Whether or not you believe in angels and heaven… allow me this mixed spiritual metaphor… there is another angel in Heaven today. Our dear friend Marjorie Thompson, passed away yesterday. She was such an amazing person… if your go to the Brown Daily Herald today, her list of accomplishments is legend. She was my colleague and my rabbi in so many ways. A professional educator all of her adult life, I learned so many things from her about teaching. As many have said, she was a force of nature.
She was a rock to her friends… a fierce champion and a sheltering sky… a foundation for her family and those close to her. She and I were speaking together three weeks ago…it was not a goodbye conversation, we talked about some of our next classes at the Fur Peace Ranch. ‘I’ll call you back,’ she said. Those were her last words to me. It seems unthinkable that we shall never speak again this side of the river.
I am rarely at a loss for words… but they are not coming to me tonight. Vanessa said it so beautifully in her note… I offer it here with her permission:
‘It is with a heavy heart that I let you all know that our dear friend, Marjorie Thompson passed away yesterday. As you all can imagine, this is not only an extremely difficult time for her family, equally so for all of us at the Fur Peace Ranch.
Marjorie was a part of the fabric that weaved together all of us and all of you in music and friendship. She was an amazing person who tirelessly gave of herself and her time to teach side by side with Jorma (The Captain).
She also taught her own classes and those of you that were lucky enough to sit in one of them understands the value that her role played as one of our instructors. If you knew her, you know she was an awesome force of nature…not only as your guitar teacher but as a woman and the Associate Dean of the Biology Dept. at Brown University, as a mother to her 7 amazing children and wife to her husband Ian. To say she will be missed does not touch the surface of how much we will feel her loss. I have so much more to say about her…but mostly she was my friend and a champion of ours and the vision we all had about giving back through the glory of music.
I can tell you that we will honor her memory with a memorial at the Fur Peace Ranch. Details will be shared in the coming months so that all of you who loved her as much as we did can be a part of a celebration of her life.
Thank you all,
A gentle but indomitable spirit has left this earth, and we are the poorer for it. There may another star in the firmament tonight… but I would that it be here instead.
Fair winds and following seas little sister… we miss you and will always hold you dear in our hearts.