Dr. Marjorie Grathwohl Driver, a longtime resident of Guam, passed away peacefully at her home there on Sept. 20 at the age of 95. She retired in 2007 after spending 40 years working as a translator, historian, curator and director of the Spanish Documents Collection at the University of Guam’s Micronesian Area Research Center (MARC).
Dr. Driver and her husband, John, arrived in Guam from New York in 1953. They had no idea that one day she would be honored as one of Guam’s “National Cultural Treasures.” She was a founder of MARC in 1967.
With roots in both Cutchogue and Southampton on Eastern Long Island (N.Y.), she was a graduate of Southampton High School. Dr. Driver, born in 1924, spent her childhood in Puerto Rico, where her father managed a pineapple plantation and where she became fluent in Spanish. She later graduated from Russell Sage and Middlebury colleges.
Dr. Driver has been recognized by legislative resolutions and honorary degrees. She published over 40 critically acclaimed books and pamphlets concerning the lengthy Spanish presence in the Mariana Islands. She and her late husband returned to Eastern Long Island regularly to visit family and friends.
She was predeceased by her devoted husband, John Davis Driver; her parents, Harold E. Grathwohl and Edith Smith Grathwohl; and her brother, Harold E. Grathwohl Jr. She is survived by her nephew, Hal McVey of Colorado; and cousins Kay G. Fisher of Southold, N.Y.; Emily G. Victoria, Jim Grathwohl and Dick Grathwohl, all of Cutchogue.
A memorial service was held on Guam on Oct. 4. Burial will be Friday, Nov. 15, at 2 p.m. at the Grathwohl family plot in the cemetery on Main Road in Cutchogue. The Rev. Richie King, pastor of Cutchogue Presbyterian Church, will officiate. Memorial remembrances may be made to the University of Guam Endowment Foundation/Spanish Documents Collection, UOG Station, Mangilao, Guam 96923.
This is a paid notice.