Over the past four decades, Patricia (Pat) Marble was a constant at the Richfield Community Center.
“She was instrumental in helping create many of our daily programs for seniors,” said Amy Markle, recreation services director for the city of Richfield. “She was chair to our seniors committee. She was really a presence here.”
So much so that her absence was always noted.
“She would be gone three to four months in the summer, when she went to her family cabin,” said Markle. “And we’d miss her a lot. Everyone was excited when we would hear she was coming back.”
Marble, who turned 107 last August, died March 12 at her home in Richfield.
“I just saw her a month ago,” said Markle. “She was still with it. Sharp as a tack. She was the leader of our over-50 fitness group until last year.”
Marble was born Aug. 27, 1912, to Charles and Jeanette Morgan in South Bend, Ind. She graduated from South Bend Central High School in January 1931.
In 1933, she married Ivan Marble in South Bend.
In the fall of 1944, Pat and Ivan bought a small log-cabin resort on Island Lake near Northome, in Koochiching County in northern Minnesota.
Pat and their three children moved to Northome first and got the resort, which had no electricity or running water, ready for business as Ivan remained in South Bend, finishing out a war contract.
The couple ran the business until 1954, when they moved to Richfield. Marble then lived in the same house for the next 66 years.
She worked as the head of the fabric sales department at J.C. Penney for 24 years.
Once retired, “she did so many things for us,” Markle said. “She was in a quilting group that got together and talked and sewed quilts, which they would auction for charity.
“She was president of our young-at-heart program. She organized senior day trips. She was in our Silver Notes Chorus. She really got involved.”
In 1989, Marble was named the Minneapolis Aquatennial Senior Queen.
In her 80s, she performed for several years in a vaudeville-style music and comedy show, made up of a troupe of senior citizens. The show, directed by Twin Cities television legend Allan Lotsberg, performed nationwide.
For her 100th birthday, she baked pies and embroidered dish towels as gifts for her guests.
And she continued to try new things. She took up kayaking at the age of 103. Two years later, she made a stained-glass lamp for her newest great-great-grandchild. She and her daughter drove to Indiana to personally deliver it.
As a stained-glass artist, she produced 50 lamps for family and friends. In her final year, she continued to teach and coach her grandchildren and great-grandchildren on how to bake and how to make stained glass.
According to Markle, she never lost her sense of humor. Last Halloween, she dressed as a flapper girl for her quilting club.
“She had such a nice warmth,” said Markle. “She told great stories.”
Marble is survived by two daughters, Marjorie Nicodemus and Peggy Wiklund; a son, John Marble; 10 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren.
A memorial service which had been scheduled to be held in Richfield next week has been postponed. A service will be held in Northome in June.