AQS lost  a good friend today.

Let me rephrase that.

I lost a good friend today.

Marge Boyle, director of sales and marketing, passed away suddenly the evening of October 26, 2010. We found out about it first thing today (well, yesterday; it’s after midnight on the 28th now).

No one saw this coming. Marge had not been ill.

Such a shock.

Such a strange day at work.

It was my privilege to write a Memorial Page about her, which will appear in the January issue of American Quilter and on a banner slide of our web site home page ( You can read our official statement of loss there.

I’d like to be more personal here, if I may.

Marge and I shared the responsibility of posting, but she rarely had time, so most of what you’ve read here  has come from me. She did enjoy posting after her biannual trips to Market, though.

She’ll miss this one. She would have arrived in Houston about 12 hours from now.

As at any work place, you develop friendships. At AQS, Marge was one of my closest friends. Don’t get me wrong; the staff at AQS gets along so well, it’s sometimes scary. We’re ALL friends. But you know how it is; some are closer than others. This is what I mean about Marge.

She and her husband, Jim, were one of two couples my husband, Dennis, and I socialized with. We shared a lot in common: no kids; dogs we adored; humor; a taste for good wine and good food, especially home-cooked “gourmet.”

Marge was sometimes my roommate when we were on the road.

I took care of her the time she was so sick in Des Moines.

She was my peer. We were compatible. We got along.

In any company, this is wonderful. In a small company, this is special.

We worked so well together, each contributing our strengths. A good team.

I especially loved when we polished marketing copy together. I wrote and edited the draft. She’d read it and then we’d sit at my computer, brainstorming and saying different words until we made it perfect. I loved how we both “knew” without saying that we’d hit on the right phrase.

For a wordsmith, there are few finer moments.

Marge enjoyed those moments, too.

Good times.

She shared her knowledge unselfishly. This was never more appreciated than the first few months I worked at AQS. She’d only been there a year longer, but she truly was a pathfinder for me, explaining and describing things small and large. How to change the phone and computer out-of-office messages; where the extra toilet paper hides; how she saw the quilt industry.

I know, I know. Marge had a lot of friends. She had a long history in retail and then years in quilting, and she was well-liked at work, so I’m hardly alone in her loss.

If you’d like to post a message about Marge, you may do that here or on our Facebook page.

But she won’t be there every day to share our latest dog (mis)adventures, or to just talk about the weather, or to conjure up magic prose about the best quilt books in America.

Oh, dear.

I’ll miss her.

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I had the privilege of working closely with Marge for several years. She had a sweet disposition, but was a true professional, always busy, and good at what she did. In a world of deadlines, she was great at staying on schedule, and helped me stay on task with the many ads and catalogs we worked on together. She had a sense of humor, loved to talk sci-fi, and was always available if you needed to bend an ear. We lost a good friend in Marge Boyle this week; she will truly be missed.

Michael Buckingham

Susan Purney Mark

Dear friends at AQS,
I worked with Marge on book proposals and mansucsripts and met up with her and other friends at AQS at market. Marge always took time to chat, share ideas and thoughts and was a truly special person.
She will be missed by many.

Judy Laquidara

I'll never forget how sweet she was to me at market in Houston when my first book came out. I was so scared and she was so calming and re-assuring. Not sure I would have made it through that presentation without Marge's encouragement. Ande, you wrote a wonderful tribute and I feel like I knew her better from reading your post.