Marian A. Baciewicz was a Peace Corp volunteer in Ghana, Africa from 1977 to 1980.
During her senior year at Union College (Schenectady, NY) she decided to actively pursue her desire to help people by joining the Peace Corps. Her first two year assignment was in Nandom, Ghana teaching at Nandom Secondary School. During holidays, she worked with crippled children at Jirapa Hospital. Marian requested to extend her stay and initiated a Women’s Development Project. This project helped Dagarti village women in Bo (remote northern Ghana) to develop income generating home activities to improve their standard of living. Prior to enlisting for a fourth year, Marian died in a tragic automobile accident in Africa on June 29, 1980.
Marian was a member of the first classes at Union to accept women at a traditionally all male college. She graduated cum laude from Union (1977) with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. While at Union, she was a member of the varsity basketball team, resident advisor and head resident advisor. She graduated third in her class (1973) from Catholic Central High School (Troy, NY) where she was active in numerous clubs and extracurricular activities.
Marian was a “people person “who devoted her life to improving the well being of others especially the underserved. Her enthusiasm, warmth, humor, compassion, commitment and hard work made an impact on those who she worked with and knew, endearing her to all.
Once Marian wrote home that she learned from the Ghanaians that “life is short and you’ve got to live it and take everything as it come…tomorrow it might not be there”. Marian lived a life she believed in and love.
Marian’s memory and ideals are remembered through a memorial scholarship at Union College established by her parents Frank A. and Helen S.Baciewicz in 1980 and continued by her siblings Frank, Anne and Peter. You may donate online here (please designate Marian’s scholarship in the appropriate field).
I arrived in the same group of volunteers as Marian 1977-79. I did not know her well, but she was the kind of person you notice for her grace, beauty, intelligence, and kindness. She was like a ray of sunshine with such a lovely smile. I can’t imagine the pain of those who knew her better, but her death was a loss to us all.
I served with Marian in Ghana 1977-1979. I am thinking of her today.
I served as PCV with Marian in Ghana from 1977-79. I really got to know her during our training in Bolgatanga prior to being posted our schools. Marian was indeed a sweet person and loved being a volunteer. While I was not aware that she did a third year and was planning on doing a fourth year with PC – it does not surprise me given her enthusiasm for helping others. She and her love for helping others is truly missed.
I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Techiman Ghana from 1978-1980. I barely got to know Marian on one of my visits to Accra, but the amazing depth of her poise and character stuck with me to this day. There is no doubt that the work she did while in Ghana lives on through the people there. Anyone who knew her must still be grieving, but at the same time we can stay inspired by her example.
Marian was a close friend and classmate at Union. I think of her often as we both decided to join the Peace Corps and tried to stay in touch. Her loss was profound to so many of us. I will always remember her humor, warmth, and sincerity.