She was born in Fruitland, Idaho, on March 19, 1916 to Frank E. and Elsie Haasch.
She attended grade school in Parma, Idaho and high school in Twin Falls, Idaho.
She graduated from the University of Idaho in Moscow in 1938 with a B.A.
degree and continued at the University of Iowa on three scholarships, receiving her M.A.
In Moscow, she met Glen Whitesel, talented leader of the Idaho Prep Band and a pre-med student.
They married in 1939 and boarded the east-bound train for the University of Chicago where Glen attended medical school and Marie worked as a draftsperson at the H.M. Gouche Map Company and as a secretary to researchers at the University.
Her husband Glen served with the 167th General Hospital Unit in France during World War II.
Following the war, they lived in Missoula and then moved to Kellogg, Idaho in 1946.
In 1962, Marie and Glen moved to Coeur d’Alene, although Glen continued to practice medicine in Kellogg until his death in 1978.
While in college, Marie was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority and served as president of the sorority board for many years, as well as serving as collegiate editor for their national publication, The Lyre, for thirty-three years.
Marie served as a member of the Idaho Medical Auxiliary and Shoshone and Kootenai County Medical Auxiliaries.
In 1973, Marie became a member of the University of Idaho Alumni Association Board and served as its first woman president from 1977-1979.
She also served on the University of Idaho Foundation Board for many years, receiving Volunteer of the Year in 2000.
The University of Idaho awarded Marie an Honorary Doctorate Degree in 2002.
She was also a member and past chair of the Advisory Board of the College of Art and Architecture.
When the University merged that college with the liberal arts college, Marie, along with notable architects around the country, persuaded the University to re-establish the Art and Architecture as its own college again, one of Marie’s proudest achievements.
Marie also was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, AAUW, PEO, St. Luke’s Church Guild and served on the Board of EXCEL, a local program to raise money for schools.
She was named Honorary Chair of the fund-raising campaign at North Idaho College for a nursing facility, and served on its nursing scholarship committee.
Perhaps her favorite activity has been the Art Study Club in Coeur d’Alene, where she has been a member since 1963, developing each year’s course of study for many years.
Marie, together with attorney Scott Reed, spearheaded the effort to Save Our Shores, fighting the placement of I-90 along Coeur d’Alene Lake to replace Highway 10.
They succeeded and now the Centennial Trail is enjoyed by residents and visitors in Coeur d’Alene.
A professional artist, Marie’s vocation and avocation have always been painting, oils in her earlier years and watercolors for the last thirty years.
One of her paintings was selected to be shown in the New York World’s Fair in 1938.
Her painting of Autumn Leaves was selected to be shown in the Pacific Northwest Artists’ Exhibition in 2009.
Other paintings hang in buildings in the University of Idaho and North Idaho College, at the Coeur d’Alene Resort, and in private homes in the Northwest and around the country.
Recently, an article in IDAHO Magazine, written by her daughter Julie, featured her career and her art.
An exhibition of her paintings has been continuing since August, 2011, at the University of Idaho Extension Office in Coeur d’Alene.
Most of her paintings depict the landscapes of Idaho, her favorite subject.
Marie’s brother, Donald Haasch, predeceased her.
She is survived by her three children, Bill of Sandpoint, Idaho; Julie Weston (Gerry Morrison) of Hailey, Idaho; Mary Reber (Gary) of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Her grandchildren and step-grandchildren are Bill’s children: Beth, Brenda, Lois, Mary, Bill Jr., Michael, Todd and Nick and Jeff and Joel; Mary’s children: Garth, Rejane and Julie; and Julie’s daughter, Melanie.
Her twenty-two great-grandchildren are: Danny, Lucy and Arlette; Henry; Victor, Naomi, and Malcolm; Chloe; Brenden, Sydney and Nathan; Oscar; Emma and Connor; Eleanor and Charles; Bowen and Tagish; Frannie and Zosha; Jupiter and Jettson; and by her nieces and nephew, Dianne Freeman, Steven Haasch and Gay Adams.
A memorial service will be held 11:00 A.M. Thursday, November 29, 2012 at St. Lukes Episcopal Church in Coeur d’Alene with YATES FUNERAL HOME, Coeur d’Alene in care of the arrangements.
The family prefers memorial contributions in Marie’s name to the University of Idaho Marie Whitesel Art Scholarship Fund, North Idaho College Nursing School, or Hospice of North Idaho.
You may visit Marie’s online memorial and sign her guestbook at www.yatesfuneralhomes.com
Click here to comment on this story »