Miriam S. Marcus
LOUISVILLE - Miriam Spectre Marcus passed away quietly in her sleep early Wednesday morning before Christmas, Dec 21, 2016, from complications related to a progressive illness. She was born in Louisville, the middle child of Elliott and Rena (Specter) Marcus of Frankfort, where her family owned and operated Marcus Furniture. She attended Capital Day School in Frankfort, where she showed artistic promise from an early age, and went on to dance with the Louisville Ballet while in high school. Miriam graduated from Frankfort High in 1972, and enrolled at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY, from which she graduated in Pre-Med in 1976. Many of her college weekends were spent in NYC with a fellow SLC classmate's family in Manhattan, where she was also able to visit her uncle, famous interior and furniture designer and Coty Award winner, the late Jay Spectre, at his Park Avenue apartment. After graduation, she returned to Louisville, where, after her marriage to fellow SLC grad, Brad Bohman, she began medical school at the University of Louisville. While a top student there her first two years, she consulted a neurologist related to increasing bouts of fatigue and received a preliminary diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. She was advised that attempting a medical residency in Surgery (Plastics), which she had been planning, might prove fatal to her, so she left U of L Med School after two years and began a string of highly successful medically-related jobs in the 80s, culminating in a sales position with the E.I. DuPont Corporation, where she quickly rose to the post of Regional Manager for Medical Sales. During her working career, Miriam was on the Founding Board of Hospice of Louisville, as well the Board of the Louisville Visual Arts Association, and was an active member of Preservation Alliance. She was also a member of the 1990-91 class of Leadership Louisville, and was an avid U of L basketball supporter at Freedom Hall. When she could no longer fulfill the travel duties her DuPont position required, she retired on disability in 1994. Miriam exhibited her artistic ability, winning school art contests, as early as grade school, and especially loved to reproduce the classic illustrations of John Tenniel, which she found in copies of Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass". Even at a young age, she helped her father pick out carpeting and wallpaper when he won contracts to refurbish office buildings for State Government in Frankfort. She later took up watercolor painting and joined the Kentucky Watercolor Society in Louisville. When she recently heard the definition of "tetrachromacy", which means someone possesses four independent channels for conveying color information in the brain, or possesses four different types of cone cells in the eye (as opposed to the standard two in most mammals), a rare human condition found almost exclusively in females and by possibly as few as 2-3% of women worldwide, Miriam was positive that she possessed the trait, and that it was this heightened sense of color had been driving her artistically all her life. After her marriage ended in divorce in the mid-80s, Miriam focused her attention on doing something she had been dreaming of, and planning, since she was a child: building her dream home. The dusty rose and teal house she dubbed "Wonderland" was completed in late 1989, and was subsequently featured in the Courier-Journal "Sunday Section" in March 1990, and later, in "House Beautiful" magazine on three separate occasions over the next few years, twice for use of color. It was her pride and joy, and her refuge. In 1998, Miriam met Jerry Kauper, a Midwestern transplant to Louisville in 1986, whose marriage had also ended in divorce, in the late 80s. They instantly "clicked", and in 1999, decided to wed. With Miriam's encouragement and support, her husband took on a new profession, enrolling in Nursing School, graduating in 2007 as an RN. This proved to be an invaluable resource for them during their marriage. Miriam was politically active in the Kentucky Democratic Party for most of her adult life, starting with Harvey Sloan's second Louisville mayoral campaign in 1982 and culminating in 2007-08 with stepping up to be the Volunteer Co-ordinator for Obama For America in KY and Southern IN. She was also a life-long animal lover, and bred Somali cats in the early 80s. She contributed regularly for decades to the Humane Society of the United States, the Kentucky Humane Society, the ASPCA, PETA, PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine), the World Wildlife Fund and to the Louisville Zoo. In 2007, she passed the required training course and was named an official Louisville Zoo Docent, one of her proudest personal achievements. She is survived by her loving husband of 17 years, Jerry Kauper, as well as her sister, Raulee Marcus (CA), and brother Samuel (Diane) Marcus (KY), three step-sons, Gabriel Kauper (CA), Matt Kauper (VA), and Danny Lampton (OR), and six sisters-in-law: Julie (Chad) Langhans (CA), Lisa (Neal) Rosen (CA), Ruth (Lawrence) Porter (VA), Jean Kauper (Bill) (CA), Nancy Kauper (Frank) (IN), and Libby Kauper (David)(CA), as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews, and many, many friends who adored her for her style, loyalty and perseverance. Expressions of sympathy may be directed to the Kentucky Humane Society-Animal Rescue League of Louisville or to Planned Parenthood of Louisville. Online condolences may be left at www.ratterman.com .
... Show More