Marjorie McKowen passed away May 15, 2015, aged 85 years. She had lived in Lansing for almost sixty years. She was brilliant at being a mom to Scott McKowen and Carol Loveless, and she was a proud grandmother to Justin Loveless. She threw exceptional birthday parties, made fabulous Halloween costumes, favored cats (and the odd duck) as pets, and endured countless hours of practicing for music lessons.
Marge will be sorely missed by her family including her brother Mike (and Margaret) Kurta of Traverse City. Born in 1929 to Michael Kurta and Mary Kovacs, both of whom had emigrated from Hungary, Marjorie grew up in Detroit where her dad ran the venerable Vinsetta Garage on Woodward Avenue.
Marge loved art and music, and passed along these interests and skills to her impressionable children. She played the clarinet and sang in many church choirs; she was a talented sign painter and calligrapher (trained at the Meinzinger Art School in Detroit); she designed and silkscreened memorable and beautiful Christmas cards every year. She was a dedicated correspondent (how many people reading this received newspaper clippings from Marge?!) but she always preferred her trusty old manual typewriter to email. She never heard of Facebook. She travelled extensively, visiting most of the states in the U.S., as well as Canada and many countries in Europe.
She was a selfless and highly motivated volunteer throughout her life. She recorded many “talking books” for the visually impaired; she contributed countless hours to Edgewood United Church in East Lansing and to First Baptist in downtown Lansing. And she brought great comfort on regular weekly visits to a huge circle of retired and elderly friends.
Marge established many lifelong friendships at the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan, and met her future husband Frank McKowen there. She married Frank in 1950, and wholeheartedly supported his various careers as a music teacher, conductor, and piano tuner. That relationship lasted, sadly, until one week shy of their fiftieth wedding anniversary.
She struggled with depression in her last decade, and life became more difficult over the last decade as her strength and stamina declined. Rest comes as a blessing. A memorial service will take place at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, June 14, 2015, at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel in downtown Lansing, following cremation. www.EstesLeadley.com
“The weight of this sad time we must obey;
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
The oldest hath borne most: we that are young,
Shall never see so much, nor live so long.”