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1933 Marjorie 2024

Marjorie Gettig

March 3, 1933 — April 4, 2024

Willoughby, Ohio

Marjorie Gettig, RN, born 3/3/33 to Edwin and Margaret Thomas in Port Talbot, South Wales, passed away peacefully on 4/4/24 in Cleveland, Ohio, at the age of 91.  

At the age of 17, Marjorie left home for the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford to pursue her passion for nursing. Her dedication led her to further training as a midwife.

At 23, 'Tommie,' a nickname from her nursing school friends that stuck, embarked on a new adventure, traveling to the United States to join the staff at Cleveland's Mt. Sinai Hospital. She expected this to be her first stop as she worked her way around the world as a travel nurse. Yet fate intervened, and, on her first Sunday in America, she met Ralph Gettig at Epworth-Euclid United Methodist Church. They would marry in that same church, where Tommie remained an active and devoted member for over 60 years. She loved to joke she was still working her way around the world, just staying in Cleveland longer than originally planned.

Tommie is survived by her three sons and daughters-in-law, Andrew (Rachel), Roger (Dawn), and Hugh, and her four granddaughters, Lucy, Alice, Ariela, and Amalie, and nephew Lindsay Poston.  Tommie was also fortunate to count many people as honorary family members, including the extended Jakob clan, who affectionately called her `Auntie M’:  Linda Jakob (Steve Barrett), Harriet Jakob (Keith Kruithoff), and Charles Jakob and honorary grandchildren Bradley, Hannah, Caroline, and Jemma.  In addition, she maintained lifelong friendships with many of the exchange students she welcomed into her home, including Maria Jesus Lago Avila from Spain and Oscar Luu from Sweden.

Throughout her life, she made friends wherever she went. Tommie cherished the communities she was a part of, from her wonderful neighbors on Bradford Road in Cleveland Heights, Sunview Road in Lyndhurst, to the friends she made at Grace Woods in Breckenridge Village. Her involvement in her church was a cornerstone of her existence, and she could often be found volunteering a helping hand wherever needed.

Tommie enjoyed sharing the things she loved, especially her tea, marmalade, bread, and cookies, whether at church sales or with friends, family and neighbors. With friends from the YMCA she formed a group that met monthly to bake cookies and send them to US Troops in Afghanistan.  She was also a dedicated dog owner, finding joy in the companionship of her cherished pets over the years.  

She never lost her passion for travel, and managed to visit China, call on friends in Canada, Spain, and Sweden, spend time on St Kitts and Nevis, cruise to see 'the footsteps of St Paul' in Greece, Turkey and Croatia, and camp across the USA. Not bad for a kid from Port Talbot.

An avid sports enthusiast, Tommie's love for sports began in her school days with field hockey and tennis. She continued to support her sons in their endeavors and remained a devoted fan of the Welsh national rugby team and the Cleveland Guardians.

Tommie's consistently positive outlook on life allowed her to defy medical odds. The night before her passing, after 2 1/2 years in hospice, she was cheering the Guardians as they thumped Seattle and extending her subscription to the Smithsonian. She embodied resilience and humor until the end. Her legacy of kindness, warmth, and optimism will continue to inspire those who knew her.

A celebration of Tommie's life will be held on Tuesday morning, May 28 at 11:00 at University Circle United Methodist Church, 1919 East 107th Street.  Friends are welcome to come early and share memories with the family at 10:00. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Hospice of the Western Reserve, reflecting her commitment to enhancing the quality of life for others, and HWR's wonderful staff and support.

Tommie's light will forever shine bright in the hearts of those who knew and loved her.



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