A Huntsville Baha’i Celebrates Her 100th Birthday

Friends, family and Baha’is from across North Alabama joined in the celebration.

A beloved remarkable member of the Huntsville Baha’i Community, Marjorie Stee Waddell, celebrated her 100th birthday today, Saturday, August 3rd!

Born in the Peruvian Andes as the second of six children, Marjorie Stee spent her childhood traveling throughout the Americas due to her father’s profession as a manager of copper mines in North, Central, and South America. After spending most of her teens in northern Quebec, she later earned a PhD at Cornell University

Marjorie declared her belief in Bahá’u’lláh as a young woman, after being taught about the Bahai Faith by Hand of the Cause John Robarts in Toronto. Her love for the Faith and her eagerness to teach others about Bahá’u’lláh took her on a wide range of travels, including pioneering in1954 to El Salvador. At another time, Marjorie also served on the first National Spiritual Assembly of Columbia.  

In 1956 she traveled on pilgrimage to Haifa, Israel, where she experienced a highlight of her life: meeting the beloved Guardian Shoghi Effendi and his wife, Hand of the Cause Ruhiyyih Khanum. Due to her pioneering status, she was granted the honor of sitting next to the beloved Guardian at dinner on the first night there. She had the bounty of having lunch with the Guardian and Ruhiyyih most days during her visit.   With sparkling eyes and awed tones, she never tired of sharing the story of when she dined with them. 

Marjorie and co-host Regina Colston (left) make a presentation at a Baha’i-sponsored international event in 1984.

Shortly after she and her family moved to Huntsville in 1967, she taught at Alabama A&M University from 1968 to 1989. Mr. Robarts was a special guest for Marjorie and the Baha’i Community when he visited Huntsville and spoke at a Baha’i youth conference at Alabama A&M in the 1980’s.

Marjorie’s heritage was reflected in her love for diversity in all things international.

Active in the Bahá’í community, she also served on the Huntsville Local Spiritual Assembly for over 30 years, including during the years of a teaching focus in Triana. Her enthusiasm and love of teaching the Faith was always reflected in her sweet smile and friendliness to all who crossed her path.

One thought on “A Huntsville Baha’i Celebrates Her 100th Birthday

  1. Happy Birthday, Margie! I’m now serving at the Baha’i World Center working in the very building where you dined with the Beloved Guardian and Ruhiyyih Khanum. Today we had a tour of our workplace with one of the historians and your stories to me as a youth (over our Saturday afternoon coffee with plenty of honey and cream) about your time here came flooding back! Thank you for sharing with me. – – Loving Regards, Randall “Randy” Robinson

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