Marsha Corlett Sarakaitis passed away peacefully on February 11, 2022, surrounded by her loving family and wonderful caregiver Linda, at Rose Senior Living at age 82. She was the devoted wife of US Army Colonel (Ret.) Joseph Sarakaitis for 60 years, beloved daughter to the late Allen N. Corlett, Sr. and Dorothy (Wilhelmy) Corlett. Cherished sister of Mary Anne Rotatori (Robert) and Sr. Jennifer Corlett, O.S.U. and the late Allen (Chip) Corlett, Jr. She is the cherished and loving mother of Deborah Straniero (the late John), Joseph Sarakaitis (Molly), Catherine Kingsbury (Bryan) and Christopher Sarakaitis (Erica). Fabulous grandmother of Kelly, Jennifer, Jack, Joe, Anna, Alex (Lexi), Emily, Benjamin, Juliet and Vivian. Treasured aunt of Dr. Scott Rotatori (Nancy), Douglas Rotatori (Melissa), Kathleen Eisenbrown, Dorothy Hecht (the late Curt), and Margaret Smith.
Marsha was born on November 21, 1939 in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Marsha brightened every room from her earliest days. She graduated from Beaumont School for Girls in Cleveland Heights, Ohio in 1957 and advanced to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. There she majored in Elementary Education, joined the Delta Gamma sorority, and was introduced to the love of her life, Joe Sarakaitis. The couple thrived in Greek life, established life-long friendships and Marsha received many a serenade of "Sweetheart of Sigma Nu" from Joe, a Sigma Nu Classic.
Married in 1962, at Fort Gordon, Georgia, the couple set off on what would become a wonderful adventure building a family and making friends against the backdrop of many U.S. military bases. Moving every few years, favorites included Fort Bragg, Fort Leavenworth and Fort Meade. Marsha was the quintessential Army wife, raising their four children while Joe served two tours in Vietnam. When Joe was in commanding officer positions at Fort Meade, Marsha was involved in many military and civilian community activities. Marsha was also a tireless advocate on behalf of her youngest daughter Cathy (born profoundly deaf) when she enrolled her in a first of its kind preschool at Gallaudet College for the Deaf in Washington, DC. Marsha and Cathy together learned how to communicate via Cued Speech at age 2. Marsha later became very involved at St. Joseph's Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis, MO while Cathy attended school there K-8.
While living at Fort Leavenworth, Marsha discovered her passion for antique collecting. She had a particular fondness for Tiffany lamps, depression glass, Coca-Cola memorabilia, decorative pill boxes and a special carousel horse rescued from an attic. Her home was filled with treasures, each with a magical story behind it. Marsha was an outstanding military wife.
Upon Joe's retirement from the military in 1988, the couple settled down in Marsha's hometown of Shaker Heights to raise their children, spend time with Marsha's mother and her siblings. She and Joe were active members at Shaker Heights Country Club, where Marsha was an avid golfer and a favorite partner of many lady golfers, especially her sister Mary Anne, and a favorite guest of many legendary Christmas parties. They are longtime members of the Church of the Gesu. Marsha was very active in the Beaumont Alumni Association, remaining close over the years with her many friends from the class of 1957.
The couple's passion for traveling extended far beyond their military lives, with frequent trips to Bemus Point, NY; summer family vacations including Emerald Isle, NC, Virginia Beach, VA, Costa Rica and Jamaica; and a multi-week trip to China and later to Italy. A long-time lover of Naples, FL, Marsha and Joe purchased a condo in Coquina Cove in 2002 and have enjoyed long winters with their fellow snowbird friends. Marsha could often be found exploring art shows, the farmers market and poolside, surrounded by magazines and sharing her Costco favorites.
Marsha was best known by friends and family alike for being the life of every party, in the middle of the action with her sister sidekick Mary Anne, and often the last to leave. She was a storyteller, an optimist, a food and wine enthusiast, and a lover of life. She was happiest surrounded by Joe and her family, and will be remembered by those whose lives she touched with her bright light.
The family prefers that those who wish may make contributions in her memory to Beaumont School for Girls, 3301 N. Park Blvd., Cleveland Hts., OH 44118; The Alzheimer's Association, 23215 Commerce Park, #300, Beachwood, OH 44122; Elara Hospice, 5966 Heisley Rd., Suite 200A, Mentor, OH 44060 or to Church of the Gesu, 2470 Miramar Blvd., University Hts., OH 44118 and where a Funeral Mass for family and friends will be held on Saturday, February 19, 2022 at 10:00 AM. MASKS ARE REQUIRED.
The Mass will be live streamed via a link at the bottom of this page. It will be live about 15 minutes prior to the service.
FRIENDS MAY CALL AT BROWN-FORWARD, 17022 CHAGRIN BLVD., SHAKER HTS., OH 44120 ON FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18 FROM 5 TO 7 PM. MASKS ARE REQUIRED. F