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West Winfield Pioneer Topic of GWHS Talk

Monday afternoon March 14 the Greater Winfield Historical Society held a remembrance ceremony for Marcia ‘Marca’ Bristo, commemorating her lifelong legacy of living life to the fullest.

The celebration began with Gail Bristo talking about her time with sister Marca and their family. Gail grew to know Marca the best as the middle child to Marca's youngest and their older brother Paul.

Gail described childhood with her sister as a usual growing up experience before the family moved to West Winfield.

Greater Winfield Historical Society Co-President Gene Doremus then took some time sharing clippings, stories, and photos collected about and of Marca displaying her deft of spirit, overwhelming compassion, and an unceasable moral code.

The first notable example given was of a group of students, of which Marca was a part, writing a letter to the editor defending a friend of theirs from public backlash from an older-standing member of the community.

The letter's content was humorous, heartfelt, and tongue-in-cheek enough to still be a memory worth talking about today.

Another time, Marca and friends chained themselves to trees on Route 20 to keep them from being cut down. A picture of Marca protesting the tree cutting accompanies a story in the West Winfield Star.

Things changed for Marca after a diving accident at Lake Michigan in 1977 when she was 23. She fractured her neck in shallow water and was wheelchair-supported for the rest of her life.

Gail described Marca's early difficulty adjusting to life as a quadriplegic and her new dependence on others in life.

Following her accident, she attended rehab in Chicago until…


The full story is in this week's edition of the newspaper. 

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