She was born April 6, 1936, in Milan, Michigan, one of three children of Henry and Emma Braunz. In 1947, the family moved to South Haven, where she became part of a lifelong circle of eight “best friends” and fell in love with Lake Michigan. When the family moved to a farm in the area, her love of horses and riding blossomed, resulting in her later extensive involvement with her children’s equine activities.
While attending the University of Michigan, she met the love of her life and best friend, Jay. She graduated with a B.A. in German language and literature. Marj valued her German heritage. She accompanied her husband during his 18-month Army assignment near Stuttgart, Germany. There they met native friends and distant relatives, frequently revisiting them with their children in later years and maintaining their shared German language fluency.
Returning to the University of Michigan, Marjorie earned an M.A. in library science. She was employed as a librarian by the U of M Graduate Library, eventually becoming the head of book purchasing for all U of M libraries.
In 1971, Marjorie moved to the Grand Haven area with her family, where she would live for the rest of her life.
She was a wonderful wife and mother, a beloved companion and truly the heart of the family. She showed her children how to be kind, genuine, accepting, curious and peaceful, and taught them to invest in family. She loved books and was a strong influence on her children for reading. An independent thinker, Marj loved reading about and discussing interesting topics, especially philosophy, until Alzheimer’s compromised that ability. One standout memory for her children is her often repeated phrase, “There’s always time for a hug,” which was typical of her values. Her granddaughters remember travels with “Nani,” where she explained many interesting sights and often sang songs from the 1940s to them. Her husband believes it is Marj’s special parenting style which helped their children not to be troubled during their teenage years. He prays that God will uphold their marriage when they are reunited in heaven.
Marjorie is survived by her devoted husband of 61 years, Jay; son, Frederick; daughter, Ann (Todd) McFall; granddaughters Rachel and Lauren McFall; her sister, Elsie (John) Mayo and their family; as well as her brother, Michael (Zoe) Braunz and their family.
A memorial service for immediate family was held Thursday at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Grand Haven.