In Memoriam: Marjory Chamberlin

Marjory Chamberlin

State/Church Plaintiff



Photo by Dan Barker

Foundation member Marjory Chamberlin, 89, died on June 25, 2006, at a hospice care center in Madison, Wis., following a stroke. Born in Westfield, Wis., she graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1937 with a B.A. in music. In 1939, she married Harlow Chamberlin, and they started the Chamberlin School of Music and Dance in Madison. In 1949, they moved to Florida with their two children, Richard and Bette, where they had a third child, Sandra. Marjory taught voice and piano lessons from her home in Miami.

In 1959, the couple, with help from the ACLU, filed suit to stop the practice of bible reading and prayers in public schools. In 1964, the courts ruled in their favor in the landmark case, Chamberlin v. Dade County Board of Education.

She and her husband Harlow, who died in 1972, later developed a mobile home subdivision. Marjory returned to Wisconsin in 1999. She taught her last piano lesson in May.

Marjory is survived by her daughters and three granddaughters, as well as her son, Richard, a Foundation member.

Her obituary chronicled the state/church lawsuit and mentioned her membership in the Freedom From Religion Foundation. 

Freedom From Religion Foundation