Marlowe Belanger1928 - 2012
Marlowe Ann Belanger: June 18, 1928 — September 25, 2012
She was surrounded by her children at her home in Rogers Twp.
She is survived by her son, Brian (Katrina) of Royal Oak and
daughter, Anne of Rogers Township;
2 grandchildren, Brandon and Noelle;
brother, Robert Sutherin of Traverse City.
Mrs. Belanger was preceded in death by her husband, Roger on January 22, 2007.
Marlowe Belanger’s given name was Marlowe Sutherin and she was named after
two well-known theatre actors during the early 20th century, Julia Marlowe and
Martin Sutherin. Who would have imagined how her connection to the arts would
transcend her entire life. As a young woman, her involvement in the arts began when
she was a performing singer with the Madrigal Club of Detroit. While she was with
the group Marlowe was introduced to Governor George Romney, who encouraged
her to form an arts agency. That was the impetus for her to form the Farmington Arts
Council in 1969. She went on to help form the Oakland County Arts Council.
She broke barriers in 1979 when she became the first arts administrator in the
State of Michigan appointed by Governor Milliken. Through the years, she helped
many artists through her mentoring efforts. She was a strong advocate as a volunteer
in the arts including her role as music director for 10 years at her church, St. Fabian’s,
before retiring and moving to Rogers City. She held a position on the board of
directors for the Tuskegee Airmen, and formed the Corporation Consortium for
the Arts working with heads of corporations in Southfield to enable employees to
view and enjoy all forms of art in their workplace. She mentored many young people
in the field of the arts, In her retirement years, Marlowe continued to be an active
volunteer and was one of three key founders of the United Communities Foundation
in 2004, serving Presque Isle County supporting arts, education, and culture.
She was quoted many years ago upon retirement, “I would like to continue in
consulting and aiding young artists and aiding arts agencies to establish an
organization in their community. It says the people are committed to the finer things
in life and in quality of life. It’s been an interesting life”. Her two adult children,
Brian Belanger and Anne Belanger continue her legacy and talents in the field of
the arts. Brian is a composer and Emmy Award winning Director and Composer, and
Anne is a successful Grant writer and Program Director for Presque Isle District
Library and Emmy Award winning Producer and active community volunteer.
Marlowe’s talents served her well but she is best remembered for her unconditional
love of family and generous in giving spirit. Her devotion to family and love of life
was immeasurable. She loved to travel and in her retirement years she traveled with
her daughter and two golden retrievers taking trips out west along the back roads
and roads less traveled. She celebrated life everyday enjoying the simple joys and
abundance of nature that surrounded her in northern Michigan. Well done Marlowe.
Friends may visit at the Beck Funeral Home on Friday from 3:00 until 8:00 p.m. with
rosary at 6:30 followed by the parish wake service at 7:00 p.m.
Visitation will resume on Saturday at St. Ignatius Catholic Church from 9:00 a.m.
until time of Mass at 10:00 a.m. with Fr. Arthur Duchnowicz and
Fr. Thomas Belanger officiating.
Interment will take place at Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery.
Memorials may be directed to the Belanger Family for a charity to be decided
on at a later date.