When Marcel came to Facebook

MarcelOne day last summer, one of my Facebook and online only friends, Tammy, asked if  her friends would “friend” her neighbor who was trying out Facebook. He was 94 at the time. I did and that’s how Marcel Murrell entered my life.

What I didn’t know is how much he would change my life.

On his page, it said this: “I’m old, but happy to be alive. Living life and loving it.” And he was. On Wednesday, our Facebook community was told that it was likely his last day on earth. It was.

But he died with his friend, Tammy, who throughout the time she knew him made sure that he had all he needed. At the end, she was with him, with hospice care. And close to the end, Marcel was still talking on Facebook, still telling all of us how much he loved us.

I can’t tell you how many tears I have cried since he died. Marcel, compared to family members that have died, was articulate, interesting, and funny up until through his last day. My family has battled with Alzheimer’s and dementia and so the person has been gone long before the actual death.

Marcel’s age never interfered with his communication skills. He was known for telling us a little more about Tammy than she would like. But at the same time, he was there to counsel, encourage, and make us laugh.

Shortly after I met him, I mentioned I was looking for a camera. He told me the brand he recommended and followed up frequently asking if I had bought it yet — until I finally did. Marcel loved photography. Between him and Tammy, whose photos are amazing, I learned much about seeing through the eyes of a camera. And I learned much about seeing life through the eyes of Marcel.

Later Marcel experimented with Twitter and his tweets made me and so many others laugh:

RT @MarcelMurrell: Every new wrinkle improves my chances of beating a speeding ticket.

RT @MarcelMurrell: If you’re making a sign to be held up at a sporting event, it doesn’t hurt to use a dictionary.

RT @MarcelMurrell: Do cobwebs exist if you can no longer see them?

Marcel came to the US from France to work for NASA. He worked directly with Werhner Von Brahn, one of the most important rocket developers and champions of space exploration during the period between the 1930s and the 1970s. Marcel’ fascination with space continued throughout his life.

Marcel was known for his 1:30am time for Cheerios. When I saw that Cheerios had a Facebook fan page, I quick told him that he should become a fan because no one was a bigger fan of Cheerios than Marcel. In true Marcel fashion, he said, “Thank you, I’m heading over there right now.”

I can’t tell you how many times when I was feeling burdened, Marcel jumped in there to cheer me up or tell me it was time to take a nap, take a walk, or just relax. I encouraged a number of my friends to friend him too and those that did were just as impacted by him as I was.

I learned that he was in hospice care from my friend, Dawn Bugni, another career professional / resume writer who had friended Marcel on both Facebook and Twitter. She sent me an e-mail to make sure I was aware and we talked back and forth privately as the day went on. One of Tammy’s friends let the rest of us know on Facebook  “Sleep well Marcel Murrell 8:02 PM November 11, 2009″

I will be forever grateful for the day that Marcel wandered into my Facebook world and into my life. He changed it and I will miss him.


  1. Dawn Bugni on November 15, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Julie –

    Tears stream as I read this. I posted on Marcel’s Facebook page as the end drew nearer, “You take my love and respect with you. You impacted my life and left footprints on my heart. I wish you peace.”

    For those that can access his Facebook page, a visit there defines love. The emotion, the respect, the admiration exuding from that page is palpable. He was witty until the end and passed peacefully. He’s my model for how to age gracefully. I’ll never stop learning and trying new things. And while I do, I’ll carry a smile because a 95-year-old man, I never met in person, inspired me so.

    For those that think Twitter and Facebook are a waste of time, think again. I wouldn’t trade my virtual relationship with Marcel for anything. Without social media, I’d never have know him. I’d never have been so blessed.

    Thank you for posting this Julie. I know Marcel is smiling and thinking of a snappy come back for both of us, as we speak.

    Huge hug and God bless you my friend. You introduced me to Marcel. I’ll never be able to thank you enough for that.

  2. Julie on November 15, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Marcel continued to be a blessing to me from the day I met him. To have that level of impact that makes me cry every time I visit his page or even think of him. The story of him and Tammy was so amazing. To care for someone in the way she did, goes way beyond being nice to an elderly neighbor. Tears are streaming again… We should wish to be blessed that much ever again in life.

  3. Lisis on November 16, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    This was beautiful. I wanted to write something like this on my blog, but I couldn’t even find the words. So, instead, I put the famous Marcel picture up, with one tiny quote from him. I just wanted to keep a little bit of him there with me as a reminder of how simple it is to make someone else’s life a little better. He did that for so many of us.

    Thank you for this beautiful tribute to Marcel. 🙂

  4. Cricket/TammyWarren on November 21, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    I’ve been so slow at getting around to reading this beautiful post. My heart could handle only so many in a week.

    He loved you Julie…and still does.

  5. Julie on November 21, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Awww, sweet friend, he loved you mostest… and rightfully so. You cared for him, met his needs and made his days full of wonder and full. I just loved him because he was wonderful, caring, and full of life. And how come I have to keep reaching for the Kleenexes… thank you for sharing him!

Resume Design and Job Seeking Tips

Here are Design Resumes' latest articles on job search, resume design, resume writing, and Linkedin optimization articles I've written.

FREE Resume and Job Search Tips by email

Get free tips and strategy direct to your inbox. just add your name and email below. I respect your privacy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

Here are ways I can help you land your dream job.

You may be halfway across the country or the world. When you work with me, we share coffee, laughs, and concerns. This turns the scary job search into creative, consultative writing and learning sessions.