Marjorie Ann Fadely, a well known early childhood educator, who devoted her life to the education and enrichment of young children, passed away on Saturday, November 6th. She was 86.
Marge was born in Rushville, Indiana on July 20th, 1935 to Harold Earnest Wilkison and Mary Alice Hite Wilkison. Her mother was a Daughter of the Revolution. She grew up on her parent's farm where she learned to love the land, animals and growing things. They grew crops and gardens, raised hogs, sheep, and chickens and used horses to plow the land. Her grandma cross-bred lilies. She carried mice in her pockets from the barn. Her love of cooking and hosting came from growing up on a farm. Spending time with family, friends, and enjoying meals continued to be important to her throughout her life.
Her ancestors on her mother's side were from the Stevensville Michigan area. Lake Michigan was in her soul. She loved having sodas at the drugstore or ice cream at Captain Nemos. The family had several dinners at the Grande Mere Inn in Stevensville and spent countless summers and falls at various spots along Lake Michigan. Palisades Park where the Sugar Bowl dune is was always a favorite spot.
Marge went to Purdue and was a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. She met Jack Fadely while they were both volunteering with 4H at the Indiana State Fair. They were in singing groups together at Purdue and both sang on a record for the song “Too Young To Go Steady”. They always had a great time. They were married on December 23, 1956. She would go on to get her Masters in Early Childhood Education. She and Jack both worked at Larue Carter Hospital together. They also partnered in founding Butler Gifted Preschool.
When Jack was overseas in Germany with the Army, she flew over to be with him for the birth of their daughter Debra. She loved traveling through Europe and learning about the different cultures. While flying home on the military plane, Debra was in a cardboard box under the seat to sleep. That was one of her favorite stories. Another one was when Mark was about 3, she served deep fried shrimp for dinner, and when she collected the plates there were no tails on his plate. He had eaten them! Her sense of humor was pervasive and she was always having fun.
She created the Early Childhood Program, ECC, at the Jewish Community Center in the 70’s and also oversaw the Summer Camp programs. Butler Gifted Preschool followed, then she was the director of the Early Childhood Unit at Orchard Country Day School. Lastly, she helped found and write the curriculum for Sycamore School where she collaborated with Jessica Welch. Marjorie was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash from Evan Bayh for her contribution to the community. She would always teach in addition to her administrative duties. She especially liked working with the 2.5 year olds. She knew all the wild flowers in the woods and while at the Cold Springs Campus, she would take the kids for walks in the woods to show them. She taught all of her grandchildren about them as well.
Marjorie could be quiet and reflective or exuberant and infectious. She had high expectations for herself and for others. She was generous and empathetic and kind. She was fiercely strong and opinionated and stood up for what she believed was right and would fight for those who could not. She loved her friends and always supported women in being successful. Marjorie believed in the power of women and supporting each other and raising each other up.
She and Jack adopted many dogs and cats from shelters, and she was a wonderful mommy for them. They all had special treatment and were a member of the family. A couple of dogs had their own car so that they could ride though Eagle Creek to look at the deer every evening. The feral cats had their own shelter built onto the back of the house. There were many though the years. She worked with feral cat organizations to get them fixed and care for them when they were sick. She taught us all how important animals were in our lives and to always be an advocate for them.
When you look around everyday and see the beauty in life, remember everyone and everything you love shares in that. We are all together. Always.
Marge is survived by daughter, Debra (Kevin Raber); son, Mark (Dina); grandchildren, Claire (Jared); Max (Krista); Jack and Kirsten; great grandchildren, Mia and Ellie; in-laws, Edison (Georgia), Joyce (Gary), Bob (Mary Lou); Maggie the dog; and feral cats, Pretty Boy and Tiggy.
CELEBRATION OF LIFE
*There will be a Celebration of Life in the spring for Marjorie and Jack Fadely together. An announcement is forthcoming and will be shared when the arrangements are confirmed.
*In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Early Childhood Education program at the JCC at the link below. You will be able to select in memory of Marjorie Anne Fadely and select the 2021 Early Childhood Education Programs as the recipient. For further information you can contact Abigail Sweeney 317-715-6987.
Follow this link: https://jccindy.org/donate-3/
Select In Memory Of: Marjorie Ann Fadely
Campaign: 2021 Early Childhood Education Programs
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