|Birth: ||Aug. 12, 1921|
|Death: ||Dec. 1, 2011|
Marj Baucum, 90, died Thursday, December 1, 2011, in Abilene, Texas.
Born in Pilot Point, Texas on August 12, 1921, Marj was the daughter of Mayme (Sipe) and Walter Massey. In 1929 she moved from Pilot Point to Abilene, and at the age of eight started training for the ballet which was her sole interest. Although her family wanted her to be a violinist, her teacher taught ballet as well as the violin, so ballet, of course, won out.
Her first job dancing was at Casa Manana in Fort Worth, where Billy Rose was producing spectacular shows. That was just for the summer, and from there she went to New York, and then Chicago, later returning to Abilene. Through the encouragement of Elizabeth Baugh, Marj began teaching ballet at the YWCA. That was just an avocation until 1953 when she opened a studio and began teaching continuously.
She was owner and director of Marj Baucum Studio of Dance, and for two generations, students danced for her. Several of her former students became teachers of the dance. Through the years she had served as choreographer for countless theatrical productions at all three Abilene universities, in the public schools and for Abilene Community Theatre and the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra. Beginning in 1972, the Abilene Metropolitan Ballet Company was formed, Marj being the Artistic Director, and conducting master classes for five Abilene and two area dance schools. The company was the first to present annual performances of "The Nutcracker" every November for 22 years.
It had been her dream to provide assistance for children who otherwise would not get to learn ballet. Her dream was fulfilled when an anonymous donor established a scholarship in memory of her late husband, Jim Baucum. Marj was recognized for her contributions to the arts and honored as a Pathfinder in 1990.
In 1990, Marj was preceded in death by her husband, Jim, whom she married in 1952. Her parents; two sisters, Florene Baldwin and Laverene Seeley; and one grandson, Gregory Mosley, also preceded her in death.
Marj is survived by her daughter, Barbara Votruba and husband Bob of Abilene; four grandchildren, Mike Mosley and his two children Mikenzi and Brandon Mosley, Renee McKinney and husband Craig, Bob Votruba Jr. and wife Amy, and Shelly Howard; five great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. Survivors also include two nephews and their wives, Tommy Thompson and Becky, and Eddie Baldwin and Teri, and four nieces and their husbands, including Susie Ayers and Carl, and Linda Frese and Bill.
Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m. Monday, December 5, at Holy Family Catholic Church with the Rev. Msgr. Fred Nawarskas officiating. Interment will follow in Elmwood Memorial Park directed by The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene. The family will receive friends 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.
Pallbearers will be Bob Votruba, Mike Mosley, Eddie Baldwin, Gary Mosley, Craig McKinney and Tommy Thompson.
Online condolences may be posted at www.HamilFa milyFuneralHome.com.
William Walter Massey (1894 - 1969)
Mayme Gertrude Sipe-Massey Turnidge (1898 - 1987)
James Edward Baucum (1917 - 1990)*
Laverne Cathrine Massey Seely (1918 - 2005)*
Marj Massey Baucum (1921 - 2011)
Elmwood Memorial Park
Created by: Kenneth D. Bogard
Record added: Dec 04, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 81509037