BIO Index

Marcia Blanchard

Hi everyone,

I guess you are surprised to have an email from a deceased class member, but here I am. Not sure how that message got posted, but maybe because I moved away from Sarasota in 1965, and have not really kept up with class members (except Linda Norris Taylor) through the years. I went to the 5 yr reunion, but that was the only one.

In 1964, I married one of the "crazy" artists from Ringling School of Art, whom I met at my church. He's a wonderful man. I was working for a stock broker and taking classes at MJC for a couple of years after high school and up until we moved to NC. I had visited NC, where my husband, Freeman, is from and we both decided that's where we would like to live. After getting his degree in Fine Arts from the art school, he went on to complete a year of academic work to get his full Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He did part of that work at MJC, then we moved to NC. He completed that work and got his first job in Greensboro, NC, as assistant art director at the t.v. station there. Two years later, he was offered the Art Director's job at the t.v. station in Durham, NC, and we have been here ever since. He worked for that station for 38 yrs, retired in 2005, and has been painting fulltime since then. He has a studio in our home, but 2 yrs ago also rented space with a group of 40 artists in a redevelopment area downtown. He has worked in oils, pen and ink, woodcut prints, etc.over the years, but finally settled on watercolor as his first love. You can check out his website at if you would like to see his work.

As for me, I worked at Duke Medical Center for many years as medical secretary to a cardiologist, but left there in 1997. I stayed home after that, becoming more involved in community and church activities. I worked some of the years on a part time basis in order to be available to our two daughters, Teresa and Heather, while they were in school. They were both on the tennis team from 9th-12th grade, so that meant lots of sitting and watching tennis practice and matches. We also belonged to a swim and tennis club for many years and enjoyed playing tennis with them as well. Both Freeman and I played on our club team and mostly had lots of fun. We were a small club and did not compete with the larger more serious teams, but had a good time.

We have always been involved in church and our girls grew up with most of their friends being in their youth groups. We now have one grandchild, Windham, who is 10 yo. She is lots of fun. Her dad is a pastor, and Teresa works at Wingate Univ. in the drama dept. She directs children's plays. Heather is Director for an environmentally-focused nonprofit group in Durham.

One thing happened about 41 years ago as I was walking down the hall at Duke Med. Center. I was actually pregnant with our second child, Heather, at the time. Dick Kosempa, (SHS class of '60) stopped me in the hall and said, "hey, don't I know you?" That was a real shock. Long story short, our families have been best friends for all the years since that time and our children remain close friends. They became our "family" because we did not have any relatives close to Durham. Freeman's family lived 3 hrs away. Dick's wife is a native of Durham. He came up to NC to go to school, met his wife, and raised their family here. It's been really neat to have a former friend from high school become a iifetime friend, along with his wife and family.

Well, I guess that's plenty from me. I'm so happy to be able to let you know I'm alive and well. I see that many of the class members have remained in Sarasota, and I'm sure you will have a wonderful time at the reunion. I don't believe we will be able to be there because of other commitments, but I'll be thinking of you. I'm enjoying reading the notes that have been coming in via email.

God is good, and we are grateful for His love and care for us


Marcia Blanchard Beard