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William B. Marcus

Pause Best of Times by Bruce H. Zimmerman (ASCAP)
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Joyce Funeral Home

245 Main Street
Waltham, MA 02453
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Memories & Candles

“I man I came to know, love and respect over our many years together at Filenes. ”
1 of 4 | Posted by: Leonard Ichton - Stoneham, MA

“Shirley,We send our condolences. I still hear him cheering for the Giants. May you hold the good memories.Ros Moore and Michael St. Clair ”
2 of 4 | Posted by: Roslin Moore - Newton, MA

“David,My deepest sympathy on your family's loss. Keep the good and lasting memories close to you. May God be with you and your family and wrap His...Read More »
3 of 4 | Posted by: Larry Price - North Kingstown, RI

“David,So sorry about your dad, but from the bio he clearly had a great life!Bob Young ”
4 of 4 | Posted by: Bob Young - Friend

Waltham – Mr. William B. Marcus, of Waltham, died on Thursday, March 30, 2017 in Newton-Wellesley Hospital. He was 86.

Bill was born in Brooklyn, New York, on July 9, 1930, a son of the late Samuel and Diana Marcus and in the late '40s and '50s lived on the family farm in Robbinsville, N.J. He credited the hard farm work of his early adulthood with his robust good health that lasted into his 80s.

In July 1951 he married the love of his life, Shirley Alef. The couple made Waltham their home more than 50 years ago.

He spent his career in retail and at the time of his retirement was cosmetics buyer for Boston's iconic Filene's Department Store. Bill enjoyed creating new concepts to make the shopping experience more exciting and invented the concept of gift-with-purchase in cosmetics. Controversial at the time, it became a standard practice in merchandising.

He used to boast that he gave away more product in a year than most department stores sold.

Bill enjoyed cooking and was an inventive and accomplished cook and baker, which he pursued avidly in his retirement. After retiring from Filene's he volunteered at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln and loved playing tennis at Weston Racquet Club. Bill loved animals, reading and his New York Football Giants.

Besides his wife of sixty-five years, Shirley Marcus, he leaves his sons, David J. Marcus and his wife, Janet Rosenzweig, of Yardley, Pa., and Edward N. Marcus and his wife Penny (Ward) Marcus, of Packwood, Wash.; his granddaughter, Abigail Marcus, and many nieces and nephews.

He was also a brother of the late Stephen Marcus, a musician who was at the vanguard of the jazz fusion movement in the late '60s and who recorded on his own and toured and recorded with Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Herbie Mann and Buddy Rich.

Funeral services are private.

Memorial donations may be made to Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey – Scholarship Fund, 103 Church Street, Suite 210, New Brunswick, N.J. 08901, or online at