Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Tribute to Mardelle

I met Mardelle Driscoll last April at the Art Show here in the village.  She was the art teacher, a vibrant, interesting woman.  Mardelle told me about the orchestra she belonged to, a fairly large group of retired men and women who met on Wednesday mornings to rehearse for the occasional concert.  She was happy to learn that I am able to play viola and would love to be part of an orchestra.

When we returned in the fall I signed up to take art lessons from Mardelle.  She was able to teach in a variety of media, and I asked for watercolour lessons.  We also talked about the orchestra and she said, "You'd better get out there!  We've already had three rehearsals."  So that Wednesday I showed up at the rehearsal and was warmly welcomed.

After the rehearsal Mardelle asked me if I would like her to accompany me to the Art Supply store, an offer I gratefully accepted.  We had fun!  She guided me in the choice of several tubes of paint and other supplies.

The following Wednesday we did that again!  We both thought it would be nice to have lunch together, but that day I needed to go home.  I told her I'd make arrangements to go the following week.

That next Wednesday the orchestra rehearsal was somewhat shorter than usual.  Mardelle and I went to a small Mexican restaurant she knew of, but found we were about 40 minutes too early.  We spent that time at a ladies' clothing store and had some more fun!  We both found something we needed at a good price, and then we had taco salads at the restaurant.

I said to Mardelle, Tell me about your children.  Well, that started her on quite a story, all about her son and daughter and the life that she had led.  It was a sad story, with lots of suffering, but a happy ending.  Mardelle had found Jack, her third and current husband, through and she was very happy with him.  Indeed, Mardelle was a person who laughed a lot.

When we left the restaurant she said, I don't tell many people all that much about myself.  I don't have many good friends, but I feel like I have a new friend in you.  I embraced her and said, I took to you right away!  We were both happy to have an interesting new friend, and looked forward to spending time together.

This past Monday I received an email from Jack saying that the art class was cancelled because Mardelle was in the hospital.  I wrote her an email, wishing her a speedy recovery from whatever problems she was experiencing.  I hoped to see her at orchestra rehearsal today.

I was stunned when I learned there that she had died of an aortic aneurism on Monday around noon.  I feel a deep sense of loss.  The world is a lesser place without that dynamic, inspiring woman.  The concert this coming Sunday will be dedicated to her memory.  Sometime in the future when Jack is able to handle it, there will be a memorial service.

Mardelle was a very talented, warm hearted person, an inspiring art teacher, an encourager.  I will miss her.  You can see her work at

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