In Memory of Nathie Marbury, Class of 1962

Posted by WPSDAA on Apr 16, 2013 in News, Obituary

Nathie Marbury died on Monday, April 15, 2013 in Austin, Texas, battling cancer in last few years.  We dig to look back her 50-year outstanding career.

Nathie was born in Grenada, MS in 1944 but grew up in Pennsylvania. She graduated from the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in 1962. In 1975, she earned her Bachelor’s degree from Gallaudet University and her two Master’s degrees from California State University at Northridge (CSUN) in 1976. Nathie completed her doctoral coursework in applied linguistics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She completed her doctorate in Deaf studies/Deaf education during the fall of 2007 at Lamar University.

She became the first Black deaf woman to enter the National Leadership Training Program for the Deaf at California State University, Northridge. She was also the first Black deaf female instructor at the Kendall Demonstration Elementary School for the Deaf, 1978-1986.

Nathie has conducted numerous workshops and seminars all over the United States and Canada. She has taught Deaf and hearing students throughout the United States at schools for the deaf, universities/colleges, and community colleges. She has made a variety videotapes for several companies over the last 25 years. Nathie teaches primarily ASL classes at Austin Community College (Austin, TX).

Tactile Mind Press released the DVD No Hand Me Downs in 2005. In this full-length documentary, Nathie tells stories about her upbringing in Pittsburgh, where she “sang” in the church choir. She shares stories and observations, all rich with humor and insights on the human condition. This DVD includes some of her powerful and majestic American Sign Language poems.

Nathie was member of Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf Board of Trustee.

From Don Rhoten’s message in WPSD Facebook:

I’m sorry to have to inform everyone of the passing of one of our greatest alumni…Dr. Nathie Marbury. Nathie was an incredible person, a member of the WPSD Board and one of the greatest ASL storytellers ever. Her smile was infectious and her spirit was incredible. Ten years ago I asked her if she was interested in joining the board but, at that time, she was committed to finishing her doctorate degree. Once that was finished, one of her proudest accomplishments, she agreed to join the board.

Nathie was a Pittsburgh native and a member of a very poor family with many, many brothers and sisters. She strongly believed that attending WPSD saved her life. The staff took care of her and she received a great education and was the only member of her family to attend college. One of her best stories, and naturally, my favorite was titled, “My WPSD.” No one loved WPSD, and what it stands for, more than Nathie.

She had been battling cancer for the last year or so. Several weeks ago, when Cathy and I were in Austin, Texas, we took Nathie out for dinner at the restaurant of her choice. She was feeling pretty good but the chemo sapped her of any appetite, so, we prepared a big doggie bag for her from which she could eat from later. When we arrived at her cute little home, we all had pictures taken with her, which she posted on Facebook. During the last few months she had been posting pictures of her visiting friends and in every one of them she flashed that beautiful big smile of hers. Cathy and I are so thankful we had the opportunity of spending time with her…

With her passing, we have lost one of our biggest boosters who was constantly bragging to people about “Her WPSD”. We will need to do something at WPSD that will perpetuate her memory and her spirit. ‘Her WPSD” will never forget her…

Love you Nathie!!!!!!!

Don Rhoten

An Evening with Nathie at WPSD auditorium on April 1, 2009

She perform as ‘WPSD stories in ASL’ in Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf 140th Anniversary Celebration Dinner.

Dr. Nathie Lee Marbury After having fought a valiant battle with cancer, Dr. Nathie Lee Marbury, 69, passed away Monday, April 15, 2013 at home with her daughter, Norma by her side. Dr. Marbury, Nathie to all who knew and loved her, was born January 20, 1944 in Grenada, Mississippi, the daughter of Lezera and Rosetta Marbury. She grew up in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and graduated from Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in 1962. In 1975 she earned her Bachelor’s degree from Gallaudet University and her two Master’s degrees from California State University Northridge in 1976. Dr. Marbury completed her Doctorate in Deaf Studies/Deaf Education in 2007 from Lamar University. Dr. Marbury taught school at the American School for the Deaf, Kendall Demonstration Elementary School and others. Nathie conducted numerous workshops and seminars all over the United States and Canada. In addition to teaching Deaf and hearing students throughout the United States at schools for the deaf, universities, colleges, and community colleges over the last 35 years, she also made a variety of video productions including the DVD No Hand Me Downs, 2005. Her last 14 years were spent at Austin Community College in Austin, Texas where she primarily taught ASL classes. She is survived by her children; Alberta (Ed) Stewart, Columbia, SC and Norma Holt, Severn, Maryland; five loving grandchildren Crystal, Alyssa, Michael and Drew Stewart and Sabrina Holt. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf at 300 East Swissvale Ave. Pittsburg, PA 15218 or by visiting wpsd.org to donate in Dr. Nathie Marbury’s honor. Memorial services will be held in Austin, Texas. Details are pending. Please contact aslterp@austincc.edu for further information.

Published in Austin American-Statesman on April 20, 2013

Source:
Profile of Nathie Marbury, Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

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