Cover photo for Marcia L. Marques's Obituary
Marcia L. Marques Profile Photo

Marcia L. Marques

Marcia went home to be with our Lord on Wednesday, December 15, 2021 at Rose Arbor Hospice in Kalamazoo.

She was born June 13, 1968 in Zeeland, the oldest child of Harvey and Carol (Van Kampen) Visser. She attended and graduated from Martin Public Schools, Calvin University and Western Michigan University with an MSW, and later a Bachelor of Science to pursue a career in the medical field.

Marcia was instrumental in establishing the Martin Area Resource Center and served as its first Executive Director. She was currently the Executive Director of Renewed Hope Free Health Clinic in Allegan and thoroughly enjoyed working as a science educator at the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo. Working with children and serving those with medical and food/housing needs was her calling.

Marcia was an animal lover and served as a 4-H leader while living in Hudsonville. She loved horses and treasured the time she spent caring for, training and working with them. She also raised sheep and rabbits. She loved her two cats and the four Seeing Eye dogs she had over the years.

In her free time she liked baking, reading, gardening, hand sewing and crocheting. Marcia was strong willed and determined. She inspired many people by her positive attitude and optimism. She was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma as a toddler that led to her becoming blind at the age of three. Despite this it did not keep her from fulfilling dreams and achieving goals. She challenged many stereotypes and preconceived beliefs regarding abilities of disabled individuals.

On August 19, 2016 she married Victor Marques who survives. Also surviving are her parents, siblings, Dale (Amy) Visser, Barbara (Daniel) Boersma, Shannon (Sir-Thomas) Visser, Sofia Visser-Griffin, Kathy Tripp, Melissa Dalrymple, Samantha (Arsus) Alegria-Visser and Michael Kang along with many nieces, nephews a grand-niece and nephew.

Marcia was preceded in death by her first husband, John Charles Beare and a brother, Michael Allison.

Friends may visit with Marcia’s family starting at 10:00 A.M., Monday, December 20, 2021 at the Watson Bible Church in Otsego, until the time of the funeral service at 11:00 A.M., with Pastor Tim Farley officiating.

Cremation will follow.

In lieu of flowers contributions in memory of Marcia may be made to

Renewed Hope Free Health Clinic in Allegan


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Condolence Messages

Lynne Fahrne

December 16, 2021 at 10:44 am

My deepest condolences to all of you. Praying for all of you.


Alice & Tom Kelsey

December 16, 2021 at 11:18 am

So sorry to hear the news of Marcia’s passing.


Rose M Sharrard

December 16, 2021 at 12:13 pm

Our prayers are with the family. Marcia was a very special woman. Heaven got another angel


David Pearson

December 16, 2021 at 1:46 pm

What beautiful memories of Marcia over the years. I especially remember her as a student at Martin High School and visiting with her when she was a student at Calvin College. What a wonderful loving and positive spirit! May the Lord’s comforting love and peace envelop the entire Visser family.


Virgie Kruzel Buhler

December 16, 2021 at 1:51 pm

I was shocked to read this .I am so sorry for your loss. One of my memories was watching her March in the high school band. I had graduated by then but I thought she was amazing.


Jami Brooks-Millet

December 16, 2021 at 5:12 pm

Marcia w as a gem and one of the kindest people I have met. She had a disability? Well, she sure hid it well. Nothing stopped this amazing woman. Fly height sweet girl!


Pat & Sherri Fewless

December 16, 2021 at 5:32 pm

Marcia was known and loved by many and her loss will leave a hole in every life she touched. Our hearts and prayers are with all of the family and friends she has gone ahead of.



December 16, 2021 at 6:56 pm

So very Sorry. Marcia was one of a kind. Touched so many, many people. Love, prayers and hugs to all


John Tuinstra

December 16, 2021 at 7:30 pm

Marcia was my boss at Renewed Hope Health Clinic for the past 12 years. It is indeed sad and sobering to see her go. She was pleasant. supportive, and hard-working and was an outstanding example of someone who pressed forward in spite of some challenges. She had a strong faith in God and I trust she had a right relationship with Christ as her Savior. I expect she has now heard the words “Well done, good and faithful servant” We could all learn a little from Marcia’s example.. My sympathy to Victor and the family.


Sheryl hammond

December 16, 2021 at 7:32 pm

She will be missed. I remember when I helped at seeds of grace with her. I was a medical assistant in training and she was a sweet person.


Susan Van Huizen

December 16, 2021 at 8:04 pm

Marcia was an inspiration to anyone that struggles with a disability. She never let her blindness hold her back. What am awesome woman. She will be missed.


Debby Sparbel

December 16, 2021 at 9:09 pm

I was so fortunate to know Marcia for many years filled with wonderful memories. I can never forget her description of Baby Thunder, her alter ego when she was angry as a five year old, when we first met. Her determination to achieve her goals was always inspiring, from kindergarten to high school graduation and beyond. In her various careers, she showed so much compassion and caring for her clients. She made a positive difference for so many people. But what I will always remember most about Marcia is her wonderful sense of humor and the infectious laughter. I will miss our long telephone conversations, filled with giggles. It was an honor to be her teacher/consultant for thirteen years at Martin and then to be her friend, witnessing her journey through life. My deepest condolences to Carol and Harve and all of your family.


