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We thank the following individuals for their support to Project Humanities in memory of Dr. Maxine Marshall.
Jil Deheeger (Winnetka, IL)
Donald and Gail Goldstein (Evanston, IL)
Gloria Grossman (Denver, CO)
Carol Linch (Wilmette, IL)
Ellie Shapiro (Phoenix, AZ)
Richard and Judith Spiegel (Phoenix, AZ)
The only other time I’ve spoken at such a service is when my mom transitioned 2 years ago. My heart equally aches on this occasion as it did two years ago.
I have most probably not known Maxine nearly as long as most of you here have known her. In the time that I have spent with her over the past few years, I know that we were kindred spirits in so many ways. Maxine, in my eyes, was wickedly progressive, socially and politically. I don’t know if she ever knew that whenever I was in her presence – whether in her home for those wonderfully healthy lunches or at an event to which I had invited her – I was inspired by her generosity, her honesty and her spirit. She was feisty, so very kind, and so very genuine.
Our talks and visits were not nearly as frequent as I would have liked, but they were always full of laughter and good humor as we talked politics, family – hers and mine – and my ASU work bringing folks together to “talk, listen, and connect.” For me, Maxine lived these principles my ASU Project Humanities team and I call Humanity 101 – respect, integrity, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, kindness and self-reflection.
I shall not forget how Maxine and the Marshall family have treated me like family. My spouse Adelina and I experienced our first Passover Sedar with Maxine, Jon, Laurie and the sons this past spring, and Adelina and Robert compared notes on their matching foot casts a few Thanksgivings ago with the Marshalls. Stegner and I have become buddies too.
I am so very fortunate to have known Maxine. I am forever grateful to her for her always-encouraging words and for her always-genuine concern for my professional and personal wellbeing. My life has been so abundantly enriched because I knew and adored Maxine Marshall.
Maxine Sue Besser Marshall, an author, philanthropist, activist and former co-publisher of the Scottsdale Daily Progress, died Wednesday, June 17, 2015, at her Paradise Valley home. She was 89. Marshall was a founding member of Temple Solel in Paradise Valley, and she served on the board of Jewish Family & Children’s Service. In 2003 The American Jewish Committee honored Maxine and her husband, Jonathan, with its Community Service Award. Marshall was the editor of Saturday Magazine, a literary, news and cultural weekly published as part of the Daily Progress. As editor, she featured the early work of noted writers Tobias Wolff, Rita Dove, Denis Johnson, Ron Carlson, Norman Dubie and Arizona Poet Laureate Alberto Rios. The Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences gave Marshall its Distinguished Achievement Award in 1988 and selected her to its Hall of Fame in 2001. Marshall served as chairman of the board of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest and was a founding member of the Phoenix Charter 100. In 1997, she won the Body Positive LIFE Award from Scottsdale Mayor Sam Campana for her contributions to the community’s quality of life and her advocacy for cultural diversity, civil rights and AIDS awareness. “Maxine is a generous philanthropist who has been involved in a myriad of organizations committed to such worthy causes as educational reform, environmental issues, civil rights, peace initiatives and many more quality of life issues,” the LIFE Award proclamation said. Marshall and her husband, Jonathan, led the Marshall Fund of Arizona from 1987 to 2003. The fund supported legal services for migrant workers, clothing for impoverished school children, medical and job assistance for former prostitutes, exhibits of unheralded artists at the Phoenix Art Museum, and the creation of a teen suicide prevention hotline. The Marshalls also sponsored peace exchanges between Valley teens and youths in the former Soviet Union. Together they launched the Marshall Lecture Series at Arizona State University, and endowed ASU’s Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry. They also funded the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Butterfly Pavilion at the Desert Botanical Garden. A grant from the Marshall Fund allowed the Arizona Nature Conservancy to preserve land next to Ramsey Canyon Park to ensure the survival of several species of hummingbirds. Maxine and The Marshall Fund won awards for leadership and service to the community from Arizona State University, the Arizona Theatre Company, the Arizona chapter of the Nature Conservancy, the Arizona Historical Foundation, and The Desert Foothills Land Trust. A native of St. Louis, Maxine