Date: August 23, 2009
About: Carmencita Marshaus - Class of 1960
Working Women with Carmencita Marshaus
For the past 12 years Carmencita Marshaus has had a front-row seat in observing the operations of the Oakley-Lindsay Center.
As administrative assistant, she's the first contact many people have with Quincy's civic center, which opened in 1995.
Not only does Marshaus answer phones and respond to e-mails, but she also greets tourists who show up at the cavernous convention hall looking for information about Quincy and its attractions or history.
She has many other duties as well. She handles bookkeeping, attends Quincy Civic Center Authority meetings, helps promote OLC events and the Quincy Gems baseball team, and assists with problem-solving as unexpected issues pop up.
Marshaus even gets involved in decorating the OLC during the Christmas season. One of the center's primary holiday attractions is "Quincyville," a lighted miniature village that Marshaus created about 15 years ago. She's been adding to it ever since. The village now fills about 100 feet of table space and features more than 100 houses, with hundreds of other support pieces, many of them animated.
Quincyville has been appearing at the OLC each Christmas season for the past six years.
"It started with trying to decorate on a shoestring," Marshaus said. "It wasn't gigantic then. It fit on the landing. Then it started getting bigger and bigger."
As the years went on, Marshaus' family and friends contributed more houses and support pieces to the now-monstrous-sized village.
Marshaus looks forward to erecting the Quincyville display each Christmas season.
"It's really rewarding," she said. "At Christmas, especially the seniors -- more than anybody -- will spend so much time down there with it."
Marshaus also gets a charge out of working on genealogy and writing articles of a historical nature.
"I love to write," said Marshaus, who helped put together a brochure about Quincy's Calftown neighborhood and has done work on various folklore brochures.
Marshaus also played an instrumental role in getting a monument erected along the city's riverfront recognizing the historic river crossing by Mormons who fled into Quincy in the mid-1800s to escape persecution in Missouri.
Marshaus also is active in the community as a volunteer. She serves on the city's Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
In the past she's been involved in the Golden Games, the senior citizens queen contest and the Relay for Life.
Marshaus, a Quincy native, said her unusual first name originated from her father, who first heard the name while visiting in New Orleans, where he met his future wife.
"He heard the name, and he liked it," Marshaus said. "So he decided their first girl was going to get that name, and I got it. A lot of people don't like their names. I love mine."
What is a typical day for you?
I arrive at work early to start the day before the telephones start ringing. I fill the day, along with telephone work, helping tourists with their questions, bookkeeping, attending board meetings, problem solving. No two days are the same. I "expect the unexpected."
What do you like most and least about your job?
MOST: The diversity of the task and the opportunity to use creative ideas. The center also provides me the venue to display my Christmas miniature village "Quincyville" each holiday season.
LEAST: Gems rain outs! There is a lot to do and a short time to do it. There is also the letdown of feeling like you got dressed up with nowhere to go.
What is the best job-related advice you've ever received?
My great-grandmother gave me two work codes of conduct: 1) If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing right; and 2) Hard work never killed anyone.
What do you like to do when you're not working?
Read, write articles, genealogy research, but most of all spoil the grandkids and great-grandkids. It's an awesome job. Someone has to do it, and I am really good at it.
What do you like most about Quincy?
Quincy's rich history and its compassionate and kind people. Quincy is a "Norman Rockwell" setting. It is a city with a big heart in the middle of the American Heartland.
What do you think is the city's greatest need?
Quincy is experiencing what most of us are at this time, making hard budget and finance decisions. The city's decisions are difficult and will, in many cases, have a long-term impact.
NAME: Carmencita Marshaus
PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT: Oakley-Lindsay Center in Quincy
JOB TITLE: Administrative Assistant
EDUCATION: Quincy High School and the "school of hard knocks"
FAMILY: Three children, seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren