Her mother died when she was nine years old so she was then raised by Jesse and Pearl Beyler of Plymouth, Indiana. She married R. Sheldon Duecker, a United Methodist minister, on June 13, 1948 and they were later blessed with two children, Philip Lee and Cristine Cay. They served United Methodist Churches in Kokomo, Dyer, Muncie, Hartford City and Warsaw. They lived in Elgin, Illinois, while her husband served as Bishop to the Chicago Area of the United Methodist Church. She graduated from Plymouth High School and with honors from Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana. She also took graduate courses at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Marje taught in the Plymouth, Indiana public schools for two years. She directed the only free and interracial kindergarten at Neighborhood House in Kokomo, Indiana from 1948-1950. She taught Naturalization classes for German and Japanese war brides, served as a librarian in Kokomo and taught Weekday Religious Education Classes in Muncie and Fort Wayne. She also volunteered to teach English as a Second Language in Elgin, Illinois. She was an active member of First Wayne Street United Methodist Church, United Methodist Women and served as a District and Conference officer and as Dean of the School of Christian Mission. She was a member of the Board of the Wesley Foundation at Ball State University and served as a member of the Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns of the North Indiana Conference. She was a member of PEO and the Association of American University Women. She and her husband traveled widely in Europe, Chile, Zimbabwe, China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore.
Along with traveling, she enjoyed gardening, reading, baking and entertaining. Marje will be remembered as a dedicated Christian who lived her life with enthusiasm. Her quick wit put people at ease and brightened many conversations. She was a loving homemaker, devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and friend who was always looking for opportunities to help others. She will be missed dearly by all who knew her.
She is survived by her daughter, Cristine (David) Holman; nephew, Robert (Jeannie) Clouse; grandchildren, Carrie, Robert (Maria) and Lori Haney; as well as great granddaughter, Jaden Housman; brothers-in-law, Ronald (Ethel) and Dennis (Patti) Duecker; sisters-in-law, Jean and Diane Duecker; former daughter-in-law, Valerie Duecker and her three children; step grandchildren, J.P. Isle, Josh Holman, Jasmin Lucas, Nicole (Tom) Putman; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, R. Sheldon Duecker; son, Rev. Philip L. Duecker; brother, Beuford Clouse; brothers-in-law, Sherrod, Heyman and Victor Duecker; and sisters-in-law, Myrtle Clouse and Audrey Duecker.
Memorial Service will be 11 A.M., Saturday, November 3, 2012 at First Wayne Street United Methodist Church, 300 E. Wayne St., Fort Wayne, 46802 with visitation one hour prior. Visitation will also be held Friday, November 2, 2012 from 4 to 7 P.M. at D.O. McComb & Sons Funeral Home, 1140 Lake Avenue.
Memorial contributions can be made to The Bishop R. Sheldon and Marjorie L. Duecker Scholarship Fund of Africa University, c/o General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, P.O. Box 340007, Nashville, TN 37203; to First Wayne Street United Methodist Church, 300 E. Wayne Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802 or to St. Anne Home, 1900 Randallia Drive, Fort Wayne, IN 46805.
To sign the online guest book, go to www.mccombandsons.com.