Marie Pierre Menu Orsinger, a long-time Falls Church resident and the mother of two George Mason High School grads (Josh and Damien) passed away Wednesday, December 12 following a nine month battle with cancer. She was 60-years-old.
Marie was one of those people who walks into a room and immediately changes the dynamic. From the moment she entered, you’d be sure to find thoughtful, intriguing conversation, a bevy of laughs, some colorful stories, and a circle of smiles on the gathering of people drawn to her magnetic and charming personality. At the center of it all was a beaming face that projected friendliness and warmth, compassion and understanding.
A woman of many wonderful attributes, it’s difficult to pick one or two that were the hallmarks of Marie’s character, but perhaps her honesty and integrity stand out above all others and were traits in which she was unsurpassed. She had a deeply human approach to listening to people, dispensing advice, and giving us her honest counsel on matters of life, the heart, and the day to day circumstances we often find ourselves in. Within this vein, she was unabashed in standing up for what was right – fearlessly challenging any perceived injustices and lending her voice and time to progressive causes through her impassioned activism.
Marie Pierre was born in Mont-de-Marsan, near Bordeaux in the south of France. After graduating from the Beauty and Hair Design School, and living in England, she moved to the U.S. and quickly became a sought after hair stylist. Soon thereafter she opened up her own salon in the mid-70s called Sweeney Todd (later re-named Salon Lafayette) in the Courthouse neighborhood of Arlington. She was also a mainstay of the DC and Virginia theatre scene, serving as lead makeup and hair stylist for Kennedy Center plays such as Mikado and Cats.
In her spare time she loved to travel, read, dance at parties, and spend time on the sandy beaches of Lake Barcroft. She was also an avid gardener who loved the earth and all of the beauty and abundance it had to offer.
Marie was a loving mother to her sons Damien and Josh, bestowing upon them lessons and guidance that have served them well in their roles as parents. And as a centerpiece of numerous social circles in and around Falls Church, Marie had a large group of close friends that she made throughout her 40 years in this country, all of whom will miss her dearly.
There are a million heartfelt things that can be said about Marie, but words simply cannot convey the significance of her life to all of us, nor illustrate the void her passing leaves. Instead we need only look into ourselves to see the rich and vibrant impression she left behind.
Marie, you beautiful French gal, we’ll miss the glow of your social spirit, and your human touch, but we know you’ll be with us always.
Marie is survived by: her life partner of over 20 years – Stephen Spitz; sons Damien and Josh; mother Antoinette Menu; sisters Josiane Menu, Christiane Jolly, Claudine Pierson; grandkids Natasha, Marilyn, Kevin, Tyler; nieces Sabrina, Aimee, Marlena; nephew Jonathan, and nieces, nephews and many other relatives in France.
There will be a celebration of life party for Marie at the Mason District Government Center (6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale) – January 26, 2013 at 1 p.m.