Marcy Brower
Marcy Brower, nee Gordon, 91, died of heart failure on Friday, April 3. Loving wife of Bob Brower for 71 years, cherished mother of Todd (Steve MacIsaac) Brower, Aaron (Nancy) Brower and Adam Brower, adored grandmother of Jake (Katya Tepper) Brower and Nat Brower, dear sister of Sheldon (Danna) Gordon, fond aunt of many nieces and nephews.

Beyond her deep love for her family, Marcy had three passions, her love for children, her love for equality and her love of painting. Marcy taught elementary school in Chicago; La Mesa, Calif.; and Wheeling, Ill. She and Bob founded and operated Circle M Day Camp in Wheeling for 45 years, one of the first private camps to hire minority staff and enroll minority children. Her interest in opportunities for children eventually influenced the whole of private camping in the national organization of private camps.

Marcy was active in the civil rights movement and in the struggle for the rights of the LGBTQ community. She raised funds for civil rights groups and labor unions by sponsoring folk music concerts on the campgrounds during the 1960s, and marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington in 1963.

She was a gifted artist, and painting was one of her lifelong passions. She started painting at the age of 12 under the direction of teachers at Hull House in Chicago and at the Art Institute of Chicago. She had a natural eye for bold color, design and composition and was a master in non-objective painting.

Private burial was held on April 5th at Memorial Park, Skokie. In lieu of flowers, memorials in her honor can be made to the American Camp Association - Illinois Section, 5 S. Wabash, Suite 1406, Chicago, IL 60603. Specify: Marcy and Bob Brower Campership Fund on the memo line.

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Published by Chicago Tribune from Apr. 6 to Apr. 12, 2020.
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18 Entries
I worked for Bob and Marcy many years ago as an art director at circle M- I have so many amazing memories from that time. The main one is how kind and patient and caring they were to me and everyone in the camp. They had boundless energy and love.
T b
March 25, 2021
I have known Marci for many years as we went to high school together. I have known her and Bob ever since. I have shared many loving years with them. Marci was full of life, love and the pursuit of justice. I will miss her and think of her for the rest of my life ( I am 91) I also am a good friend of Aaron and his family and I send love to all the Brower family as they mourn the loss of this amazing woman/
Charles Garvin
August 9, 2020
Dear Brower Family,

My heart goes out to all of you as I was so sad to hear of Marcy's passing. I have known Marcy since I first went to Circle M Day Camp and she has always been so sweet, caring, loving and kind to me for all these years. I last saw Marcy and Bob at a family Ice Cream Social and I always looked forward to our visits. Marcy was a class act as she was so talent with her art work as I felt honored to see her at one of her exhibits, while I was visiting family in Chicago.

Marcy will be truly missed!

Sending love to all of you!
Elizabeth Kretchmer
June 22, 2020
I was a counselor at Circle M in the late 70s and was forever transformed by Marcy and Bobs love and commitment to an inclusive and loving community philosophy. She will live forever in my heart.
John Graf
May 2, 2020
Dear Bob and Family,
I was a camper at Circle M at the end of the 1950s and have fond memories of Circle M and Cap and Marcy. Who knew a lollipop tree could be so special? Who knew 2 camp directors could be so magical? I sent my children to Circle M and they loved it as much as I did. Thank you for the magic of compassion and whimsy.
Randee Bloom Johnson

April 14, 2020
Dear Bob and family, I am saddened to hear of the news that Marcy recently passed away. You have my deepest and most sincere condolences. Although I only worked for you and Marcy from 1978-1981 at Circle M, the two of you had a profoundly positive impact on my subsequent educational career. Marcy always demonstrated by both words and actions that children came first, and that the social-emotional needs of children were of equal, if not greater, importance to the cognitive, physical and other arenas that we educators had to focus upon in our work. That was true back then and has never been more important than it is today. I tried to emulate both of you in my work, and you shaped me more than you will ever know. I am forever grateful. I am so sorry for your loss, but what a wonderful life to celebrate.

