Yesterday my grandmother passed away. I’ve included the entire fit for public consumption obituary below, the details are important, but what I remember is that she was a blue collar feminist before it was cool, while it was cool, and after wasn’t cool anymore. She was a fierce Democrat her whole life. She rooted for the Cubs not the Reds or the Cardinals, and Kris Evert over Martina Navratilova. She managed a family of six sons, an adopted daughter, and a rough around the edges husband. She didn’t take crap from any of them. When we would go to her house after church she always had Ritz Crackers. At age eighty-six, she told me that she kept her days full taking the little old ladies to their doctor appointments. I admired her strength. I admired her compassion. I loved her very much.
Marjorie Evelyn Kershner Barton was born to Neil and Evelyn Kershner on September 21, 1920 in Indianapolis. She was a lifelong resident of Indianapolis. She was married to Harrison DeShaw Barton in 1941, he proceeded her in 1990. Also predeceasing her was her sister Mildred, her sons Mark and Daniel as well as her granddaughter, Christy.
Throughout her life Marjorie was active in the social, political and religious life of her community. She was a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). As a teen she belonged to Downey Avenue Christian. Later, she belonged to Meadlawn Christian and for the past several years she was a member of Eastgate Christian. In the church she held many offices and participated in choir and was longtime elder. Growing up in the Irvington area she was an Irvington Debutante. A person who knew how to keep friendships she maintained contacts with her fellow debs her whole life. She attended School 57 and Arsenal Technical High School graduating in 1938. When Margie and Harry returned to Indiana after World War II she became an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary holding many offices including president. She was member of the Delta Sigma Kappa Sorority. Active in local politics she was both a vice precinct and precinct committee chairperson for several years.
As a member of what has been recently called the greatest generation she exhibited care and concern for others. She participated in the community contributing her ability to work with her neighbors for a better life. As a member of the Daughters of the Grand Army of the Republic she took great joy in her family’s participation in national life. Always with ready smile and joyful disposition she would always be available to help.
Surviving Margie are her sisters Doris Browning and Lucille Galdi. Also she leaves four sons Harry (wife Claudia), Neil (wife Barbara), James (wife Pamela) and Gary. She is also survived by her daughter Machelle Shipp Ireland. Margie leaves twenty-eight grandchildren and thirty great-grandchildren.
Services will begin with visitation at 10:00am on Wednesday, March 13th at Eastgate Christian Church located at 8100 East 16th Street.
If you wish in lieu of flowers donations can be sent to The Community East hospice program.