Obituary of Marsha Meredith Bluestein
Marsha Kay Meredith Bluestein, born to Randolph Beauford Meredith and Grace Bryan Meredith on September 18, 1937, passed away peacefully at home on November 4, 2023. Her beloved husband, Edwin Alexander Bluestein, Jr., had passed away less than three months prior. Her family prays that their souls are now entwined.
Marsha Kay was a happy, sweet child with rare acts of disobedience. At age 13, however, Marsha did "borrow" her father's blue Cadillac to go for a joy ride with her pals. Near their home, a railroad crossing was built at the top of a man-made hill. When she floored the pedal near the top of that hill, the car would become airborne, and the girls squealed with glee. Back and forth they flew over the rail crossing, too engrossed to notice a slowly approaching train. To teach the girls a lesson, the conductor used a pull chain to activate the train's blaring horn -- just as the car took flight. The girls screamed and cried in terror. Slowly, Marsha drove the car home, trudged inside, then hung the car keys on their designated hook. Lesson learned.
At Lamar High School, Marsha was a good student who excelled in two sports: volleyball and synchronized swimming. After high school, Marsha was then admitted to the college of her dreams, The University of Texas at Austin, majoring in elementary education. Some might say that she minored in dodging curfew. Always gracious and inclusive, Marsha was initiated into Chi Omega, engaging in various charitable endeavors. Throughout her life, Marsha's philanthropic work was important to her, and she taught her children the value of benevolence.
At age 19, Miss Marsha began dating a brilliant Year 2 law student, Ed Bluestein, at her alma mater. She dazzled him (and frankly, everyone she met) with her wit and beauty. After almost a year of dating, Ed chose not to propose, and Marsha firmly broke off their relationship. She did have weekly visitation rights with Gus, Ed's German Shepherd, but she had moved on. Within a few months, Marsha was "pinned" to some undeserving frat boy, and word quickly got back to Ed. On Nov. 30, 1957, Ed pounded on the front door of the Chi O house, upsetting all the girls, who had already applied Pond's cold cream and put their hair in curlers. At first, Marsha refused to see him, and two girls shut the door in his face. Ed continued knocking. This time, the girls had Marsha go tell him off. She opened the door, glaring at him with crossed arms. Ed then got down on one knee, apologized, professed his unwavering love, and asked Marsha to marry him. She said yes, and, due to a fortuitous wedding cancellation, they were married three weeks later. In that short time frame, Marsha's mother and aunts were able to transform her White Carnation ballgown into a lovely wedding gown, buy and alter the bridesmaid dresses from the canceled wedding, and convince family and friends that this was NOT a shotgun wedding.
On December 21,1957, Marsha and Ed were married in Houston's First Baptist Church. December 21st marks the winter equinox, perhaps the most romantic date on the calendar. After all, it’s the longest night of the year! Following their honeymoon in Aspen, Colorado, both developed a passion for skiing, which they later passed on to their children and some of their grandchildren. Upon returning from their honeymoon, Ed somehow passed the Texas Bar Exam. Throughout their marriage, Marsha was always supportive of his career aspirations and hobbies. On December 21, 2022, Marsha and Ed celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. Their enchanting love story belongs in a storybook.
In the early years of marriage, Marsha was an active member of the Houston Symphony League. In her second year of membership, she was recognized by famed philanthropist, Miss Ima Hogg, for obtaining the most donations of any member. Marsha's tenacity was already legendary. In the late 1960’s, Marsha joined the Houston Yacht Club (HYC) Ladies Association, eventually becoming its esteemed president. In the early ‘70’s, Marsha and Ed both served as leaders of Jr. High Methodist Youth Foundation (MYF) at St. Philip’s United Methodist Church in Houston.
By the 1980’s, Marsha joined the La Porte Reading Club, a 123-year-old community service organization with an emphasis on education. Members support the La Porte Library, donate books to local second graders, and coach reading to first graders. Perhaps most significantly, the La Porte Reading Club provides scholarships for qualifying high school seniors. Unsurprisingly, Marsha was a valuable member of the Reading Club, at one point serving as president. For over a decade, both Marsha and Ed volunteered at the International Seafarers Center in La Porte.
Initially, Marsha raced on the family's Ensign sailboat, but she didn't appreciate her skipper's autocratic instructions. To Ed's chagrin, Marsha instead began racing her Mazda RX7(solo on the track, competing against the clock). Before her early retirement, she proudly won a first-place trophy.
Until she became ill with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), Marsha played joyfully and successfully on tennis teams and in bowling leagues. Until Covid-19 hit, she still played in lively bridge clubs. Marsha was known as a gracious host with superb culinary skills. Yes, she often won her games.
As a devoted mom, Marsha drove her son to Boy Scout meetings, plus countless Little League and Fun Football practices. She also chauffeured her daughter to piano, ballet, Girl Scouts, and English hunter/jumper lessons. To help with fundraising, Marsha volunteered at concession sales and book fairs. She also purchased enough fundraiser wrapping paper to fill an attic. Whenever possible, Marsha and Ed both attended their children's games, recitals, competitions, sailboat races, and academic award celebrations. Marsha and Ed's children are profoundly grateful to have had such wonderful parents.
When Marsha's children became married adults, their spouses won the MIL lottery. Marsha was a kind, supportive mother-in -law. Unsurprisingly, she later became a wonderful grandmother to her four grandchildren. When they were young, her three granddaughters were eager to attend "Camp Nanny" in the summers at their grandparents’ home in Morgan’s Point. In 1998, Marsha's grandson finally appeared, and he cherished his Nanny, too. These grandkids are now successful adults leading lives of substance, and it's no wonder. Marsha's love and guidance has clearly played an important role in shaping her grandchildren's characters and well-roundedness.
Marsha Meredith Bluestein is preceded in death by her parents, sister, and husband. She is mourned by her surviving son, Boyd Bluestein (Pam) and her daughter, Leslie Bluestein Williams (Frank). She is also survived by her precious grandchildren: Christine Michelle Barsegian (Edgar), Brittany Irene Bluestein Pippin (Dale), Meagan Alexandra Bluestein (partner Nelson Mandeville), and Bryan Alexander Williams (sweetheart Vi Nguyen). In addition, Marsha is survived by her adorable great-grandson, Marcus Edwin Barsegian, plus her nieces, nephews, and close family friends.
A private burial service will be held on December 16, 2023, followed by a festive Celebration of Life at HYC from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
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