Lake Charles American Press, Sunday, April 8, 1973, p. 58:
MRS. MARGERY WILSON
Friends are invited to gather at Goos Cemetery at 3 p.m. today, April 8, for the burial of Mrs. Margery Parsons Wilson of 912 Michael St., who pioneered drama education at McNeese State University.
Hammer Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Mrs. Wilson died at 1:30 p.m. Friday.
She established the MSU Department of Speech after joining the faculty in 1944 and organized the Bayou Players group there.
Survivors include one brother, David G. Parsons of Houston, and two grandchildren.
Pallbearers, all present and past members of Alpha Psi Omega, a national drama fraternity established at McNeese by Mrs. Wilson, are Nathan Fontenot, Jerry Brown, Bill Dickerson, Dr. Maurice Pullig and Nowell Daste.
If they wish, friends may make memorial donations to a charity of their choice or the Wilson Collection at McNeese, the family said. The collection was established by faculty members in her honor and in memory of her son David, who died in 1971.
Fritzi Krause Wilson, "Postscript: Remarkable
Margery Wilson" 50th: A Celebration of McNeese
Theatre, Lake Charles, La.: McNeese Theatre,
Department of Communication and Theatre, McNeese State
University, 1989, p. 82:
As McNeese Theatre looks forward to its next
half-century, it is instructive to look back, just once
more, to the lasting treasure of its first 50 years:
Fritzi Krause Wilson has
reviewed scores of local productions for the Lake
Charles American Press and she has taken turns on the
local stage herself. Her memories of Margery Wilson
transcend the stage or classroom, for she was married to
Mrs. Wilson's late son, David. She shares below, for
this book, a more personal look at her remarkable
Most of the multitudes whose lives were touched by
Margery Wilson —
students, colleagues, just friends and even family —
undoubtedly remember her, first and foremost, as a
But "Mother Wilson," as she was oft
called by students — was also a paradox of sots. She was
a "liberated woman" by the quiet courage of her own
convictions, but she never seemed to lose her cool as a
genuine lady — a product of the Victorian age whose
personal values reflected the best of that time, even as
she eagerly explored and often accepted the new and
sometimes unconventional, however controversial.
Few if any will deny her recognition
as the founder of McNeese State College's speech and
drama department, forged during her quarter-of-a-century
tenure with an unfailing determination to offer not only
a comprehensive program in quality speech education, but
to clear the state for a full spectrum of drama — from
the Greeks and Shakespeare to the avant-garde of the
As stout in spirit as frail of body,
this naturally reserved, even shy, mistress of the Muses
was not adverse to stripping iron hands of their velvet
gloves when she felt the integrity of her purpose was
One of the ore memorable cases in
point occurred in the mid-1960s, when public
pressure nearly closed her production of Kopit's
controversial, pseudo-classical tragifarce, Oh Dad,
Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin'
So Sad. What went on behind closed doors when
Margery had her say before the-powers-that-were may be
lost in time now — but suffice it to note the curtain
went up as scheduled.
Although difficult, if not
impossible, to "separate" the woman from her work (as
requested for this special occasion), random family
memories may reveal another less-known Margery, as
anchored to the hearth as to the teacher's desk.
Born into a family of the academe as
the only girl and eldest of four children, Margery is
remembered as a physically robust young woman — athletic
as well as studious — until a near-fatal bout with
tuberculosis shortly after graduation from Vassar. She
was cured, but left with broken health — chronic
respiratory problems and a ravaged body, forever
vulnerable to all kinds of complications in future
illnesses the remainder of her life.
After a lifetime under that sword of
Damocles, Margery never really recovered from the
untimely death of her only child, David, following him
to the grave less than 18 months later, on the 42nd
anniversary of his birth.
In the meantime, however, she was the
classic, unabashedly doting grandmother — slightly
Victorian in family disciplines, perhaps, but otherwise
typical to a word.
Almost, that is. It is doubtful that
many other grandmothers, in these parts at least, called
tomatoes "to-mah-toes" or indulged pre-kindergarten
grandsons with such improbable but imaginative gifts as
French and Spanish translations of Beatrix Potter's
Peter Rabbit books!
One evening at a dinner for a
visiting brother from California, Margery's well-known
habit of ending a sentence with "et cetera, et cetera,
et cetera" led to the two sexagenarians' regression to a
big sister/little brother game of one-upmanship.
"What's all this 'et cetera, et
cetera, et cetera, et cetera' stuff from the lips of a
speech professor, no less?" he teased, surreptitiously
making eye contact with all present.
Margery, well aware of his
mischievous motive, smothered a bit of pique with a
broad smile as she delivered her riposte in the best
big-sister fashion: "Well, Walter, in my classroom, it
usually means, 'You should know the rest because you've
already been taught that.' But across a dining table in
polite social dialogue with a brother, it means 'I won't
bore you with further details because you're obviously
Through the years more than one has
compared Margery to that lovably eccentric title
character of Giradoux's fanciful comedy and poetic
satire, The Madwoman of Chaillot. Indeed, one
could see a physical resemblance to actress Martita Hunt
in that role in the Broadway production.
But beyond that, those who knew her
well might also glimpse Margery in on critic's
description of the Madwoman's "poignant... awareness of
the fragility of existence" in a world where man's
salvation lies in love — and the imagination.