Marcia June Zirbel
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Marcia June Brislawn was born in 1936 in Wenatchee WA to Phyllis Elizabeth Thompson and Joseph Peter Brislawn. Marcia lived in Wenatchee until Shell Oil transferred Joe to Seattle WA. The family lived in West Seattle until 1942 when Joe enlisted in the Navy. Phyllis went to Tacoma to finish her nurse's training, and Marcia attended boarding school at Forest Ridge Convent. She spent weekends with her mother at her apartment on Capitol Hill. When the war was over, Phyllis and Joe divorced as happened so often during war time.
After the war, Phyllis met and married Doug Covey, and they moved into the basement apartment of his mother's house. They moved around Rainier Valley until 1952, when the Thompsons gave Phyllis enough money to buy a house on Lake Washington. Marcia attended Franklin high school in Seattle, graduating in 1954.
After graduation, her grandmother Annette Thompson, took Marcia for a European vacation on the Queen Mary. Marcia enrolled in nurse's training at the University of Washington in 1954. She joined Alpha Phi sorority, located just down the street from William Zirbel's fraternity. Marcia told her mother that she had met a cowboy from Idaho who did handsprings down the football field. That cowboy brought his fraternity to the Alpha Phi house to serenade her, and later climbed up a ladder to the balcony to give her a red rose and his fraternity pin! They were married after he graduated and was commissioned in the US Navy.
Before the ink was dry on the marriage certificate they were on their way to Pensacola FL. For the next 30 years Marcia followed the ship and was affectionately called a sea gull. They lived at nearly every naval air station and school in the US, moving 28 times.
When Bill was deployed to the Mediterranean, they would buy a VW and Marcia and the other sea gulls traveled from port to port trying to guess where the ship would show up. When he was in the Pacific, she lived in the Philippines, Singapore, and Japan. Moving constantly, she volunteered with the Red Cross. In Washington DC she was a docent for the Department of State tours of the Capitol for visiting dignitaries. Later she worked for several years at the registrar for Diplomatic Security, also with the Department of State.
Bill retired as a Rear Admiral and went to work as a consultant in Washington DC. In 2000 he retired again and they settled back in their homes in Anacortes WA and La Mesa CA. They grew citrus in La Mesa, explored Puget Sound in their sloop, and developed their forest lands on Fidalgo Island. They continued their traveling life, enjoying dancing on cruise ships, and land tours to wherever they could find good wine.
Marcia is survived by Bill, her husband of 66 years, and two children. Their daughter Marnie Jo is an oceanographer at OSU in Corvallis OR, where she lives with her wife Jessica and two children, Niko and Skylar. Their son Matthew William is a diplomat in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he lives with his wife Stacy, and their daughter Dylan.
To share memories of Marcia visit www.evanschapel.com/obituary/marcia-zirbel