CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Margaret “Marcie” McCreary, 98, died peacefully Sunday at Heritage Village Skilled Nursing and Rehab in Gerry.
She was born in New Paris, Ind., one of six daughters of Vernon and Margaret Meese.
Marcie graduated from Northwestern University School of Speech and was inducted into the honorary Zeta Phi Eta. While there, she met her husband, William, and they married in Millersburg, Ind. in June 1940.
During World War II, while he served in the United States Coast Guard, she served as a recreation director at military hospitals for the American Red Cross. After the war, they moved to Cleveland, Ohio. Marcie taught in the public schools and Bill served as scenic designer and technical director for the Cleveland Playhouse. That position brought them with the Repertory Theater Company to Chautauqua Institution. There they served for 17 summers, mounting seven shows each season while she taught creative dramatics.
In 1955, they took up year-round residence at Potter Road near Chautauqua. Continuing their summer work, Marcie also taught high school English, first at Mayville Central and then Chautauqua Central School (CCS). She coached the Speech and Debate Club and the radio High School Bowl team, which she helped establish. William taught art at CCS. Fondly referred to as “Mr. and Mrs. Mac,” they continued as a dedicated teaching team and produced many class plays until their retirement in 1972.
Their talents were shared beyond the classroom. They directed Christmas pageants, readings and literary programs at hospitals, community groups and Hurlbut Memorial Community Church. Marcie held many church offices and sang in the choir. Along with her husband, they wrote and published two plays, one premiering at the Erie Playhouse. A member of AAUW, she pursued graduate work at Syracuse University and Stratford, England. In retirement, she and Bill continued sharing their skills in area nursing homes and as RSVP volunteers for more than 25 years.
In later life, they relocated to the Heritage Village campus in Gerry. During almost two decades she made many lasting friends among residents and staff. Her family is grateful for the respectful and caring environment and the many nurturing and supportive acts by the Heritage staff.
She is survived by her sister, Pat Rider of Goshen, Ind. and Venice, Fla.; two daughters, Marcie (William) Larson of Stedman and Cindy (Gary) Chilcott of Bemus Point; six granddaughters, Melinda (Steve) Larson of Lakewood, Karen (James) Crandell of Endwell, Aleshia (Alex) Brewer of Ashville, Jacquelyn (Douglas) Larson Sanford of Alachua, Fla., Jenny (Whit) Rappole of Winchester, Mass., and Carrie (Chris) Abraham of Clarksville, Tenn.; 12 great-grandchildren, Lauren and Logan Larson, Anna and Jacob McCreary Crandell, Layla Brewer, Christopher, William and Ellie Rappole and Taylor, Emily, Claire and Thomas Abraham; along with many beloved nieces and nephews. Marcie was held dear by all her family and friends.
A celebration of life service is set to take place at Hurlbut Memorial Community United Methodist Church May 10, which is Mother’s Day weekend. The time will be announced at a later date.
The family suggests memorials be directed to the Hurlbut Church Scholarship Fund at P.O. Box 33, Chautauqua, NY 14722.
Arrangements are by the Freay Funeral Home, Mayville. Leave a remembrance to the family by going to www.freayfuneralhome.com.