Marjorie Tyson Brandt, 95 of Burnham passed to eternal life on February 18, 2021.
Born September 13, 1925, she was the daughter of the late John D. Tyson and Ruth Meek Tyson. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Milton K. Brandt, Jr., her stepson, Milton K. Brandt, III and her daughter, Rebecca Brandt Amendola Maggard.
Surviving are two daughters: Robin A. Brandt, of Pittsburgh and JoAnne Brandt Dolan, of Baltimore; her brother, John D. Tyson, Jr., and wife Marilyn Tyson, of North Carolina; three grandchildren; Justin L. Amendola, of California and Kelly Brandt Coburn and Chris Brandt Rogers, both of Lewistown; five great-grandchildren, and many extended family members and friends.
Born in State College, Marjorie attended State College High School followed by four years at Penn State University where she graduated in 1946 with an art degree. She later returned to Penn State to work on her master’s degree in Related Arts/Home Economics.
“Don’t ask me what the secret to old age is because I don’t know. You don’t do anything special, you just live,” laughed Marjorie when she was interviewed by the Sentinel in September in honor of her 95th birthday.
And live she did. Known to many as the doll lady, Marjorie was an avid antique doll dealer who later served as a national doll judge for the United Federation of Doll Clubs. She became an expert on doll costuming and create detailed, period-specific costumes using original fabrics.
“I always loved dolls. I tell everyone I was born with a doll in each hand. I started seriously collecting when I was 3.” Over her lifetime, she collected antique doll houses, created detailed oriental miniature needlepoint rugs, collected antique toys, and even knitted traditional Irish sweaters for family and friends. She eventually established a dealer’s booth at Dairyland Antique Center and bought and sold a variety of antiques. It was during that time that she developed close professional and personal friendships with other local collectors including the late Gayle Rogers and David Sigler.
In addition to her love of antique dolls, Marjorie had a great love of music. She was a member of the Mifflin County Music Study Club and often performed locally at Lions Club, Rotary Club and Elks Club shows as a soloist. With her three daughters, she established the Brandt Family Singers. The group performed at area churches and arts festivals. She was a founding member of the Madrigal Singers, a group of a cappella singers organized by the late Chief Logan High School music director James Dulis.
“Our mother was one of the most interesting and fascinating people we know,” said her daughters, JoAnne, and Robin. “In addition to her artistic endeavors, she was remarkably well-read, could recite any poem she had ever memorized, beat anyone in Jeopardy and win hands down at Trivial Pursuit. She had a deep love of history, literature, music, art and seemed to have the ability to master nearly anything she decided to tackle. She once performed a perfect back dive on her 65th birthday just to silence her teenage grandson. She was just endlessly talented, a great storyteller, and instilled a love of learning in each of us. She spent a lifetime doing the things she loved and enjoying each moment along the way.”
In an attempt to follow Marjorie’s wishes, a visitation will be held from 12 to 8 p.m., Monday, February 22, 2021, at the Heller-Hoenstine Funeral Homes, Woodlawn, 200 N. Main St., Lewistown, for anyone who would like to pay their respects. Due to Covid-19, the family will not be present, however, a book will be available to sign for all visitors. Current Covid-19 restrictions will be in place including: mask-wearing and social distancing.
A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, February 24, 2021, at Juniata Memorial Park, with Pastor Mike Bailey officiating.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Marjorie’s memory can be made to: The Humane Society or the ASPCA.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Marjorie T. Brandt, please visit our floral store.
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