The age-old philosophical question of whether the glass is half empty or half full is an idiom that Marcia Dick would have no problem answering. It’s her unique perception of reality that leads her smack dab to the middle of Luke 12:48 in the Bible: “. . . For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required . . .” Marcia prefers to see how big her God is rather than how big any problem may be, to look at situations in faith rather than fear. “I’m still living by that verse,” said Marcia, 65, a member at American Baptist East. “I’m so blessed health wise, financially, with children … so many things. I just feel like I can’t do enough.”
Marcia was diagnosed last summer with dermatomyositis, a rare connective-tissue disease that is characterized by inflammation of the muscles and the skin. But it is also a systemic disorder that can affect the joints, esophagus, lungs and heart. Testing, including an electrocardiogram (EKG) at Cleveland Clinic, indicated that Marcia’s heart was affected and she was prescribed a beta blocker and several heart medicines. She was put on Prednisone, a steroid that has significant adverse effects. Doctors had differing opinions, leading to another EKG, which indicated that instead of heart muscle issue, Marcia had an electrical abnormality called left bundle branch block, a condition in which activation of the left ventricle of the heart is delayed, causing the left ventricle to contract later than the right ventricle.
“It’s been a jolt because I’ve always been very smug about my health,” Marcia said. “I’ve always been very happy, had lots of energy and figured I’d live to a hundred. When I was told my heart was failing, it was really
sobering to me.”
But, although it was once thought otherwise, she did not have a heart attack. “The net of it all is that I’m so elated that I’m fine,” she said. “I feel better; my skin has settled down; I’m off Prednisone and I do everything I
want.” That includes circuit training in which several exercises are performed in succession with minimal rest between each, thus burning more calories. She walks 2.5 miles most every day on the treadmill and works out with
weights. Marcia feels blessed, knows from whence it was “given” and what is “required.” So with Luke 12:48 in mind, she serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteer, advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. She’s in charge of gathering information, reviewing documents and records and interviewing children, family members and professionals. It goes well beyond Marcia’s humble description of “just a matter of trying to get everybody in synch.”
Financially, Marcia has been blessed, too. One day after she and her classmates went through commencement as the first graduating class at Indiana State University Evansville (ISUE), now USI, in 1973, she received a call from IBM, asking her to come to work. She did, at first in offices downtown and then out of her home. When it was all said and done, 34 years had passed and she retired in 2007. “They liked to move people around. The IBM used to stand for “I’ve
Been Moved,” Marcia said. “They wanted me to move but I didn’t want to. I had too much going on here with my family.”
IBM didn’t press the issue, but just kept on paying her a good salary. Much was “given,” and knowing much was “required,” Marcia steps in often as a peacemaker. “I’ve been in that role so much,” she said.
“Sometimes my daughters say I’m too soft, but I always feel like putting everyone at peace and helping everybody to get along.” Marcia, a Howard Roosa and Bosse graduate, said she has also been blessed in her marriage to husband Chris. The couple will celebrate 45 years of marriage on July 22. It was only recently that Chris, a foster child, located
his brother and two sisters. Because of that happening, Marcia came into contact with a woman who needed help. Much was “given” and Marcia knew much was “required.” “She’s very handicapped, on a walker and lives in Section 8
housing,” said Marcia. “After seeing her, I knew there should be somebody helping her and nobody was. I’ve gotten her in at Easter Seals, taken her to a doctor, set her up with a neurologist, made some calls for her and taken her
to the food bank.” Marcia’s late mother, Jean Wiseman, was the regular organist at ABE until her death in 2006. Before that, she was the organist for several years at East Side Baptist, where Marcia became a member when she was 7
years old. “My mother hadn’t really talked to me about it. I just remember feeling convicted multiple times and believed I felt called to do it. A.C. Smith was the pastor. He was a powerful evangelist,” said Marcia, who rededicated herself to the Lord at Indian Creek Baptist Camp when she was 11 or 12.
“During the whole camping experience, you’re really focused on what it means to be a Christian and feel led to rededicate your life,” she said. “It’s an emotional thing. You’re with others and with leaders who are very
inspiring. You hear The Word and you’re away from your daily kind of routine. That’s why I think it’s important for kids to go to camp. They’re in a different realm.” Marcia has spent considerable time in church throughout her life. “Being she played the organ, Mom was there all the time, so my younger sister, Barbara, and I would go with her,” Marcia said. “When I was 14, mom had twins (Dana and Denise), so Barbara and I were the babysitters. That same year Dad temporarily closed his garage business, put an antenna on top of the Southern Securities building and started a radio station (WVHI, 105.3 FM). It was the first 50,000-watt radio station in Evansville.” With a solid religious upbringing, much had been “given” to Marcia. Knowing there was much “required,” she has lifted her voice up to God, serving in a church choir for 52 consecutive years, including time with the University Singers during her time at ISUE. The Dicks live on a five-acre lot in Boonville. Marcia loves gardening and tending to flowers. “I counted the other day and I have 55 pots of flowers,” she said. The couple has two grown children, Katherine and Jennifer. Their grandchildren are Braxton (12), Brooklyn (3) and Clara (1). Marcia has been wronged quite often down through the years, but it’s not a big deal. It involves the pronunciation of her name. It should be but is very seldom pronounced “Mar-sa.” “I don’t correct people unless they say Martha,” said Marcia. “My mother had a friend whose name was pronounced Mar-sa. That’s why I
named my children things that they didn’t have to explain.”
Meanwhile, Marcia continues to answer the call for other people’s lives. She advocates for former children that are now troubled adults, investigates possible solutions for the best way to get from Point A to Point B, stays connected to young people, informs others of services they aren’t aware are available, takes someone in for a colonoscopy, somebody else for a hip replacement, etc. She knows she can handle it because of her second-favorite Bible verse, Philippians 4:13 (“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”) “I feel so incredibly blessed that I’ve been given so much. It’s not that I’m a good person. It’s just that it’s required of me,” Marcia said. “I’m just working, trying to make a difference somewhere.”
Her glass certainly isn’t half empty. It’s not even half full. It’s brimming over.
6300 Washington Ave.
Evansville, IN 47715