Marjorie Gibbon Masek, age 70, died on December 10 at her home in Vineyard Haven, with her family gathered to her bedside, and supported by Dyan Espindle, RN of Island Hospice.
Dyan and Marjorie became close friends over the one year of Palliative Care. Dyan assisted Marjorie to be in a “peaceful state of grace,” to the end.
James Masek, artist/carpenter and husband of 26 years (married 1984), was her primary caregiver during her long, chronic illness. Both Marjorie’s parents and older brother, John Gibbon, predeceased her.
Marjorie was born in Philadelphia, Penn., where her father Dr. John Gibbon, was a prominent physician and dean of the Jefferson College of Medicine.
Dr. John Gibbon, with the help of Maly Gibbon, Marjorie’s mother, pioneered the invention of the first “Heart Lung machine.”
Marjorie’s maternal grandfather was Charles Hopkinson, the renowned oil portrait painter, of Manchester, Mass., and Beacon Hill.
As a girl, Marjorie attended the Miquan School in Media, Penn., where she first experienced a love for a free and open learning style. She was pleased to have graduated from The Putney School in Putney, Vt., class of 1958, where she excelled in both fine arts and modern dance.
She attended The Pennsylvania Academy of The Fine Arts for 2-1/2 years. There she met her first husband, oil painter and fellow student, Robert Shepard. They settled in Acworth, N.H., and were married for 13 years.
As an art teacher, Marjorie “volunteered” her time freely to teach the youth creative processes in the arts and modern dance. She taught in the Acworth “Free School,” a forerunner of a present day “Charter” type school. Maggie also taught children in her home studio; one former student has recently graduated from college in the fine arts.
Marjorie sold her watercolor paintings and linoleum prints on Island. She left a large body of artwork, including a large variety of note cards, which were also sold. Maggie exhibited art in many Island art shows since settling here in 1984.
Marjorie attended the Society of Friends Meeting since a young woman.
Marjorie is survived by her husband, James Masek; her sons, Nathan and Tobias Shepard; and stepson Jesse Masek (all four live on the Island); and by stepdaughter Tanya Carroway. Also, surviving Marjorie, are her two sisters: Mary Clarke of Vineyard Haven and Gloucester, Mass., and Alice Saltzman, of Costa Mesa, Calif.
She is also survived by many nephews and nieces through her brother’s and sister’s families. Quite a number live on the Island.
Memorial services will be held at 6 pm on Wednesday, January 19, at Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, on Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road.
The Rev. Roger Spinney, who is the reverend and grief counselor to Island Hospice and former pastor to the Baptist Church in Vineyard Haven, will officiate.
Donations to Island Hospice and Pallative Care are appreciated and may be sent in Marjorie’s name to Island Hospice, P.O. Box 4188, V.H., MA 02568 .