Dague named grand marshal of Old Fashion Days parade

MARION — The grand parade is a highlight of Marion Old Fashion Days, a popular village-wide celebration held annually in August. This year’s theme is “A Stitch in Time.”

The event sponsors, the Marion Chamber of Commerce, have announced the parade grand marshal.

The honor goes to longtime Marion resident, Faye Dague, owner of Dague’s Upholstery Shop.

She is Marion’s grand lady of stitchery, and given the theme of this year’s festivities, is a particularly appropriate choice.

Dague’s family moved to Marion when she was a child. She attended Marion schools, and married high school sweetheart Dick Dague in 1953. Regrettably, she was widowed in 1988. She has four children, 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

It was Dick who first started doing upholstery for family furniture in the corner of the living room. The business expanded over time and eventually moved to the present location on Main Street in Marion.

“Dick and I were a fortunate couple,” Faye said. “We found a way to earn a living and stay in Marion, the town we loved.”

Faye became actively involved in the business with her husband and has many memories of fun and interesting times over the years.

Faye carries on the upholstery business and continues to serve her customers who come from Marion, Cadillac and as far away as Grand Rapids, Detroit and Chicago. “I handle all the furniture myself,” she said, “and I have the black and blue marks to prove it.”

Some upholstery projects also involve woodworking, which she enjoys. “I love the smell of sawdust,” she said, “and I like restyling a couch or replacing wooden parts of furniture.”

Outside of work, Faye has many interests.

She has an intriguing collection of vintage hats and purses. Many of them are charming examples of hats and purses designed in unexpected shapes. Several are on display in the upholstery shop. “The most unusual one,” she said, “is a straw umbrella purse.” “And I have a purse shaped like a watering can.”

Church is an important part of her life also; she has attended the Marion United Methodist Church since childhood. For a number of years she sang in the choir and later served on the board of trustees

Maintaining friendships is a priority for Faye. She still meets regularly with a group of friends from high school who get together weekly for luncheon.

Members of the community shared their reactions to Faye’s selection as grand marshal.

“I’m very happy she was considered as grand marshal,” said Marion village president Jack Nehmer, “because she in an example of a longtime resident and someone who has been in business here for many years. She is a person that people around here can look up to. She had the fortitude to start, build and maintain a business right here in our town.”

“I think it’s fantastic that Faye was chosen,” said Anndrea McCrimmon, president of the Marion Chamber of Commerce. “She’s lived in this community for many years and has many friends here.”

“It’s a real honor to be named grand marshal,” Faye said. “and the Old Fashion Days motto this year, ‘A Stitch in Time,’ fits right in with what I do. “I calculated once that I made a football field of stitches working on just one sectional sofa with a lot of detail work.”

Faye has no thoughts of retirement at present and plans to keep on stitching. “I want to do my job as long as I can and as long as I enjoy it,” she said.

Marion Old Fashion Days take place Aug. 4 through 7. The parade featuring Faye as grand marshal is Aug. 6 at 3:30 p.m. on Main Street in Marion. A brochure with a full schedule of Old Fashion Days events is available at most Marion businesses.