In Memoriam – Marcia Burick

Marcia E. Burick of Leeds, Massachusetts died peacefully in her sleep Saturday, June 4, 2022 after celebrating her 60th college reunion at Wellesley College surrounded by lifelong friends and classmates. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1962 with a major in Political Science. She was born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1940 to Simon and Rachel Burick. She graduated from Fairview High School and was always connected to family and friends in Dayton. Upon graduation from Wellesley, Marcia was the recipient of two Mai Ling Soong prizes, which allowed her to attend a NATO Youth Conference in the south of France. She then joined the staff of the Press and Public Affairs Office of the U.S. Mission to the U.N., under the leadership of Ambassador Adlai E. Stevenson in September 1962, just a few weeks before the Cuban Missile Crisis. She spent much of the next decade raising children, Ken and Dan, and embracing her new home in Northampton where she moved to in 1968. Marcia became active in politics and community services. During that time, she was also working as a press director and speech writer for such organizations as Planned Parenthood of New York City, the Institute for International Education, The Fund for Peace and, occasionally, for the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. She used to say that she drifted to the job of Press Officer for the visit of the Chinese Table Tennis Team to the United States in Spring 1972 after the National Committee, a non-governmental organization, asked the U.S. Table Team Association, then in China in Spring 1971 at the invitation of Premier Zhou En-Lai, to invite the Chinese team to make a return visit to the U.S. in 1972, the beginning of U.S.-China Relations. She traveled with the teams throughout the U.S. in April 1972. After moving to Northampton, she earned an M.A. in Urban Studies at Smith College and wrote her thesis on Hong Kong Resettlement Housing, having received the Mary Elvira Stevens Fellowship for Wellesley alumni for travel and research abroad.

In 1980 she became chief aide to the Mayor of Northampton for a number of interesting years in local government and, during breaks, was able to organize and conduct several tours of the world. Although she worked and traveled the world extensively, Northampton was her home. She was deeply involved and committed to the community, its people, and its institutions. She was a longtime and active member of Congregation B’nai Israel and was a staple at every political function. Her home in Fairway Village, Leeds, was her home base and she entertained friends from all over the world and spent time with her close friends in the neighborhood

She worked for many years, often under USIS or USAID auspices, consulting on social services or teaching government best practices in such places as the Baltics, Poland, Nigeria, Gaza, South Africa, and ran a program over several years for the Institute for Training and Development for government officials in Indonesia.

She is survived by her son Ken and daughter-in-law Amanda and her grand-children Samantha and Nathaniel. She is also survived by hundreds of devoted friends locally and globally. Marcia was known for her incredible warmth and generosity and will be dearly missed by all. Her husband, Edward McColgan, passed away earlier this year. Her memory will be a blessing and her acts of kindness and good deeds will live on in this community and around the world. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Northampton Community Foundation. Funeral service will be at Congregation B’nai Israel on Tuesday at 1 pm. CZELUSNIAK FUNERAL HOME IS IN CHARGE, please go to for online condolences.

Published by Daily Hampshire Gazette on Jun. 7, 2022