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~~~ Marcia Wickes Jacob: In Memoriam ~~~

February 16, 1928 – February 7, 2023

Marcia W Jacob: IN MEMORIAM
One week short of her 95th birthday, Marcia Jacob died on Feb 7, 2023 and our club lost one of our most treasured members. Marcia was “a modest, retiring, soft-spoken dynamo”. In the approximately 40 years during which she was active in the BMC, she had a profound effect. Not only are two of her daughters, Wendy and Judy, faithful and active BMC members, the Chinatown Foray & Banquet was entirely her idea. The Cape Cod Weekend was her idea. She organized Museum of Fine Arts Forays where club members searched for fungi in art works. Her formula for success was simple: just do all the work and don’t worry about credit. BMC President Emeritus, Elio Schaechter writes:Losing Marcia is indeed a blow. You described perfectly how much she mattered to the BMC. She did it all with exceptional modesty and a natural willingness to blend into the background.  I can’t think of anyone who contributed more and did it in such an unassuming manner. I am deeply sorry to learn that is gone. It’s a real loss.”  
Marcia worked not only to create big activities; she worked for anything that would help the club. When we held events in the Harvard Herbaria, where the outside door had to be kept locked, Marcia always took the job of sitting in the lobby to let people in; a job no one else wanted because it was cold, lonely and meant missing the first part of the program.  When Marcia felt that the officers and executive committee would benefit by getting together, she’d host a potluck dinner and make her famous apple cake. No matter how we’d gone in, we’d come out energized, organized and in total harmony with each other.  Yet Marcia would have said almost nothing. She simply created an atmosphere that nurtured harmony and made it impossible to squabble.

For close to forty years, Marcia was our corresponding secretary. In addition to answering all the queries coming into the club, this also meant putting hundreds of Bulletins into envelopes, adding labels, sorting them by zip codes and lugging them to the PO. Not only did she do this, she’d wait out back where bulk mailings were kept, to make sure that ours were not forgotten. Those Bulletins have been printed for the last quarter century by Greg Doyle of South Shore Printing. Why South Shore? Greg writes, About twenty five years ago a woman came into my print shop in Quincy. She needed a few copies printed of mushroom photos from a recent foray. She made an instant friend of me, in that special way she had. The next day she brought in a huge ‘Hen of the Woods’ and gave me her recipe for enjoying it. From that day forward we grew closer. We miss Marcia’s gentle friendship and holiday fruit cakes. May she rest in Peace as she lived… in Peace and Harmony with Nature.”

“I’m so sad, hearing the news about Marcia. I have lots of wonderful memories of her, and how gracious, gentle, kind, and unassuming she always was. Our running private joke was always that I’d say, “Hello, Marcia,” and she’d reply, “Hello, Marsha,” and we’d cackle like kids. I remember how she’d walk across Cambridge to our meetings, and then go home the same way — it took some convincing to get her into the car when the weather was less than optimal. Nothing fazed her, and she retained dignity in everything she undertook.

“We had wonderful excursions into the woods, sharing the passion for mushroom study.
 I find myself also thinking how Marcia Jacob was a quiet, consistent leader in the club. She always participated in the activities, helped new members learn the ropes, and encouraged them to find their way. I recall how she always carried her various egg cartons, small cardboard berry boxes and such out on the season’s walks so that she could properly collect and preserve specimens — even though most of us would just haphazardly pitch things into our baskets in our zeal to gather. She was so careful and thoughtful about what she was doing, traits that we all saw and learned to admire in her. She and her daughters made the BMC Cape weekends possible for us, and Marcia welcomed everyone to join in the fun.  My heartfelt condolences to her lovely and accomplished daughters, Wendy and Judy. I’m going to miss Marcia. She’s left awfully big shoes behind for us to fill.”  Marsha L. Browne

“ I have so many great memories of going out into the field with Marcia; those were great times. The Club really brings people together in such a special way and Marcia was truly a special person. It’s sad to know that she won’t be out there in the world, but I’m so glad to have known her for a time.” Jason Karakehian

“What I remember best about Marcia is that she always had  a kind of mischievous smile. No matter what the situation, she was always happy just to be there. When I first joined the BMC, she would always take the time to explain all the stuff that a new person is always a little embarrassed to ask.  She also would pull me aside to tell me “secret stuff”. I remember once right after the walk leader said, “Never eat a wild mushroom without thoroughly cooking it”, Marcia handed me a freshly picked (raw!) Beefsteak mushroom and said, “Take a bite, it’s good” It was!
She was the walk leader on one of my early walks. It still cracks me up when I think about shy, reserved, Marcia telling the crowd See what you can find but DON’T bring back any garbage!  Now having led many walks over the years, I appreciate her advice and often steal that quote. I’ll really miss her incredible spirit and outlook on life”. David Babik

“Marcia was our most treasured member; all the warm words about her are true. She was special” Tatyana Levchenko

“Marcia was wonderful and very inviting and always encouraging! A very peaceful presence which I will always remember about her.”  Cynthia Akabane 

 “Marcia had the brightest smiling eyes and presence. I never heard her complain.  She will be missed.”  Ruthie Ristich

“Marcia was very low key. With Marcia gone the Cape Cod Foray is not the same anymore. She is so good at organizing in subtle ways that makes things work smoothly. I love the way she does things. I do not know exactly what she did and how she did it, but I do feel the effect of it. I do miss her.” Anna Seitz
This club has always attracted remarkable people, who have inspired liking, respect and admiration. Marcia inspired love.   S.G.