Carriemae Marquess’ insatiable love of learning has carried her through a life well lived, filled with knowledge, adventure, and artistry. She would not have it any other way.
Born and raised in Boston, Carriemae grew up working in her mother’s boarding house and restaurant, one that was so popular it hosted the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. She first came to Tallahassee in 1937 to study home economics at what later became Florida A&M University. She earned her bachelor’s degree (graduated valedictorian) there and then a master’s in home economics from Columbia University, before returning to Tallahassee in 1946 to teach at her alma mater. She later earned a Ph.D. in Foods and Institution Management from Iowa State University.
Life’s path eventually brought Carriemae back to Tallahassee with her husband Joe Andrew Marquess, where she continued to teach and serve as head of the Institutional Food Department until retirement in 1989. Many of her students attended her 90th birthday and thanked her for the life changing influence on them.
The couple had two daughters and one grandson, who she now lives with in a house near FAMU. An avid traveler, she wishes she could build on previous trips around the world, including to Europe and Asia. One of her favorite spots to visit with her husband was the Caribbean. Another “international” focus is Russia, for its Faberge egg artistry, which she has practiced for 25 years. She participates in several shows around Tallahassee and the country, working on her craft as often as possible in a dedicated basement studio.
Carriemae is popular in Tallahassee Duplicate Bridge circles, where she plays at least five times a week. An enthusiastic player for 25 years, she has participated in several tournaments and won bronze and silver life master awards. Still, she says, winning is not at all important to her – she’s only in the game for fun and friends.
Carriemae Marquess retains her flair for life and always tries to live to the fullest. “It’s important to live well,” she smiles, “to give the very best to yourself, your family, and your friends.”