Over $1,500 in donations have been raised for the project
Frank Carner has been missing his wife and the mother of his son since she passed away last August, following her battle with breast cancer.
“I live in a place filled with exquisite things and that’s a world that she made,” the associate professor of English said.
Carner married his wife Marcia 37 years ago, and fondly looks back on their time together.
Marcia taught art at the University of Southern Maine for 27 years. Those who worked closely with her say she touched the lives of both her colleagues and students.
Kathleen Ashley, a long-time friend and coworker, said many of Marcia’s students believe she taught them how to see.
“She was the definition of what a teacher should be,” said Patricia Volland, administrative associate for the Art Department.
Marcia’s love of art and gardening was well known within the USM community, and led to English Professor Lorrayne Carroll’s idea of creating a memorial garden for her at the University.
Marcia planted extensive gardens around her home and invited friends to share in the experience of maintaining them, Carner said. Some of her plants will be removed and used to create the memorial garden at the University. In addition to the plants from her garden, Carner would like the garden to contain a rock from their home. He fondly recalls Marcia sitting on the rock at their pond’s edge and watching the ducks and observing the beauty of her surroundings.
Facilities Management has decided that the memorial gardens will be located on the Portland campus at the Alumni House, however, there is a pre-existing garden at the site. Landscape Supervisor Larrey Homan plans to transplant flowers from Marcia’s garden to enhance the existing garden. Planting is expected to begin within a month, the starting date depending on the weather.
David Early, executive director of Facilities Management, could not provide an estimate for the cost of the project. The labor and transportation of the plants will be carried out by Facilities Management, he said, and the funding for the garden is being provided by donations from members of the extended USM community. So far over $1,780 has been raised.
In addition to the memorial garden, an exhibit of Marcia’s artwork is being held in the Area Gallery at the Woodbury Campus Center in Portland. Marcia dedicated her life to creating and studying artwork. The exhibit is being held in recognition of her love and dedication to art and in celebration of her life. Marcia’s artwork from a wide variety of mediums showing her love of nature will be displayed. The exhibit will run from Nov. 29 through Dec. 15. An opening reception will be held Nov. 29 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Members of the USM community are welcome to attend and remember beloved wife, mother and artist, Marcia Carner.
Contributing Writer Jennifer Thomas can be contacted