Marjorie J. Grayson

Honored by:Barbara Helland and Becky Burgart
Brick location:A:6  map

The power of the individual is epitomized in the life of a hero and in the life span of humanity many heroes have emerged from the turbulence of society. According to Webster's dictionary a hero is "any individual of distinguished courage or ability admired for his/her brave deeds and noble qualities." Using the criteria set by Webster Marjorie Jean Lockwood Grayson is in every sense a hero. The impact that she has made on those around her is immeasurable and invaluable. We her family dedicate a brick in the Carrie Chapman Catt Plaza ofHeroines to honor the woman we call mother, grandmother, friend and above all hero.

Marjorie Lockwood was born on February 7, 1925 in Spring Hill, Iowa to Homer and Esther Lockwood. She was the fourth of six girls: Elinor, Hazel, Eunice, Marjorie, Ruth and Leone Lockwood. Like other youth born in the 1920's she lived through the hardships of farm life during the drought and depression of the 1930's. Her parents instilled in her a strong desire for education the merits of hard work and the value of a sense of humor. She graduated first in her class from high school and attended the American Institute of Business (AIB) in Des Moines. Like other young women of Iowa past and future she excelled at basketball. Her expertise was recognized while playing for the AIB team where she earned a position on the All American team. But the distant past is not why we chose to honor our mother with a brick in the Plaza of Heroines.

In the late 1950's Marjorie found herself a divorced mother with two young daughters to support. She faced many of the problems that working mothers face today but without today's support structures. There was no child care before or after school school lunches or MacDonalds. She was truly one of the first "Super Moms." When we were sick she was there with soft boiled eggs toast and tea staying up late and yet making it to work on time the next day. While she ironed she drilled us on our math facts. Each summer before school started she spent her vacation outfitting us for school and giving us our yearly home permanent.

She met each day with courage and with the help of friends and family she managed to raise two daughters who always felt nurtured and loved. What is more important she encouraged her daughters to follow their own dreams. She did without new clothes, cars and vacations to save enough money to provide both girls with a college education-- an education that represented independence for her children. She was filled with pride when her daughters graduated from Iowa State University: Barbara Watson Helland in 1971 and Rebecca Watson Burgart with a BS in 1974 and a MS in 1993.

Our mother continues to provide us with a map for the future. She proves that age is not an obstacle. While many her age retired a number of years ago she continues to work full time as the Operations Manager at PaineWebber in Atlantic Iowa. In fact during 1994 she traveled to New Jersey for additional computer training. She has never stopped learning. Golf, bridge, shopping and spending time going to her grandchildren's performances recitals and sporting events fill her other hours.

In the future, her grandchildren will remember her for the time she spent with them playing cards golf and preparing those special family dinners. But more important her children and grandchildren will always think of her as a role model. She has led a life of courage and bravery showing the world how a single mother can do it all. So with this brick we would like to show our love and appreciation to Marjorie Lockwood Grayson a true hero to her family.

-Barbara Watson Helland & Rebecca Watson Burgart