Marjorie Rech Hamperian, 88, of Williamstown, WV, died Thursday, December 7, 2017 at Marietta Memorial Hospital.
She was born in Waterford, Ohio on June 23, 1929 to Harold and Dorothy Gray Rech, both of whom preceded her in death. Marjorie was descended from two pioneer families, the Watermans and the Grays. Her ancestor, Capt. William Gray, was a member of the Ohio Company of Associates who founded Marietta. He commanded Fort Frye during the Indian attacks. Marjorie married Carnick Hamperian on November 25, 1948. He died in October of 2013 one month before they would have observed their 65th wedding anniversary.
She received a bachelor's degree with honors from Marietta College and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1951. After her children were grown, Marjorie returned to school and was awarded a master of music degree in piano performance/pedagogy from Ohio University. She was a member of Pi Kappa Lampda and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies.
Marjorie was very active in music her entire life performing as a pianist and organist as well as teaching. She worked with the theater department at Marietta College and was the original music director of melodramas on the Showboat Becky Thatcher continuing in this capacity for 10 summers.
She was organist at several area churches, including Trinity Episcopal, Parkersburg and St. Luke's Episcopal, Marietta. She accompanied the former Marietta Chorale and performed as pianist or organist with the Parkersburg Chorale Society from 1997 until 2013.
She held national certification from the Music Teachers National Association. From 1986 to 2003 she taught individual and class piano at WVU-Parkersburg, also accompanying voice students and the College Chorale. As an independent piano teacher, she taught students of all ages. She was very successful in preparing high school piano students for college auditions.
In 2003, she was honored by Artsbridge for her contribution to the cultural life of the Mid-Ohio Valley. She was a member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, the National Society of Arts and Letters, and an emeritus member of the Music Teachers National Association. Marjorie was a avid reader, and loved to travel, visiting over 25 foreign countries as well as much of the USA.
Survivors include her four sons, David (Harriet Bodner) of Brooklyn, NY, Roger of Lexington, KY, Bruce (Mariann) of Belpre, Ohio, and John (Kathleen) of Morgantown, WV; six grandchildren, Rachel, Joshua, Rebecca, Aaron (Elizabeth), Nicholas and Geoffrey; sister in law, Patricia Gelb (Albert) of Wilmington, DE; and many nieces and nephews.
Along with her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, Jack Rech.
Memorial Eucharist will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 16, 2017, at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 320 Second St., Marietta, with The Rev. Arthur Bennett officiating. Lunch will follow in the parish hall where family will greet friends. Her ashes will be placed in the church columbarium.
Donations in Marjorie's memory may be made to the St. Luke's Episcopal Church organ fund. The Marietta Chapel of Cawley & Peoples is handling the cremation service arrangements.