Marjorie Anna Zengel Tipler, a resident of Centralia for 53 years, passed away in Olympia on Oct. 31, 2012 at the age of 90.
Marjorie was born in New Orleans, La., on Sept. 30, 1922. Her parents were Dr. Harry L. Zengel, Sr. and his wife, Isabel (Ryan). A general practitioner, Harry had earned his medical spurs in the terrible influenza epidemic of 1918, which killed millions worldwide and was especially severe in Louisiana. Marjorie was a close descendant of the French artist Edgar Degas, members of whose family moved to New Orleans in the 19th century.
An exceptional student, Marjorie graduated from high school at age 15 and earned her undergraduate degree in science at Newcomb College, the women's auxiliary of Tulane University in New Orleans. She later received postgraduate instruction at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md.
For several years beginning in the 1940's, Marjorie was employed as a research chemist at a Department of Agriculture facility in New Orleans and was credited with several patents. These were some of the happiest years of her life. Marjorie loved her work and often returned to the French Quarter in the evening to attend live performances by her lifelong musical favorite, Louis Armstrong.
Marjorie met her future husband, Dr. Robert J. Tipler, when both were living in the French Quarter in the early 1950s. Robert, a native of Chicago, was a graduate of the University of Chicago and of McGill University in Montreal, Canada. The two were married in Washington D.C., in 1954 and lived briefly in Mercer Island before settling in Centralia in 1956. An ophthalmologist, Robert practiced in Centralia until his retirement in 1983.
In addition to her duties as a homemaker, Marjorie was a volunteer for the March of Dimes, the Presbyterian Church, the community concert program and the literacy council at Centralia College. She also served on the Centralia Library Board.
Marjorie had an abiding interest in history and current events and was a voracious reader of business and financial journals. She had an endearing affinity for red cats, white Sealyham terriers and black Thunderbird convertibles.
Robert and Marjorie traveled extensively in the United States, Canada and Mexico. They particularly loved San Francisco and Carmel, to which they returned time and again.
While they enjoyed the cultural amenities of large cities, Robert and Marjorie appreciated the gentler pace of everyday life in Lewis County. They were fortunate to count as close friends George and Brownie Lovelace, George and June Duby, Dorwin and Jo Cunningham, George and Margaret Parke, Jack and Peggy Cunningham, Jack and Hazel Breckenridge, Richard and Jean Phillips and many more.
Marjorie was preceded in death by her parents, who passed away in the 1960s, and by her husband, who passed away in Centralia in 1996. She is survived by her brother, Battle of the Bulge veteran Dr. Harry L. Zengel, Jr., and his wife, Marlene, of Gretna, La. Also surviving are her sons, Joseph Tipler of Centralia and Harry Tipler of Phoenix, Ariz.
Special thanks to the management and staff of Colonial Residence in Centralia and of Garden Courte Memory Community in Olympia. Both of these facilities have many fine and caring people who helped to make Marjorie's final years as pleasant as possible.
At the specific request of the deceased, there will be no public service. Those who knew Marjorie are asked to observe a moment of silence in her honor.
Requiescat in Pace