Marjorie Spear Quisenberry passed away peacefully at home on May 20, 2013 being cared for by her children with the invaluable support of Hospice. She was born to Homer and Effie Spear August 20, 1915 in El Centro, California where she grew up.
In 1943 after a short courtship she married Jack Quisenberry, a young Marine fighter pilot stationed in El Centro, training for the war in the South Pacific. They were married 45 years until his death in 1988. For nearly 40 years his squadron, VMF 217, and their families remained an important part of her life. She enjoyed attending their reunions over the years, many held at the USMC Memorial Club and Hotel in San Francisco, where a painting of Jack's hangs depicting an attack on the squadron by Japanese forces.
After the war the couple made their home in Newport Beach, California, where they raised their two children. Marjorie enjoyed being a part of her children's school and social lives and was an active community participant. From California the family moved to Denver, Colorado and then to Juneau in 1965. During her 48 years in Juneau Marjorie became very involved in the community. She worked many years for the Department of Labor retiring as the manager of the Juneau Job Service. Marjorie was a great friend and avid supporter of US Senator Ted Stevens whom she met while Jack worked as an aide for the Senator in Juneau and Washington D.C.
Marjorie was a member of the Bartlett Memorial Hospital Guild and was instrumental, along with her friends Pam Knapp and Shirley Ackley, in starting the hospital gift shop. She was involved in the annual art project – an art show competition for grade school students judged by local artists – where pieces were selected to be placed in the hospital hallways. She was a member of the Capital City Republican Women, the Juneau Women's Network, P.E.O. Chapter G, Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary, Juneau Yacht Club, League of Women Voters 2004 Kid's Voting Program and Friends of the Alaska State Museum.
Two life experiences were highly significant to Marjorie; her attendance at the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality's 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing China. Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama's mother spoke at this event in addition to other globally recognized women leaders. She also was part of the first delegation-at-large of the "Citizen Diplomats Exchange" to Vladivostok. The delegation/exchange started seven subsequent civic exchanges with Vladivostok, including the Sister Cities program.
Marjorie enjoyed many meaningful travel adventures with her friends. She spoke often of her trips to the Spa in Palm Springs, cruises through the Panama Canal, Greece, Turkey and Italy. She enjoyed a wonderful cruise down rivers in Europe and especially appreciated a cruise through the South Pacific with her and Jack's Marine buddies, visiting those locales where the squadron was stationed.
Marjorie was admired for her youthful outlook. She was particularly proud of participating in yoga through age 97, riding the local zip line at age 90 and her previous white water rafting adventure in Utah. She modeled clothing for Ann House's shop, Boheme, for many years. When asked how she stayed so young she frequently stated, "stay active, keep younger friends and wear the right eyeglass frames."
She was the matriarch of an extended family, highly respected for encouraging and supporting her grandchildren and great grandchildren in receiving an advanced education.
She was preceded in death by her parents Homer and Effie Spear, her sister Dorothy Reynolds, her brother Homer A. Spear and her husband Jack Quisenberry.
Marjorie leaves behind her children, Rod and April Quisenberry Pruitt of Alamos, Sonora, Mexico, David and Cindy Kanouse Quisenberry of Juneau, grandchildren Baker and Cassandra Johns Hensley, Lee Pruitt and Cheyenne Coles, Eli and Jennifer Johnson Quisenberry, David and Brianne Holte Pruitt, Nathan Quisenberry and Miranda Leidich, great grandchildren Darren and Kaylah Owens, Ashley and Andrew Margocs, Emily Hensley, Christian Hensley, Evan Quisenberry, and great-great-grandchildren Ava June Margocs, Wiatt Margocs, and Natalie Owens and Abagail Owens.
A celebration of life will be held at the Juneau Yacht Club Wednesday, June 26th from 4 until 6:30 pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Marjorie's name to the following: Hospice and Home Care of Juneau, 419 E. 6th Street, Juneau, AK 99801 and P.E.O., Chapter G, PO Box 20581, Juneau, AK. 99802.
Published in The Juneau Empire on June 12, 2013