MARGUERITE JANE WICKERSHAM DORITTYIt is with great sadness we announce that Marguerite Jane Wickersham Doritty, age 93, died on July 2, 2020 at Northumberland Hills Hospital in Cobourg, following a brief pulmonary illness. Marguerite had a long and dynamic life as an avid supporter of opera and the arts, a professional fundraiser and academic administrator, as well as a bird lover and bridge player extraordinaire. Daughter of Robert Cadwallader Wickersham and Ruby Little Wickersham, she was raised in Pittsburgh, PA in a happy and tumultuous family during the Great Depression and WWII. After graduating with a Diploma in Music from the Juilliard School of Music, she spent a decade in New York City, working at the Grand Central Art Galleries and in a formative position as the Director of the Metropolitan Opera National Council. In 1958, she moved to Buffalo, NY and married Peter Duane Knowles, an interior designer, had three children, and returned to work as the Director of the Concert Office in the Department of Music at the University at Buffalo, and later the Assistant to the Director of the Educational Communications Center at the University. In the 1980s, the couple relocated to Sarasota, Florida, where she became the Development Coordinator at the Sarasota Opera Association. After Knowles' death in 1987, she returned to Buffalo as the Assistant Chair of the Department of Media Study at the University at Buffalo, known for a groundbreaking media arts program led by Dr. Gerald O'Grady, and from which she retired in 1996, shortly after completing her own interdisciplinary Master's Degree in Media Study and Communication. In 1991, she was awarded the United University Professions Award for Excellence in Professional Service. Shortly after her retirement, she happily married Donald Doritty, a longtime friend, and emigrated to Canada, where she enjoyed two decades in Port Hope and Cobourg, ON, surrounded by family and many wonderful friends. Marguerite's extensive accomplishments as a volunteer include seven years as Chairman of the Member's Advisory Council at the Albright Knox Art Gallery, a stint as the Vice President of the Board and President of the Women's Committee of the Buffalo Philharmonic, 20 years as the District Chairman of the United Way of Erie County, and 40 years as the Great Lakes Regional Chair and Buffalo District Co-Director of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Auditions. She was also a board member of Young Audiences of Western New York, the Media Arts Teachers Association, and Squeaky Wheel Media Arts Center. She was particularly proud of her work raising millions of dollars from New York State as a founder and subsequently a board member of Homespace, a non profit organization designed to meet the needs of homeless teen parents, emerging as an outgrowth of Trinity Church of Buffalo's Mission Committee. She also served on the Vestry and as Annual Fund Drive Chair at Trinity. In 2005, she was honored with a Founder's Award by Homespace, Inc. In Port Hope and Cobourg, Marguerite was deeply involved in St. Peter's Anglican Church, where she was Chairman of the Communications Network, sat on the Parish Council, sang in the choir for many years and was a member of the bell choir. She was also on boards for the Port Hope Friends of Music and the Canadian Federation of University Women, Northumberland Chapter, and she continued to play bridge and scrabble recreationally through the spring. Marguerite loved to participate, to play, to serve, and to make the most of life. Our mother was a force of nature and a loving and probing woman who encouraged us to do our best, to be a true friend, and to always be kind. She will be remembered as generous and honest, and always guided by love. She is survived by her loving children Content Love, Meg, Alonzo and Alison Knowles, and grandchildren Teagan and Tucker; and her beloved Canadian family David and Ann Doritty, Paula and Tony Frost and grandchildren Robyn, Jonathan, and Michael, as well as numerous cousins from the Wickersham, Martin, McKnight and Lose families. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St Peter's Anglican Church, Cobourg, to Homespace Corporation in Buffalo, NY, or to Squeaky Wheel Media Arts Center in Buffalo, NY. A virtual memorial will be held on Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Follow this link to attend: Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85430645532?pwd=VTRsOVZtZ2NDNEhyZWJESUxwbmROUT09
Meeting ID: 854 3064 5532 Password: 040388 An in-person memorial will be planned when it is safe to gather.