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  • "Dear Mr. Vardaman, Please accept my condolences for your..."
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  • "I was reminded of Shannon through a mutual friend and was..."
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    - Bill Millard
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VARDAMAN MARIANNE FAY VARDAMAN Marianne Fay Vardaman passed away peacefully and surrounded by family on May 29, 2014 at Georgetown University Hospital. She is survived by her husband of 45 years, John "Jack" Vardaman, a daughter Shannon of Oakland, California, three sons, Thomas of Portland, Oregon, John III of Washington, DC, and Davis of Denver, Colorado, a son-in-law, three daughters-in-law, and nine grandchildren. Marianne came to Washington, DC in 1958 to attend the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She worked for a number of years for U.S. News and World Reports. Following her marriage to Jack in 1969, she began work as a volunteer at Sibley Memorial Hospital. For the past 25 years, Marianne served as a mediator in the Small Claims section of the D.C. Superior Court. There she helped thousands of D.C. residents resolve their disputes without the necessity of a trial. She was highly regarded by the Court and the staff. She also served as a trainer and mentor to other mediators at the Court. No matter how small an issue might have seemed to some, she knew that it was significant to the parties involved. Accordingly, she treated all with the utmost respect in her efforts to help resolve their disputes. For the past 34 years, Marianne and her family have called Hot Springs, Virginia their second home. In 1995, she began her work overseeing the restoration of an historic Southern home known as Malvern Hall. She loved this home, which served as a worthy gathering place for her extended family, drawing them back many times a year and playing host to holidays, summer vacations and the wedding receptions of three of her children. Marianne created a wide circle of friends wherever she found herself, including Gonzaga College High School, where two sons graduated, Williams and Connolly, where her husband worked, her weekly tennis matches, the Superior Court, the communities where her children and grandchildren lived in California, Colorado and Oregon, and with Jack's boyhood friends in Alabama. Reflecting her Irish heritage, Marianne and Jack served for the past 12 years as a host family to Irish students who came to Washington as part of the Washington Ireland Program. While together for only a short while, Marianne forged lasting relationships with many of the students and considered them part of the extended Vardaman family. Marianne was admired for her keen intelligence, lively wit, and wide-ranging curiosity. She could discuss almost any subject in depth and was always ready to offer an informed opinion on virtually any topic. She was a woman of wide interests and a voracious reader. Her interest in literature ranged from the English monarchy to anything about medicine to the workings of the human mind and to the latest novel on tape. She read and could be excited by Supreme Court opinions. She abhorred a vacuum and always found a way to fill her time in the car or elsewhere with audiobooks and other sources of new information. She frequently shared news clippings and articles with her children, often adding an insightful or humorous observation. Until her knee gave out in recent years, Marianne loved to play tennis with her regular group of friends, and to ice skate and ski with her grandchildren. She often surprised people with her interest in NASCAR and always wanted to know where Danica Patrick finished. She loved classical music but went to more than one Willie Nelson concert. She loved to travel the world, and in the past six years visited Turkey, Italy, South Africa, Botswana, Cuba, Costa Rica, and nine different countries including Russia on a cruise around the Baltic. But she felt most at home in the small town setting of Hot Springs in the company of family and friends. The family will receive visitors at Joseph Gawler's Funeral Home, 5130 Wisconsin Ave. NW, (corner of Harrison Street) Washington, DC on Monday, June 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, June 3 at 11 a.m., at Holy Trinity Catholic Church 3513 N Street NW, Washington, DC. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Ruesch Center for Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancer at the Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University, 3300 Whitehaven St. NW, Suite 4000, Washington, DC 20007.

Published in The Washington Post from May 30 to June 1, 2014
Marianne Vardaman
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Arrangements under the direction of:
Joseph Gawler's Sons, LLC
5130 Wisconsin Ave NW | Washington, DC 20016 | (202) 966-6400
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