By Traci Chapman
Those who knew Marci Widmann described her as a ball of energy, a woman with a boundlessly loving heart who never gave less than 100 percent to everything she tried. Her husband Roy knew that up close, but so too did her second family, those who served with her in Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps – a family that last week sought to honor a woman who had given them all so much.
Marci Widmann was all that and more, those who knew her said, until a reoccurrence of cancer took the 64-year-old wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend last October. As her loss left a void with her family, so too did it with OKMRC, where she had long volunteered in many capacities, always coming at the shortest notice to help others, OKMRC state coordinator Lezlie Carter said.
“In our discussions, we always came back to how Marci was so sweet, kind and willing to fill multiple roles for the OKMRC, as she was needed,” Carter said. “This is the beautiful spirit we cherish and remember as one of the very best volunteers.”
Roy Widmann knows well that volunteer spirit – it was something he loved best about his wife and something he shared, as Mustang Fire Department’s deputy chief, a department he has served for 32 years. When Carter contacted him about their plan to honor Marci, he said he was overwhelmed.
“Marci was such a proud member of the organization (OKMRC) – dedicated, enjoyed the comradery,” Widmann said. “I’m proud that Marci had such an influence that others have thought of a way to honor her memory, proud beyond belief.”
That honor was the Marci Widman Spirit of the OKMRC Award, given during an Aug. 4 OKMRC volunteer workshop – awarded first to Loren Stein, who has served as education and volunteer nurse coordinator, instructor and more for the organization, someone who was much like Marci in her call to serve, officials said.
“She (Stein) actually was the one who had the idea to name an award in honor of Marci,” Carter said.
OKMRC is comprised of 33 units encompassing about 3,500 members across Oklahoma. Units are staffed with volunteers who handle emergency situations – everything from pandemics and immunizations to terrorism, tornadoes and other natural disasters and more. When needed, units are deployed by Oklahoma Health Department or U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which oversee the organization.
About 250 people are part of Canadian County’s OKMRC unit, which always can use more volunteers, officials said. That was something Marci Widmann worked tirelessly on, in fact taking part in a few of Mustang’s July 4th celebrations to man an OKMRC table, hoping to interest individuals to take part in the organization’s efforts, she said.
“It’s a great experience and a wonderful chance to do something for your community and for your state,” Marci Widmann said during one of those events. “It really is an exceptional organization.”
More information about the Marci Widmann Spirit of the OKMRC Award and the organization in general is available online at www.okmrc.org.