Carol Visser

December 18, 2021 at 9:21 am

Debby you were so important to Marcia – and to us as her parents. Your down to earth approach to her disability, your willingness to go above and beyond as a teacher. Advocating, guiding her, inspiring her and laughing. Oh, how she loved to laugh.


Lisa Letts and family

December 16, 2021 at 9:46 pm

What a wonderful soul and a true Blessing to so many. Sending love and prayers to all whom she has touched . She will forever be remembered and her many legacies will pass from heart to heart for generations .


Catherine Pardee

December 16, 2021 at 9:52 pm

I drove the school bus when Marcia went to kindergarten. She used to hike right up the steps, smile and say Good Morning. She was an amazing child and even more amazing woman, her accomplishments are many and she excelled at anything she set her mind to. Our thoughts are with her family, such a loss for them.


Pastor Tim Luimes

December 17, 2021 at 8:16 am

I met Marcia while we were at Calvin College. She was standing alone in the shadows on tennis courts one evening during a dance at the beginning of the school year. I said, “Hello” and held out my hand in greeting. She replied, but did not extend her hand. It was an awkward moment, but then I did not realize that she was blind and could not see my extended hand. So I awkwardly grabbed her arm lifting it to my outstretched hand; we shook hands and I asked if she wanted to dance. Thankfully, we were able to laugh about that very awkward moment later.

She was a wonderful friend. At the time, I knew she had a crush on me, but I never reciprocated those feelings, but I also wanted to remain friends. We did all kinds of crazy things together. We would go to the movies and I would have to describe in whispers what was happening on-screen when there was no dialogue. She invited me to her parent’s hobby farm so I could go horseback riding with her. When I arrived at her parent’s farm, she was concerned about a cough that was coming from the sheep and she was giving them injections of penicillin. As I recall there were several horses in the paddock that she looked after and she also served as a local 4H Club rabbit show judge.

Marcia went through several more health episodes through the years including anemia and a brain tumor about the size of an egg. None of that stopped her. She completed a Masters in Social Work and began pursuing a pre-med program in order to become a Psychiatrist. When she told me about that last program, we laughed about what the surgical rotation would be like and how nervous her patients would be. She said, “I’ve birthed colts and sheep. I’ll figure it out.”

Marcia’s second husband was Victor Marques; he was from Vancouver, British Columbia and they met on-line. He was also blind, but they shared a similar nothing will stop us attitude. They were soon married. The past few years have been among the happiest times for Marcia. Victor wrote on facebook, “Marcia had so many scars, physical and internal due to her battles. One day I will see what she can now see, as the song says. I’m just not sure how to get there, too much time and distance until then and my heart is broken.”

Another friend wrote on Marcia’s facebook page: “Today is a very sad day; my friend Marcia passed away after a 10 month battle with pancreatic cancer. Marcia was one of the most energetic, positive, and motivating people I have ever met in my life. I did not get very much time to get to know her but from the short time I got to spend with her we had many memories and many laughs. Marcia was married to Victor for six years and they love each other more than words could explain. Victor I hope that God will be with you during this journey of adjusting your life without her. I also pray that he gives you strength.”

As my church and I have been reading through the prophecy of Micah this Advent season, I have noticed that the author sees a lot of pain and struggle when he looks around at his world and culture. But in chapter 7, he does not give in to the despair: “But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.” (Micah 7:7-8)

Those words will remind me of Marcia. Though she has fallen, I know she will rise and the Lord will be her light.


Ian C Noyes

December 17, 2021 at 9:18 am

I first met Marcia as her lab partner in Chemistry on her second time through Calvin when she was doing pre-med. Her ability to remain positive and encouraging through anything life threw at her continues to be inspiring. My heart breaks for her family as they mourn this loss.



December 17, 2021 at 10:44 am

I first met Marcia when I was in a Brownie troop at school. She was kind enough to come in and talk to us about being blind. She brought in her braille typewriter and books for us to explore. She sat with each one of us and typed our names for us. She talked about how she used her different senses to navigate the school. She was so willing to share her knowledge and was so patient with all of our questions. It has stuck with me all these years…her compassion and her willingness to teach others to treat everyone with kindness. Prayers for all of you during this time.


Susan Cramer

December 17, 2021 at 12:37 pm

My heart goes out to the family, I’m so sorry for your loss. Marcia was a light in this world and touched so many lives. I’m thankful our paths crossed and for the time I spent with her. She had a big heart and cared deeply for those around her.

Hugs to you Harv & Carol.

Sue Cramer


Shirley Milbocker

December 17, 2021 at 4:33 pm

I first met Marcia when I volunteered at Renewed Hope. Through RHHC Marcia and I became friends. Marcia asked me if I would help her to re-connect with her sewing machine. She wanted to make a quilt for her brother (which, because of her Cancer we were only able to meet a few times and her dream of making the quilt were not realized.) But, as with anything that she did, she was doing a great job. I learned so much from her and her zest for life. I will miss her and know that she loved the Lord and that he was waiting for her with open arms. My love and prayers go out to Victor, Harvey Carol and the rest of the family.


