Marjorie A. McKowen

Lansing, Michigan

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.

“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.”

Print Obituary

6 Messages to “Marjorie A. McKowen

Print Messages
Clarice Thompson
May 22, 2015 at 8:45 am

In the 1970s my father was hospitalized with TB for almost a year. Marge visited him faithfully, bringing her home made pie, books and articles (she was an article queen, you know).
I was living in California then, and to say I appreciated Marge’s doing this would be an understatement.
From early Interlochen days, pre-children, picnic and river-floating days, Marge was part of my life.
She will remain part of my life. She will not be forgotten.

Diana McKowen
May 22, 2015 at 9:05 am

Scott and Carol,

Oh how I will miss your mom. Aunt Marge was more like a mother-in-law to me. I learned so many hospitality skills from her. We enjoyed so many Michigan vacations with her. We especially always liked bringing our girls to her home in the fall so they could jump in the leaves.

We hope to see you at the memorial service on June 14.

Love to you all,

Diana and David

William Jury
May 24, 2015 at 12:47 pm

Marge was the most professional person I have ever worked with in my career. A compassionate humanitarian and friend that could converse on many topics and make you a better person for having known her. God Bless.

stephanie robinson
May 25, 2015 at 1:34 pm

Great Lady, many good memories of your Mom at First Baptist – very talented woman. Our prayers are with you.
Stephanie Underhill Robinson

Jennifer Bair
June 12, 2015 at 12:12 pm

She was a good and gracious friend to my grandparents (LL Okey & Ane Okey), my parents (PL Okey and JoAnn Okey) and to me and all my sibs. She has always had such a special place in my heart. I will continue to remember her with such fondness. Every Christmas, especially, when I take out the ornaments the gave me throughout the years, I will miss her.

Toomey Family
June 12, 2015 at 12:33 pm

Enjoyed the newspaper clippings on specific topics pertaining to my needs and the office visits.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and the family.


Please Sign The Guestbook

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *