Marie Jacobus Hertzig passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 20, 2022. She led Greenwich Scholarship Association for 45 years, awarding need-based scholarships to local seniors for the first year of college. She also served for 16 years as a member of the Representative Town Meeting as Chairman of District Seven and as the first woman Chair of its independent and controversial Budget Overview Committee (BOC).
Marie was born in Millburn, New Jersey in 1942, and attended Millburn High School where she sang in the school chorus, as well as in the choir of Christ Church in Short Hills, and in New Jersey’s All-State Chorus. She continued singing in college with the Duke University Chapel Choir. She graduated from Duke in 1964 with an A.B. in English literature and also earned a certificate from the University of Nottingham, England where she spent her junior year. She went on to earn an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Middle English and Renaissance literature at the University of Pennsylvania and taught Freshman English there for several years.
In 1967, she married Mel Hertzig and moved first to New York City and then to Greenwich where they raised their family of three daughters.
Teaching was a life-long interest, and over the years she was active in school-related activities, including President of the Glenville PTA and President of the Greenwich Association for the Public Schools. A commitment to public service inspired her to serve as an elected member of the RTM. As Chair of the BOC, she developed the budgeting process adopted by all other RTM standing committees and is used to this day. Later chairmen credited her with streamlining RTM processes and increasing the credibility of the BOC.
Marie found her true passion as President of the Greenwich Scholarship Association (GSA). Believing that it takes a village to raise a child, she took over as President in 1990, a position she held for 30 years. Under her guidance and direction, GSA has grown from a single modest bequest to a multi-million dollar endowment that has distributed more than $16,000,000 to thousands of Greenwich students over the years. It remains the only all volunteer scholarship organization of its kind in the country.
In 2003, Marie was selected for the YWCA Spirit of Greenwich Award established to honor volunteers whose vision, accomplishments, and devotion to service have enriched the community.
In their later years she and her husband Mel were worldwide traveling companions. As her devoted partner, Mel served as her chief healthcare provider.
Marie is survived by daughters Catherine Holden of Greenwich, Karin Geller and Kristin Hertzig both of Ipswich, MA, sons-in-law Blake Holden and Joshua Geller as well her seven grandchildren, Stuart and Rex Geller, Caroline, Charlie, and Lucy Jepsen, Madeleine and Elinor Holden.
A memorial service will be held at Christ Church Greenwich this May with interment in the Christ Church Memorial Garden. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Greenwich Scholarship Association, P.O. Box 4627, Greenwich, CT 06831 for Marie’s Scholars.