making sense out of our project.  With her help, we were able to convince Garvin that we knew at least a little about our subject and that, maybe, city government could actually work with the people of the Bronx to improve their lives.

Knowing that Marjorie’s husband Allen is at the reunion, I should probably be embarrassed to say that by the end of the semester I had a little crush on her.  But, then, of course he would know better than anyone why that was.  It was submerged, she was seeing someone else, it was a minor thing, but, then, perhaps it was inevitable.  She was beautiful, smart, hardworking, ebullient and kind.  I salute him on his good fortune in partnering with her and extend my condolences at losing her so soon. As well, I wish him well on his new partnership.

As for me, I remember Marjorie as one key player in helping me expand beyond my solid, but limited, Cleveland upbringing.  Remembering her and her bright spirit, I’ll close with a phrase learned from my years working with the Latino community:  “Marjorie Marks, presente!”

Bill Shields

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