Cathy Marchel

A year and a few months after her passing, the late Cleburne Chamber of Commerce is being remembered — this time by a building being named after her.

Cleburne council members, during their Tuesday meeting, unanimously approved a resolution naming the city-owned building at 1511 W. Henderson St. the Cathy Marchel Building.

The building houses the Cleburne Chamber of Commerce and the Cleburne Economic Development Foundation offices.

Marchel, who passed away Jan. 15, 2020, at the age of 57 following a long battle with cancer, served as president of the chamber from 2005 until her death.

Council members first voiced approval for the idea in January 2020 but the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic shortly thereafter delayed those plans.

“With the recent slowdown in the number of COVID-19 cases and the ability to now gather publicly in greater numbers and in a safe manner this idea was restarted,” Cleburne City Manager Steve Polasek said during Tuesday’s meeting. 

Polasek displayed mock up slides showing where Marchel’s name will be placed on the building. Plans call also for a plaque inside the building containing information about Marchel’s life. 

“We’ll work with staff on the plaque,” Mayor Scott Cain said. “We all had the benefit of working with her directly but we want to make sure that future generations will know a little bit about who Cathy was.”

The plan, Polasek said, is to have the name on the building and plaque inside within 60 days or so and to hold an official unveiling.

“We want this to be a celebratory event to celebrate the life of Cathy and all the great things she’s done for our community,” Cain said. “It took a lot of energy to keep up with Cathy Marchel. 

“When you think of the spirit of Cleburne, Cathy embodied that better than anybody I’ve ever known through her love of community and positive attitude.”

Councilman John Warren called the decision to name the building in Marchel’s honor well deserved.

“Cathy had a beautiful personality,” Warren said. “She recognized humanity and saw individuals as who they are rather than as what some would think they are. She had a beautiful personality and was a beautiful person.”

Marchel played a big role in the designing of the city’s current chamber building, Cain said last year.

“She wanted to have economic development and the chamber working together,” Cain said. “I daresay that over the last 15 years there’s not a lot that happened in Cleburne that Cathy Marchel wasn’t a cheerleader of.”

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