Marjorie Hart Ness


(Jan. 4, 2006)

Marjorie Hart Ness, formerly of Powell, died at her home in Williamsburg, Va., Jan. 4, 2006, after a prolonged illness with pulmonary fibrosis.

She was 68.

She was born May 10, 1937, in Billings, the first of four children born to Hubert and Wanda Hart. She grew up in Powell and graduated from Powell High School in 1955. She attended Montana State College and graduated as a registered nurse in August 1958. She and her husband, Donald, were married in June 1958 and, following her graduation, she joined him in Waco, Texas, where he was in U.S. Air Force flight training. This was to be one of the first of nearly 30 moves they made together in their married life.

They returned to Billings in January 1960 and resided there until January 1963 when they moved to Seattle. Three and a half years later, they began their truly nomadic life together following Don’s career in the U.S. Foreign Service. Their assignments took them to San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; Brussels, Belgium; Warsaw, Poland; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Mexico City; London; and Frankfurt, Germany; with several intermediate postings in and out of Washington. While overseas, she became very active in Embassy life and was highly regarded for her culinary and hospitality skills. She also worked as a part-time nurse in Embassy Warsaw, a full-time nurse in Embassy Santo Domingo, a part-time nurse and a para-counselor assistant in Embassy Mexico, the family liaison officer in Embassy London, and the regional medical evacuation coordinator in Consulate General Frankfurt. She was highly respected and received honors and awards for her quality work performance.

She was very active in community affairs, both before and after becoming ill. She never let her need for full-time oxygen dissuade her from living life to the fullest. She was active as a Colonial Williamsburg volunteer, working at the DeWitt Wallace Gallery where she honed her knowledge and love for 17th and 18th century pottery and porcelain. She fostered her interests in all manners of antiques with the Vintage Ladies of Williamsburg. She was community minded and served as the chairperson of the Holly Hills Core Committee and, at the time of her death, was the secretary of the Holly Hills Community Association.

She was preceded in death by her father, Hubert; and her younger brother, Steve.

She is survived by her mother, Wanda of Powell; her sister, Celia of Seattle; and her brother, Hubert Jr. of Laurel, Mont. Also surviving are her husband, Don of Williamsburg; her elder son and daughter-in-law, Dr. Gregory and Sara Ness of Richmond; and her younger son and daughter-in-law, David and Gayle Ness of Alexandria, Va. Grandchildren include Katie of Durham, N.C.; Melanie of Wake Forest, N.C., Eric of Richmond; and Kim, Brian and Kara of Alexandria.

A memorial service took place in the Williamsburg Presbyterian Church Saturday, Jan. 7.

Donations can be sent in her memory to the American Lung Association; 61 Broadway; New York, NY 10006.