Marjorie Macrae Axthelm Award
March 18, 2021
Marjorie Macrae Axthelm, SHS ’35, was given the gift of a Staples education back when her wonderful aunt, Dorothy Sentenne, invited Marjorie to join her cousin Eugenie at high school in Westport. It was a seminal moment in Marjorie’s life. Like so many others, her family in New York City was devastated by the Great Depression; her parents gratefully accepted the offer to have Marjorie enjoy the benefits of Westport and the excellent education awaiting. At Staples she would go on to be the president of the Dramatic Club, secretary of the Student Council, editor of the school newspaper and literary editor of the yearbook. At her graduation, Marjorie was awarded the Gold Medal for History. Outside of school, she reveled in all aspects of Westport life: the beach, tea dances at Longshore, many friends and an amazing extended family. Her intellectual curiosity, scholastic achievements in school, and the expanded horizons that Westport life afforded Marjorie shaped the woman she would become and the life she would create for herself. When she married a few years later, she encouraged her mother-in-law, Hermine Axthelm, to move to Westport as well. A home was built on Minute Man Hill right next door to the Sentenne’s — a home that is still in the family. Marjorie’s husband Ralph died at an early age and she was left to raise four young children alone. Brilliant and talented, she went back to school and became a successful Interior Designer. Marjorie’s vision and determination made it possible for her children and grandchildren to live in, appreciate, and enjoy the gift of her geographic legacy here in Westport. And it all began at Staples.