Marjorie Patterson: 1923 ~ 2015


Marjorie Charlotte Patterson, a former resident of Three Rivers, died Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015, in Dinuba due to complications of dementia. She was 92.

A celebration of Marjorie’s life will be held Sunday, Sept. 6, at 5 p.m., at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Visalia (Friends Meeting House), 17208 Avenue 296. Those who know and care for Keio Ogawa and Arthur Ogawa are especially invited to attend.

Marjorie was born February 9, 1923, in Milwaukee, Wisc., to Roy Martin Blackmun and Charlotte Beatrice (Cappon) Blackmun. She was raised and educated in Milwaukee, earning her Bachelor of Science degree from the State Teachers College in Milwaukee in 1947.

Marjorie was a social justice activist for most of her life and an ardent feminist. She was in two interracial marriages, the first to a Japanese-American man — Fremont T. Ogawa of Idaho on October 27, 1945, shortly after World War II — and later an African-American man — William Donald Harris of Michigan on September 27, 1972, in the midst of the civil rights movement. 

Marjorie loved the African-American artists of the Big Band jazz era and played classical violin. She was a homemaker and, from 1963 to 1980, was a sales manager for World Book. 

Marjorie loved the outdoors and continued to bicycle and hike well into her old age. A plaque on her wall said, “Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness.” She was active in the Unitarian Church.

On May 15, 2011, Marjorie moved to Three Rivers to live with her daughter, Keio Ogawa, and husband Mamady “Wadaba” Kourouma. During this time, Marjorie was cared for by her children, Keio and Arthur Ogawa.

Marjorie is survived by her four children, son Edward Ogawa of Westchester, Calif.; son Arthur Ogawa and wife Marian Goldeen of Three Rivers and their two children Grace and Evan Ogawa; son David Ogawa of Pittsburgh, Penn.; daughter Keio Ogawa of Three Rivers; sisters Virginia Cook and Elizabeth Larson; brother John Blackmun and wife Masami; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.