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Marge Gieser

Marjorie Ruth Nystrom was born May 14, 1938 in Asyut, Egypt. Her parents, Dr. Sigurd Nystrom and Dr. Harriet Skemp, were medical missionaries to Ethiopia. She graduated from Wheaton College with a degree in elementary education and where she met her husband Richard G. Gieser. In 1976 Mrs. Gieser received her Masters of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Gieser taught art survey classes and metal welding at Wheaton between 1976-79. An artist of various media, she found her calling in the creation of art used to augment worship in churches. Mrs. Gieser produced banners, pulpit cloths and vestments of dramatic beauty. She typically created three-dimensional pieces, combining painting with sculptured fabric. Churches throughout the Chicago region and numerous churches around the world use her work. These include Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, Moody Church, Edman Chapel of Wheaton College, and in church sanctuaries in several states. International locations include Coventry Cathedral of England, St. George Church of Bagdad, Iraq, and Khartoum Evangelical Church of Sudan. While accompanying her ophthalmologist husband on frequent medical mission trips, Mrs. Gieser found ways to brighten hospital wards by painting colorful murals in Schell Eye Hospital of Vellore, India, Dutch Hospital of El Alto, Boliva, and Eye Hospital of Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Summing up her life’s work, Dr. Kent Hughes, Senior Pastor Emeritus of College Church in Wheaton, said, “Marge’s creations, and their astonishing combination of color, proportion and purpose, flowed from her merry, selfless heart--which was so much in love with Christ and his church.” She and her husband lived in Wheaton, Illinois for 45 years. She died at age 73 on August 12, 2011 after a year-long struggle with a malignant brain tumor.