Marcia Coutant Averre, age 96, passed away peacefully in Bellingham, WA on November 6, 2016. Marcia lived a wonderful, one might even say, a charmed life. A life for which she was so grateful. From her first days on earth to her very last she was gracious, charming, witty, humorous, vibrant, full of talent, energy, and love. Even in her last moments she was gracing us with laughter and wit.
One of three children, Marcia was born on June 10, 1920 in Flushing, NY to Russel & Alicia (Leslie) Coutant. Russel was an esteemed Wall Street attorney; Alicia, a cultured New England Society woman. Marcia’s lineage stretches back to the earliest European influences in America. Her Huguenot ancestors, descended from William the Conqueror, fled religious persecution and arrived in the New World on The Mayflower. This heritage inspired Marcia’s love of genealogy and granted her membership in The Daughters of the American Revolution.
Marcia grew up in Flushing, on Long Island. Prior to her music career she attended college close to home in Pennsylvania. As a young woman Marcia lived in Manhattan where she was an entertainer, acting on the stage, playing piano, and singing in musicals and operas. During these years, as she was proud to tell you, the gay performers she was friends with called her “Cherry,” because she was such an ingénue. She maintained this quality of endearing innocence her whole life long. This is also when Marcia began a 30-year career teaching private piano lessons.
On September 26, 1943 Marcia married Richard Edward Averre, a pianist and composer, in Yardley, PA. She and Richard met at the New Tour Opera in the Yardley Play House, where he accompanied her on the piano. Because Marcia’s parents disapproved of their relationship, they courted in secret for four years before finally marrying. For 30 years, they lived on the banks of the Delaware River in Washington Crossing, PA. Among many shared pursuits, Marcia and Richard were involved with the Music Circus in Lambertville, NJ. Here they met many Broadway luminaries and up and coming stars performing in summer stock productions. Marcia relished reminiscing about the famous people she had befriended over the years: people like Gene Kelly’s twin brother Fred Kelly, actor/singer Dan Keyes, Blythe Danner, Florence Henderson, and Dom DeLuise.
In 1987, Marcia and Richard moved to Bellingham, WA to be near their children and grandchildren. They quickly became involved in their new-found community. For many years Marcia sang with both the Whatcom Chorale and St. Paul’s Episcopal Choir, where she and Richard were church members. In keeping with their generosity, they donated their grand piano to the church.
In addition to her love of the stage, music, dance, and art, Marcia was a gardener and outdoor enthusiast. She began living a health-conscious lifestyle complete with home grown and organic foods, exercise, and yoga as early as the 1950’s. Well into her nineties Marcia both stood on her head for 10 minutes and walked several miles, every day. In fact, she began her very last day on this earth as she had so many prior, with a bit of yoga.
In her later years Marcia was easily inspired to display her wit and acuity by working crossword & word search puzzles, reciting the Greek alphabet, and singing any of the hundreds of songs she knew by heart. It was in these years that she took her greatest joy in being surround by a warm and loving family.
Marcia was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Edward Averre in 2001, sister Georgette, and brother John.
She is survived by daughters Suzanne Amelia Averre (Don Anderson), & Amy Alicia Averre (Marc Baranowski), son Richard Russel Averre (Teri Cruzan), grandchildren: Aimee Eleatha Wollin Flowers (Brian), Sonia Sucia Wollin (Brian McConnell), and Justin Neill Averre (Lydia), step-grandchildren Max Anderson-Portnoy (Meg Kapousouz), Morgan Ellis, and Nate Cruzan, seven great-grandchildren with one more on the way, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at 1:00pm on Saturday, November 12, 2016 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2117 Walnut St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Reception to follow.
As Marcia frequently said when gazing into the eyes of her loved ones, “We’re soooo lucky.”
- Date & Time: Nov 12, 2016 (No Time)
- Venue: St Pauls Episcopal Church
- Location: 2117 Walnut St Bellingham, WA 98225 - (Get Directions)