Lucille Marquiss | Citizens Against Government Waste

Lucille Marquiss

A Dedicated CAGW Chairman's Circle Member


CAGW’s Chairman’s Circle is a group of concerned citizens, like Lucille Marquiss of Hagerstown, Maryland, who have made a special commitment to helping CAGW fight runaway deficit spending and bloated, big government.  Through pledges of monthly support, Lucille and other members of the Chairman’s Circle maximize CAGW’s effectiveness by minimizing fundraising costs.  Lucille chose to support CAGW through the Chairman’s Circle because she understands that her regular, consistent gifts provide a predictable income source upon which CAGW can depend, month after month, allowing the organization to launch some of its most far-reaching investigations into the worst examples of government waste. 

Born the eldest of six children in Appalachia in 1930, just as the Great Depression was tightening its grip on the nation, Lucille remembers her mother wearing a Mennonite cap and her father Earl lighting corncobs with kerosene to fuel the kitchen stove.  She recounts how her family lost their farm in Cerro Gordo, Illinois and her father began driving a truck to keep the family fed.  After being saved at a tent revival meeting, Earl joined the ministry and started traveling to Lovington, Illinois, where he served as the pastor of a local church.  Eventually, Lucille’s father decided to move the family to Hagerstown, where some of his relatives resided.  Lucille describes her family loading up their 1937 Pontiac with six children and all the canned goods they could carry to their new life.

The family soon found that making ends meet during the Great Depression was no easier in Maryland’s western panhandle.  At his new congregation, Earl earned just $15.00 a week.  The canned goods Lucille’s mother brought with the family from Illinois kept them from going hungry some weeks when her father’s new parish couldn’t afford to pay him at all.  As a 7-year-old attending the second grade, Lucille recalls how “my daddy folded up newspapers and put them in the bottom of my shoes so my feet didn’t get wet in the sleet and the rain.  I just thought that was the way things were done, and it didn’t bother or worry me in the least.”  She adds that her father’s loving gesture was “worth a thousand pairs of shoes.”      

After graduating from high school in Hagerstown in 1948, Lucille began teaching first and second grade students at the parochial school in Earl’s parish.  She later earned a degree from Shepherd College in West Virginia and became the principal of the school, today known as Truth Christian Academy.

Lucille remembers her students beginning each day with Bible lessons and finishing each year with excellent test scores.  Yet, she admits making children who didn’t do their homework stay after school to complete it.  She attributes the bad behavior some students exhibited in her classroom primarily to a lack of proper guidance from their parents.  From her experience, Lucille asserts that children crave structure and that America’s public schools should instill more discipline.  She worries that America’s children today spend too much time talking on their cell phones, playing video games, and focusing on material possessions, to the detriment of their lessons and other intellectual pursuits. 

Lucille says that she supports CAGW because “government needs to spend tax money only on what’s necessary.”  She contends that runaway deficit spending “takes away our liberties,” and worries that “the current administration is creating a socialist state where we are all obligated to the government.” 

Issues of particular concern to Lucille include what she regards as a tremendous outlay of tax dollars on illegal immigrants.  She also bemoans the fact that our nation’s politicians have repeatedly robbed from the Social Security Trust Fund to paper over the federal deficit; pay for their special-interest, pet projects; and most recently, to finance the seemingly endless stream of federal bailouts.    
Lucille says of fiscal conservatives like herself, “We have so many opponents, so many challenges, and so much at stake.  I truly hope my Chairman’s Circle membership helps CAGW take steps to ensuring our nation’s financial future.  I’m motivated by love of my country, and I pray God enables us to reverse course, 180 degrees.”


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