Joe Buysse

December 17, 2021 at 9:47 pm

I’ve known Marcia for a number of years when we were both members of a local Toastmasters Club. Every Halloween I always remember I story she shared when she was young and dressed up as a ghost for trick or treating and because she was blind there was no need to put in eye holes in her costume. Some lady saw this and told her Mom that she was not a good mother for not giving her eye holes in the costume. Her Mother promptly put eye holes in the sheet though they were not necessary. Though I have not seen Marcia in a number of years, I consider her a good friend.


Marsha Cain

December 18, 2021 at 12:37 am

What a remarkable woman Marcia was; filled with compassion determination, drive and a sense of humor. We remember her as a teenager and a young adult. Certainly her parents provided her a wonderful foundation and the “can do” spirit that Marcia demonstrated. Our prayers go out to her family and friends as they grieve her loss. Knowing she is able to experience the Light of our Savior and the brilliance of heaven should be a comfort to all of us.


Randy J Khodl

December 18, 2021 at 8:04 am

Marcia was a great classmate and and she will be missed. My condolences and prayers go to her family.


Tammy DeBruyne

December 18, 2021 at 4:04 pm

My deepest sympathies to all of Marcia’s family and friends.


Karn Erlandson

December 19, 2021 at 2:42 pm

My heart goes out to Victor and Marcia’s entire family. I worked with Marcia as a fellow science educator at the AirZoo. Whether she was teaching kids about the science of slime, designing compost bins for worm habitat, making marshmallow molecules for chemistry camp, or engaging with kids and parents at family science events, Marcia always brought her good cheer and can-do attitude to work with us. She will be greatly missed!



December 19, 2021 at 5:32 pm

I worked with Marcia as an educator at the Air Zoo. She really loved working there. I also gave her and Victor a tour of the museum. She was so much fun to be with. I will miss her so. I pray for her family.


Shelley Hanson

December 19, 2021 at 6:43 pm

Victor, it was such a pleasure to get to know Marsha and enjoy our time together during the cookout at your house. We wish we had many more opportunities to get together with both of you and are sad that it did not happen.

We will miss her, and please know that you and your family and of course Marsha’s family will continue to be in our prayers.

In Christ,

Jeff and Shelley Hanson


Jim and Sharon Boersma

December 19, 2021 at 10:33 pm

Our condolences to you Harv, Carol and Victor.. Marcia was an inspiration and example to many and will be missed.


Ananth Gantla

December 20, 2021 at 8:17 am

My condolences to Victor & her entire family. May the joyful souls of Marcia rest in peace.


Patricia Brown-May

December 20, 2021 at 8:28 am

My deepest sympathy. Prayers for the family.


Thomas R. Mulconry

December 20, 2021 at 8:41 am

Memories of Marcia L. Maquez

Thomas R. Mulconry

I had known Marcia Maquez for over 20 years. Marcia was very involved in District 62 Toastmasters related matters and made most excellent strides in improving her public speaking and leadership skills. Marcia had been blind since childhood. Despite the handicaps and hardships in her life, Marcia was always a lovely, upbeat, and good-natured person. Marcia had lost her first husband John Charles Beare, a while back and remarried approximately five few years ago to Victor Marques. Marcia had been battling cancer for a number of years, but was always positive in her outlook.

Marcia told me she was originally from the Zeeland, MI, area, and that she had attended Calvin University as well as Western Michigan University. From what I recall, Marcia worked in the medical field most of her life. She served as the Director of the Martin Area Resource Center, Martin, MI, and the Executive Director of Renewed Hope Free Health Clinic in Allegan, MI. Marcia also worked as a science educator at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo, Kalamazoo, MI, which she told me she liked doing, as she was always in the process of learning. Marcia enjoyed working with children and was instrumental in serving her community.

Although many people love animals, animals loved Marcia. Marcia very much enjoyed horses and took special care in their training and wellbeing. The horses liked Marcia’s gentle hand and responded well to her. Marcia’s home was like an excerpt of Noah’s Ark, as she raised rabbits and sheep, and had various cats over the years, as well as at least four Seeing Eye dogs that I am aware. Marcia liked baking and was good at it. She also had a passion for gardening. Marcia was well read and one could speak to her on a wide variety of subjects. Further, Marcia had quite a knack for crocheting and hand sewing.

Marcia’s husband indicated she was strong willed and determined. To be as successful as she was, Marcia had to be. In doing so, Marcia was a positive role model for others. Marcia had a most wonderful sense of humor and was willing to help out whenever needed. Marcia also had a gentle and loving spirit that transcended all she did in life. In her wake Marcia leaves behind numerous family members, friends, and fellow Toastmasters, and will be truly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Rest in Peace.

Thomas and Alice Mulconry


Linda Engel

February 11, 2022 at 12:04 pm

I am so very sorry for your loss. I have been watching for some news on her daily

You are all in our thoughts and prayers. You and Harv, take care of yourself.

Love you


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