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1924 - 2014 |
Algene Ballif Marcus
Algene Ballif Marcus passed away on April 5, 2014; she was eighty-nine years old. Algene was a daughter, sister and beloved aunt who used her many gifts in a tenacious pursuit of truth.
Born in Provo, Utah on September 21, 1924, she was the oldest child of George S. and Algie E. Ballif. Her parents recognized her talents early and encouraged her to explore the world around her-sending her to cousins in Boston at the age of thirteen for a year of study. At Provo High School, under the direction of Claude Snow, Algene pursued her love of the theatre, playing Shakespeare's Katherine in "The Taming of the Shrew," Emily from Wilder's "Our Town," and Queen Elizabeth I in Andersen's "Elizabeth the Queen." At the University of Utah she was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority, and continued her acting pursuits in campus productions, receiving a B.A. in English with High Honors in 1946.
In the 1950s Gene lived in New York City where she wrote literary and stage reviews for Commentary Magazine, joining the intellectual community at Columbia University that included such luminaries as Lionel and Diana Trilling, and Lilian Hellman. She married Steve Marcus, who eventually became a professor of English at Columbia in 1949. The couple divorced in 1965. Gene then moved to Washington D.C. where she worked as a secretary at the Japanese Embassy.
In 1970 she moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts. She received a Masters Degree in Education from
in 1974 and taught English at the University of Massachusetts/Boston. While in Cambridge, Gene continued to write for Parnassus: Poetry in Review. In 1980 she returned to Utah to be close to her sister and brother, and help in the loving care of her parents in their later years.
Gene was an involved and supportive aunt to her nieces and nephews and their children. She introduced them to the music, art, and literature she loved and will be remembered by them for her delight in their talents and accomplishments.
Algene is survived by her sister; Grethe Ballif Peterson, her sister-in-law; Ruth Ballif, and her nine nieces and nephews and their children. Her life will be celebrated at a family gathering. Condolences can be shared at
Published in Salt Lake Tribune from Apr. 26 to Apr. 27, 2014
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