Beloved teacher and lifelong learner Michael J. Marquis passed away suddenly on April 9, 2023, leaving behind a legacy of intellectual curiosity, kindness, and humor. Born on August 14, 1939, he grew up on Spring Street in Manchester, Connecticut, before graduating from Manchester High School. He attended the University of Connecticut where he earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English Literature.
As a natural and gifted teacher, Michael devoted his career to inspiring and challenging his students to think critically and creatively. He taught Honors English and Social Studies at Illing Middle School and Manchester High School and developed the Academically and Creatively Gifted and Talented program at Illing. He was known for his quick wit, humor, and enthusiasm for teaching higher order thinking skills to students and teachers alike.
Michael has had several books, written by former students, dedicated to him and he treasured every one. Clayton Walnum, stated in the dedication of his book Artificial Life, that Michael was “one of those teachers few students forget.”
Both in and outside of the classroom, Michael was a true Renaissance man, with a wide range of interests and passions. He had a great love of literature, science, and philosophy; he was a jazz enthusiast and had a deep appreciation for the music and its history; he enjoyed playing the drums; and admired the fine arts.
Although he was a humble man, he touched the lives of innumerable students, colleagues, friends and family through his intellectual explorations, passion for teaching and love of learning that will continue to inspire and guide all who knew him. He will be deeply missed by his family and all whose lives he touched over the years.
Michael is survived by his loving wife, Donna M. Fitzgerald; his son, Dylan F. Marquis and his wife, Alaina Duffy; his granddaughter, Sibyl C. Marquis; his sister Marguerite Marquis Perkins and her husband Raymond; his nephew, Allen Anderson; sisters-in-law, Karla Neville and Mona Fitzgerald; brother-in-law, Gary Fitzgerald and their families.
Relatives, friends, and colleagues are invited to the John F. Tierney Funeral Home, 219 West Center Street in Manchester on Thursday, April 20, 2023, from 4 -7 pm, followed by a short service at 7:00 pm at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, and in honor of Michael’s love of dogs, donations can be made in his memory to the Connecticut Humane Society, 701 Russell Rd, Newington, CT 06111 or donate on the website: https://cthumane.org.