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Marjorie (Lesher) Brandon

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Marjorie (Lesher) Brandon Obituary
Marjorie Lesher Brandon, age 92, formerly of Akron, Colorado, died on December 13th, 2016 in San Francisco, California. She left this life living as she was accustomed, in a high rise apartment on Nob Hill overlooking Oakland Bay.
Born December 13th, 1925, to Carl Ray Lesher and Valera Maybelle Young, Marjorie came into this world at home in Colorado. The family moved to Akron early in Marjorie's life, where she attended school, graduating from Akron High School in 1943. While in high school, she was known for her independence and entrepreneurial spirit, and for her typing and shorthand skills. Marge also made an impression helping raise her two younger brothers and three little sisters. After her father's untimely death in 1947 , she continued to help bring up her younger siblings, traveling often to Akron after graduating and leaving her hometown.
Marjorie attended Colorado College in Colorado Springs for a short while, but found academics slow-paced, since she had great ideas for jump-starting her life. She found opportunity in Colorado Springs, which was a hub of Army training activity in the midst of World War II. Marjorie contributed to reviving the almost defunct Pikes Peak Cog Railway in Manitou Springs by attracting soldiers on pass to the summit of Pikes Peak. Gaining the attention of the Army high command for her organizational skills and charm, she was given
work as an executive assistant to a commander at Lowry Army Air Force Base near Denver.
In 1946. Marjorie married Joe Brandon from Akron soon after his return from WWII. Living briefly as a housewife in Fort Collins, due to her father's death and a restless spirit, she moved to Houston, Texas to launch a new career. Networking and again proving her organizational skills, Marjorie became an executive secretary for newly-founded Trans-Texas airlines.
Marjorie traveled to San Francisco in early 1950. Then 26 years old, with a head full of ideas and confident of her ability to make it big, she moved into a basement room in the world-famous Fairmont Hotel. Marge made connections there, including the mentorship of billionaire Benjamin Swig. Her first business was a stenotyping school, where she worked and soon acquired. After the start of the Korean War, she started a finishing school and club for chaperoned girls that was similar to a traveling USO show, entertaining soldiers and sailors
throughout California.
After the war, Marjorie expanded her businesses. She owned, in addition to her secretarial school, an answering service, a language academy for foreign students, and an employment agency. By her mid-30s Marge had become successfully independent. She left the Fairmont Hotel after 12 years, and moved to the apartment on Nob Hill, plus set up an office and home in Calistoga, Napa Valley. From there she managed multiple businesses and properties, going international with her language and secretarial schools, expanding to include clientele from Central America.
Marjorie remarried briefly in 1970, but dissolved it quickly. She continued to be active in family affairs throughout the years, traveling from California to check on and help her siblings, wherever they were. Marge was known to all as the eccentric entrepreneur, surprising loved ones with lavish deeds and events, but keeping much to herself for the rest of her life. Finally, Marjorie expressed the intent and desire to support the entrepreneurial spirit of the youth of Washington County, regardless of academic standing.
Marjorie had no children. She is preceded by her father and mother, brothers Jim Lesher and Sam Lesher, and
sisters Dot Tappe and Betty Foote. She is survived by her sister Valera Lea Holtorf, and brother Larry Lesher. A memorial graveside service will be held Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the Akron Cemetery, with Father Marek Ciesla officiating.
Published in Akron News-Reporter on May 24, 2017
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