Marjorie Sandfort Luce

Meritorious OSU Master Gardener Passes Away



Marjorie Sandfort Luce passed away at the Health Center of the Rogue Valley Manor peacefully on March 25, 2010. She was born on February 4, 1925, in Humboldt, Neb., to parents, Gertrude Schuetz Sandfort and Carl H.N. Sandfort. Marjorie is survived by sisters, Lucile Lathrop, of Kearney, Neb., and Ethel Johnson (Don), of Lemon Grove, Calif.; as well as nieces, nephews and numerous cousins. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. James C. Luce; and sister, Dorothy Sandfort.



Marjorie graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University and Bryan Memorial Hospital as a registered medical technologist. She came to work at the Medford Clinic in 1950. Prior to this she worked at the University of Michigan in influenza and polio research. She was a lifetime member of the United Methodist Church and active volunteer community member, serving on the Jackson County Juvenile Board. Following the death of her husband in 1989, she became active in WinterSpring, helping others with their grief and loss.



Marje was a leader and also a mentor in the Oregon State University Extension Service Master Gardener? program, serving in many capacities both at home and across the state and nation. She served as president of both the Jackson County Master Gardener Chapter and the statewide association and helped to bring the second national meeting of Master Gardeners to Oregon in 1989. She was instrumental in developing a Search For Excellence program to recognize excellence in education. She became a board member of the E.R. Jackman Foundation at OSU, helping to raise and manage funds for the OSU College of Ag Sciences.



Her husband, Jim, was a U.S. Navy veteran, surgeon, captain, and member of Detachment 101 of the OSS (pre CIA, the grandfathers of the Green Berets of Special Forces). Marje served as editor of their newsletter helping to keep the world-wide members of Detachment 101 connected.



A lover of cats, horticulture, travel, theater, and music, Marje was never afraid to take the leadership responsibility when asked, but also gave continual support and provided behind-the-scenes help wherever needed. She will be missed.



Marje will be joining Jim at rest in the Arlington National Cemetery. A celebration of life service will be held at the Rogue Valley Manor on May 13 from 2-4 p.m. She suggested that in memoriam, a tree or flower could be planted to show our love for the earth.