On December 25, 2021, at 12:10 am, Marcia Alice Barnett Boroughs, age 96, passed away peacefully in the presence of family at Odd Fellow Rebekah Home in Mattoon, Illinois. Marcia arranged for her body to be donated to the Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois. There are no plans for a memorial service, as per Marcia’s request. Memorial contributions may be made to Coles County Arts Council, Link Art Center in Paris, IL or the 5 Mile House Foundation in Charleston, IL.
Marcia was born October 9, 1925 in Monroe County, Indiana, the fourth of five daughters of Walter James and Alta Muriel (Schenck) Barnett. She married Lowell Boroughs on June 10, 1944 and they were together for nearly 77 years. Marcia met Lowell in Indianapolis, Indiana, while he was a musician in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. They were later married at her parent’s home in rural Indianapolis.
She is survived by sons Dana Scott of Boise ID, Brian Lowell (Wife-Valerie) of Charleston IL, and Wayne Barnett (Wife-Karen) of Ft. Collins, Colorado, most special friend and “adopted daughter” Carol (Wilson) Boroughs of Westfield, Illinois, grandchildren - Carrie (Boroughs) Breaux, Scott Boroughs, Kevin Hostettler, and Stacey (Hostettler) Gamez, eleven great-grandchildren and many wonderful, caring nieces and nephews. Marcia was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Lowell (at age 99 in May 2021), and her four sisters - Lena Margaret, Wilma Ruth, Carol Alta, and Vera Gene. Marcia occasionally remarked that she represented the end of an era, which made her proud, yet sad.
After Marcia graduated from high school, she went to secretarial school, then worked as a secretary at Western Union in Indianapolis. After retirement, she worked in sales at Sanger Harris Department Store in Dallas, Texas. In addition to her roles as wife, mother and homemaker, Marcia still found time to pursue her passion for art. She attended art classes at the colleges wherever Lowell taught music.
Marcia’s many talents included ceramics, sculpting, painting (using watercolor, latex, oils, pastels, pen, pencil, ink, silverpoint, and scratchboard), the processing/spinning of wool, dying wool with natural materials, as well as weaving and knitting. She had her own kiln for seven years, creating hundreds of pieces and whole sets of dinnerware that she sold at shops and art fairs.
Marcia and Lowell travelled during the summers while the family was young . Rocky Mountain National Park later became their favorite destination. Mountain landscapes, trees and clouds were favorites for Marcia to paint. She enjoyed painting trees without their leaves, calling them “skeletons.” And none of the family will forget that Marcia always commented on the sky and clouds. Now we refer to interesting clouds and colorful sunsets as “a Marcia sky.”
After retirement, Marcia and Lowell travelled extensively throughout the U.S., living in an Airstream trailer. They also spent a number of summers on Dana and Carol’s Westfield farm. In 1990, they settled down in their “little cabin in the woods” (which Marcia designed) in rural Charleston, next to Brian and Valerie. Marcia found great pleasure in feeding the birds and watching wildlife, in addition to her artwork. When Lowell exhibited signs of dementia, Marcia took on the role of caretaker, with help from her family nearby. In 2015 they made the difficult decision to move to assisted living in Charleston, Illinois.
During her career, Marcia displayed her works in juried art shows throughout the area, receiving many awards. In 2019, Coles County Arts Council honored Marcia with a banquet, a showing of her works, and presented her with a lifetime achievement award. The commemorative plaque she received said: “For Marcia Boroughs: In recognition of all she has done to bring beauty to the lives of those around her.” In January of 2021, Link Art Center in Paris, Illinois honored Marcia by having a month long “One Woman Show” presenting her varied forms of artwork. Included was a sampling of her life’s work in ceramics, knitting, weavings and paintings.
Laura (Wheeler) Morton, a friend of the family, said it best when she learned of Marcia’s passing: “She was an amazing, inspiring lady and leaves behind a legacy of good people who continue to touch the lives of many. She will be remembered fondly.”
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