Joe Porto
April 13, 2020
Dear Bob,

I was so saddened to hear for Marcy's passing. I am sure you don't remember me but I sent both my kids to Circle M. It was life-changing for both of them. They learned the meaning of competing without competition, the values of kindness and respecting all people from you and Marcy. The families whose lives you both touched are endless. I drive by the property and always think wonderful thoughts about our times at Circle M. I am so sorry for the loss of your amazing wife.

Jill Burstein
April 13, 2020
Dear Bob and family,

My deepest sympathy to you and your family. My memory of Marcy goes back to the summer of 1962 when I worked for you at your Circle M Camp. You and Marcy were always there to greet me when I rolled in to your camp in my bus filled with happy campers.
Whenever I needed help, I knew I could always count on Marcy to come to my rescue. I'll always remember the closing week of camp when you had me direct a water ballet performance for the parents even though I had no previous experience. You both believed I could do it and so I did. Thanks, Cap.
May she rest in peace.
With love and happy memories
Jan Marenda
AKA Jan Pawlak
AKA Jan Edwards
[email protected]
Janice Edwards
April 11, 2020
Bob, you and Marcy were such a wonderful influence on my life as a camper and then counselor and pool director. I will always remember Marcy's kindness, calm, depth, and wisdom. My thoughts are with you.
Mark Swoiskin
Mark Swoiskin
April 10, 2020
Dear Bob,
On behalf of the Smith and Olinger family, I wish to express our sadness and sympathy on Marcy's passing. As Circle M campers and counselors, we have the fondest memories of Marcy, who was like a wonderful mother at camp, making everyone feel loved and welcome. Our treasured memories of camp are all due to you and Marcy and your wisdom, kindness and creativity in making our camping experience highlights of our lives. We send our condolences to you and your family and want you to know that we will always hold Marcy in our hearts.
With love,
Barbara Smith Olinger
Neil Smith
Janet Smith Brown
Sarah Olinger
Andrea Olinger
April 9, 2020
I knew from the first minute I met Marcy, she would be a long-term friend! I wish I had known her sooner and longer!! Her warm and enthusiatic spirit will be greatly missed by all who knew her...campers, staff, friends, parents, activitists, colleagues, fellow artists, and her dear family. I was privileged to have know Marcy.
Faith Evans
April 8, 2020
Bob, we offer our condolences to you, realizing that no expression of of sympathy can alleviate the loss of your lifetime partner and mother of your children.
Roy and Marta Evans
April 8, 2020
I was very saddened to read of Marcy's passing in the newspaper today (yes, I still read a newspaper!). I was a counselor and swim instructor at Circle M Camp many years ago and still have great memories. I remember Marcy as incredibly kind and welcoming, both to the young campers and the still-trying-to-find-their-way young counselors. I will never forget my time at Circle M, and in fact still think of it every time I see the big "Wheeling" tower. RIP, Marcy. You touched more lives than you probably knew.
Dan Gingiss
April 8, 2020
My condolences to Marcy's family and many friends. Marcy and Bob were great supporters of youth camps. I'm saddened to hear of Marcy's passing. Dick Martin Camp Douglas Smith
Dick Martin
April 7, 2020
Truly one of the most remarkable, kind, loving people we've ever met. She will be greatly missed.
Susan and John Yoder
April 7, 2020
Dear Bob and family, I am so very saddened to read this news today in the paper. It was such a pleasure to work with Marcy and to talk with the two of you when I would see you at work. I was always so very impressed with her wonderful sense of style, her grace, her love for her family and her sense of purpose. "A born social worker" she described herself to me once and I completely agree. She was an inspiration to me and I am so grateful for the chance to know her. My thoughts are with you and your family in the days ahead. Most Sincerely, Debbie
Debbie Deyhle
April 6, 2020
Roger and I are saddened to hear of Marcy's death The world will miss her. It takes a lot of energy to stand up and be counted for in being a really moral person. We have fond memories of our entry into camping as directors. Bob and she were always there for support or answers to questions.

Judy and Roger Wallenstein
April 6, 2020
We send our condolences to Bob and all the family. Marcy left a lifelong mark on us and hundreds of others through the example of how she lived her life. And, oh, what a sweet smile she had! She loved life and we loved her.
Liz and Mike Berger
April 6, 2020