Marcella Campbell (formerly Armsby), a fixture in the Newton arts community, passed October 6, 2020 after a brief illness.

Marcy, as she was known to her friends, is survived by her children – Elinor Armsby (and wife Nancy Hale), Andrew Armsby, Polly Armsby (and husband Jim Morlando), Gery Armsby (and wife Amanda Armsby), Carrie Armsby (and wife Sarah Neill), and Ned Armsby – four grandchildren: Hannah, Emmett, August, and Harriett, and her sister, Roberta (Campbell) Stevenson of San Antonio, TX. She was preceded in death by her parents Robert and Marcella Campbell of Norwood, OH.

After graduating from Regina High School in Norwood, OH, she attended the University of Cincinnati where she studied theater arts, graduating in 1960. Her first professional acting engagement was with the Maxinkuckee Players in South Bend, IN. She then moved to New York City where she studied with Herbert Berghof at the HB Studio and worked as a costume maker for New York theaters. While in New York, she met Charles Armsby, an engineer and student of Uta Hagen at the HB Studio. Marcy and Charles married in 1964, lived briefly in Lexington, KY and Needham, MA, before settling in Newtonville in 1967 where they raised their six children.

Marcy was a dedicated leader of many children’s, educational, and community groups, including Camp Fire Girls, local school programs, and Camp Ponkawissett. She taught and directed plays with the Boston Children’s Theater, the Shady Hill School, and Newton Community Education. In 1990 she received her master’s degree in Arts Education from Lesley College. She then served as a graduate level instructor with Lesley’s arts in education satellite program at various sites across the country, training teachers to incorporate theater arts into traditional curricula.

After retiring from her role as an educator, she became an active member of Newton Country Players and Arlington Friends of the Drama where she performed in and directed many plays. Her lifelong love of classical music and opera connected her to new friends and fellow admirers of Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel. These passions prompted travels to performances across the US and England, Wales, Italy, Germany, and Austria. Marcy also enjoyed regular visits to her second home on Sanibel Island, FL which held a special place in her heart. She loved the tranquility of the island and was rejuvenated by its natural beauty.

A private service for family members will be held Saturday, October 10 at Andrew J. Magni & Son Funeral Home, Newton followed by burial at Newton Cemetery. A celebration of her life is planned for a future date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mass Audubon ( or Wheelock Family Theater (

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