Shores honors late resident’s remarkable life

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published September 25, 2013

 An artist as well as a businesswoman, a then nearly 100-year-old Marguerite Joseph in 2008 sat near one of her paintings and beneath one of the many light fixtures that can be found at the family lighting business. Believed to be the oldest resident in Grosse Pointe Shores, Joseph died in July at 105.

An artist as well as a businesswoman, a then nearly 100-year-old Marguerite Joseph in 2008 sat near one of her paintings and beneath one of the many light fixtures that can be found at the family lighting business. Believed to be the oldest resident in Grosse Pointe Shores, Joseph died in July at 105.

File photo by Deb Jacques

GROSSE POINTE SHORES — She had more than earned the right to retire, but even into her 100s, Marguerite Joseph, of Grosse Pointe Shores, continued to work at the family business, Exway Electric Supply Company in Harper Woods.

Of course, it helped that the impeccably dressed company president enjoyed working alongside her adult children.

Joseph — who died in July at the age of 105 — was honored this month by Mayor Ted Kedzierski and the Shores City Council. Kedzierski presented members of the Joseph family with a proclamation in her honor during a Sept. 17 City Council meeting.

“What a wonderful life this was,” Kedzierski said of Joseph.

A mother of five, Joseph had 12 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren. Born in Coniston, Ontario, near Sudbury, Joseph became a teacher at 17 and taught at schools in Windsor and Coniston for several years. She moved to the United States when she married John L. Joseph in 1930, and she became an American citizen in 1957. Her husband, with whom she traveled the world extensively, died in June 2000.

Joseph credited her longevity to work and having a close-knit family with whom she loved spending time.

“When you’re working hard, you don’t have time to get into mischief,” Joseph said shortly before her 100th birthday.

A former officer with the Grosse Pointe Artists Association, Joseph was an accomplished painter who once belonged to the Scarab Club. She won a number of awards for her artwork and only stopped painting when she developed macular degeneration.

Daughter Shirley Marlow — one of the family members on hand to accept the resolution — once described her mother as a “very caring, loving, generous person,” but also someone with “backbone and stamina when it’s really needed.”

This is the second time Joseph — who lived in the Shores for about 58 years — was honored by her longtime hometown. City officials first paid tribute to her in 2008, when she turned 100. April 19, 2008 — her 100th birthday — was declared Marguerite Joseph Day by the Shores Village Council.