Marjorie Ellen Hayter Masek, born Jan. 16, 1927 in San Diego, California, died Dec. 10, 2018 at Heron Cove in Gloucester.
She was the daughter of CDR Hubert Montgomery Hayter, USN of Abingdon, Virginia, and Maurine Sieglaff of Albert Lea, Minnesota. Her father’s distinguished military career following graduation from USNA (class of 1924) included duty on the USS Arizona, the USS Augusta—where the family joined him in China and the Philippines, then on the USS New Orleans (CA-32) during the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. After the attack, her mother and the children were evacuated to Albert Lea to wait out the war. Her father, whom they never saw again, was killed during the Battle of Tassaferonga while serving as the Damage Control Officer, and received the Navy Cross for his actions in saving crew members and the badly damaged ship.
Marjorie finished high school in Albert Lea and completed her education at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, then moved with her family to Annapolis, Maryland, where the sisters were to meet and marry naval officers. Marjorie met and married LTJG William (Bill) Masek Jr. (USN) who promised “to show her a good time” and he did. In the submarine service, they enjoyed exotic duty tours, exposing the family to other countries and cultures. Glamorous, with gourmet cooking skills, a gusto for life, and a generous and gregarious nature, Marjorie was “the woman behind the man” and was welcomed and loved wherever she went. She appreciated and took advantage of opportunities her travels presented. Stationed in Hawaii when it was made a state, she became an accomplished Ikebana arranger and prize-winning Hula and Ukulele performer. Postings in Scotland and England brought lasting British friendships and many travel opportunities. Travel highlights included family camping trips in the High Sierras, Appalachian Trail and campgrounds in France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Morocco, Spain and Portugal; and skiing trips throughout the U.S. and Europe—all ensuring an appreciation of nature, history and other cultures.
Discovering “Matsuda” in Gloucester in retirement, they found it to be indeed “The Land of the Life Worth Living.” Here she enjoyed all the wonders of the area, and put her talents and skills to use until illness put her in a nursing home four years ago.
Marjorie was a member of the Garden Club of Gloucester, member and past President of the Gloucester Woman’s Club, the DAR, the North River Circle of The King’s Daughters and Ware Episcopal Church. She participated in many of the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society’s fundraisers and was an ardent advocate for Edge Hill House, Zion Poplars Baptist Church and Williams Wharf.
Marjorie was predeceased in death by her husband Bill and younger brother, John Hayter, who is buried at Ware Church.
She is survived by her beloved family including her sister, Phyllis Townsend of Colorado; her three children, Mimi Ulsaker (Tim Ulsaker), Miles Masek and Helen Masek (Chris Keesing); two grandsons, Oliver Ulsaker (Virginia Ulsaker), and Skyeler Keesing; one great-grandson, Carl Ulsaker; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews throughout the country.
There will be a memorial service at Ware Church on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, at 2 p.m., reception to follow at the Parish House. She will be buried with her husband at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
As an avid supporter of the Mathews Land Conservancy’s (MLC) Building Project at Williams Wharf, in lieu of flowers, her family requests donations be made to MLC’s Building Fund, Box 306, Mathews, Va. 23109 or a charity of choice.