Marjorie Gilliam Chew, a longtime member of the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Germantown, died on Monday, Aug. 12, 2019, following a brief illness. She was 90.
She was affectionately known as “Margie.” She was born in Philadelphia on Jan. 8, 1929. She was one of five children born to the late Ulma E. and Frank M. Gilliam Sr.
She was educated in the Philadelphia public school system and was a graduate of Germantown High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in psychology from Howard University in 1950. She loved her time at Howard and developed many lasting friendships. She also was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. during her time at Howard. She was a proud Delta for more than six decades. After graduating, she remained connected to her alma mater and participated in alumni events and class reunions.
She married the late Ramsey H. Chew on Aug 16, 1951 and three children were born to their union. They were married for 56 years.
She was a member of St. Luke’s for most of her adult life. Her love of flowers, especially “Spider Mums,” led her to serve on the church’s Altar Guild Flower Committee for more than 30 years. Her arrangements could be seen on the high altar the third Sunday of every month. Chew was faithful in her duties and was honored by St. Luke’s Rector, the Rev. David J. Morris, in 2017 for 30 years of continuous dedication and service to the church.
Chew also participated in many social and community-based groups. She was a member of the Philadelphia Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Club Jade, Capricorn Club, Birthday Girls, Just Us and the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Smart Set. She also served as chapter recording secretary for her local Smart Set chapter.
Chew cherished her family and friends and loved to entertain and travel with her late husband. She was known for her gracious and kind-spirited nature and many people relied on her as a trusted advisor and confidant. She also had a great sense of humor and loved to dance, especially with her grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, parents and brothers, Frank M. Gilliam Jr. and Donald F. Gilliam.
She is survived by: her son, Dr. Ramsey H. Chew Jr.; daughters, Deborah Chew James and Diane Chew Bowser; son-in-law, I. Page Bowser Jr.; daughter-in-law, Kristine Chew; grandchildren, Erin James, Christopher Bowser, Ramsey H. Chew III, Rayna James and Melanie Bowser; great-grandchild, Ramsey H. Chew IV; sister, Muriel P. Gilliam Clifford; brother, James Dye Jr.; sisters-in-law, Dorris Chew and Sherlane Chew; goddaughter, Dr. Marie L. Young Robinson and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held Aug. 29, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Germantown, 5241 Germantown Ave. Viewing will be held at 9 a.m. The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Omega Omega service will be held at 10:30 a.m. A funeral mass will follow at 11 a.m.
Wood Funeral Home handled the arrangements.