Besser attended Washington University. She also lived in Little Rock, Arkansas, where she wrote book reviews for the Arkansas Gazette, and Omaha, Nebraska, where she worked as an editor for a weekly newspaper. She moved to New York City in 1954, where she worked for the National Committee for an Effective Congress. She married Jonathan Marshall in 1955, and they moved to the Valley in 1963 when he became publisher and editor of the Scottsdale Daily Progress. For the Daily Progress, she wrote the weekly columns “The Shopping Cart,” “The Senior Scene,” “Progress Report,” and “My Favorite Recipe,” which was published as a popular cookbook. She was featured in the 2012 book “Skirting Traditions: Arizona Women Writers and Journalists 1912-2012.” The book’s author, Carol Hughes, noted that Marshall “wrote often about issues related to women, children and seniors.” An activist for the rights of senior citizens, she was a member of the 1981 White House Conference on Aging. She served on the Advisory Council to the Area Agency on Aging, the Advisory Council of Displaced Homemakers, and the Pritzlaff Commission on Long Term Care for Arizona. She was also one of the original organizers of the Scottsdale Senior Center. Planned Parenthood of Central and Northern Arizona gave Marshall its Maggie Award in 1987. In 1999, she and Jonathan earned the Scottsdale Life Achievement Award. Marshall earned a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University in 1976 and an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree from ASU in 1994. In an interview for the ASU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences newsletter, Marshall said, “I’ve lived a charmed life.” Marshall is survived by her children Lucinda, Laura, Robert and Jonathan; seven grandchildren; and her close companion Stegner Cicero. A memorial service for Marshall will be held 4 p.m. Sunday at Temple Solel in Paradise Valley. Donations in her memory can be made to Project Humanities at Arizona State University, P.O. Box 873003, Tempe 85287-3003; or the Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix 85008.
Phoenix News Times
“I’ve lived a charmed life,” Maxine Marshall said in a 2013 interview for an Arizona State University newsletter. Indeed, the philanthropist, author and journalist, who died Wednesday at her Paradise Valley home, made it her life’s work to give back to the community, and received a lot in return. A memorial service for Marshall will take place 4 p.m. Sunday at Temple Solel in Paradise Valley. Marshall, 89, was a former co-publisher of the Scottsdale Daily Progress with her well-known husband Jonathan Marshall, who died in 2008. Over the years, the Marshalls donated more than $5 million to charitable causes across Arizona. Together, they set up a non-profit foundation, the Marshall Fund of Arizona, one of their many endeavors, which supported people often overlooked in the community. The fund paid for clothing for impoverished school children, legal services for migrant workers, job and medical assistance for ex-prostitutes, exhibits for artists at the Phoenix Art Museum and the creation of a teen-suicide prevention hotline. Marshall, a St. Louis native, attended Washington University and also lived in Little Rock, Ark. and Omaha, Neb., the obituary said. In 1954, she moved to New York City and worked for the National Committee for an Effective Congress. Maxine and Jonathan married in 1955 and moved to the Valley in 1963. He became editor and publisher of the Progress, the city’s hometown newspaper for decades, until they sold it in 1987. Marshall received her bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University in 1976 and an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree in 1994. Described as “modest” and “generous-hearted” in a 2013 ASU Department of English newsletter, Maxine Marshall was the founding editor of Saturday Magazine, a weekly published as part of the now-defunctProgress. The Marshalls launched the Marshall Lecture Series at ASU and endowed ASU’s Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry. The couple funded the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Butterfly Pavilion at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, and sponsored peace exchanges between Valley teens and youths in the former Soviet Union. Marshall was a founding member of Temple Solel in Paradise Valley, a member of the 1981 White House Conference on Aging and one of the founding organizers of the Scottsdale Senior Center. She is survived by her children; Lucinda, Laura, Robert and Jonathan; seven grandsons; and close companion Stegner Cicero. Donations in her memory can be made to Project Humanities at Arizona State University, P.O. Box 873003, Tempe, AZ 85287-3003; or the Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix.