Marjorie Lou Sharrow

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Marjorie Lou Sharrow died peacefully in the presence of her family on Sunday, March 13, at the Meadows in Rutland.
She was born February 7, 1916 on a farm near Angola, Indiana, the only child of Charles G. and Marion Pilliod Kidney. She was raised on the farm by her widowed grandmother, Della Gilbert Kidney, and moved to Cleveland to live with her parents when she started school.
In 1936 Marjorie married her next-door neighbor, Earl Sharrow, and they were together until his death in 2004, shortly after their 68th anniversary. In 1947 Marge and Earl returned to live in Angola, moving to Vermont in 2002.
They had two sons, Douglas, who passed away in 2000, and Gregory, who lives in Pittsford.
Marjorie had a vivid, extravagant personality, which found full expression in all of her creative work. Over the course of her lifetime she worked as a fiber artist, painter, ceramicist, sculptor, gardener and interior decorator. She also designed and fabricated her own clothing, jewelry, and furniture. Even with advancing dementia, Marjorie continued painting until she was 95.
Additionally, she was a radio broadcaster and writer, self-publishing her own series of children's books. She also taught painting and ran her own sales gallery, with a clientele that reached across the upper Midwest. Marjorie believed that art should be inexpensive so that anyone could afford it. She also read palms.
Marjorie was a renowned collector, especially of exotic furniture, clothing, and jewelry. She single-handedly salvaged architectural features from demolition sites long before this became fashionable, and incorporated these treasures into her home. She treated every available household surface as a canvas, surrounding herself with a riot of color and fanciful forms. Everything Marjorie did was unconventional, including her strategy for playing bridge.
Although she never completed a degree program, Marjorie participated in classes at the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Toledo Museum's School of Design, the John Huntington Polytechnic Institute, the Darwin School of Design, Cleveland College, Marshall School of Business, WTAM Radio School, The Ohio State University, Tri State College, Indiana Institute of Technology, and St Francis College
Marjorie was a great beauty, loved conversation, and was disarmingly direct. She and Earl were the consummate hosts and their parties were legendary. As retirees they traveled the world, establishing their own travel agency and leading tours to the far away places they wished to visit.
Throughout her lifetime, Marjorie was the subject of numerous feature articles, including a 2004 article in the Rutland Herald. Her life with Alzheimer's was the subject of a nationally broadcast documentary titled "After the Forgetting".
Marjorie is survived by her son, Gregory and his husband, Robert Hooker; her granddaughters Amy Joyce, Eve Kaltz, Kathy Line, Siobhan and Elizabeth Henry-Hooker, Madeline and Olivia Sharrow; grandson, Scott Sharrow; also many great- and great-great-grandchildren.
Marjorie was descended from Thomas Tuttle of Pittsford and Brandon, who with his five sons participated in the taking of Fort Ticonderoga as members of the famed Green Mountain Boys.
Calling hours at the Sharrow-Hooker home in Pittsford will be held on Saturday, March 19, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. A memorial service celebrating the lives of both Marge and Earl will be held in Angola, Indiana, at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in her memory to the Vermont Folklife Center. The family also invites you to share your memories by visiting and on Facebook.
Throughout her lifetime, Marjorie embraced the idea of death as yet another adventure. Ultimately, she was able to enact the terms and circumstances of her passing - with grace and dignity. She touched the lives of many and leaves a devoted circle of family and friends. Her vibrant spirit lives on.
Published in Rutland Herald on Mar. 17, 2016
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