Marcia Cossey Littlestar

Born in Waco, Texas, May 29, 1956, and died in Austin, Texas, January 24, 2007, after a long illness. She is survived by her parents, Clarence and Ilene Cossey, her son, David Littlestar, her brother Kirby Cossey and his wife, Ruth Ann, her nephew Earl Cossey, and grandmother, Maxine Kirby of Pasadena, Texas, along with other relatives and friends. Marcia received her BS in environmental science from SWTSU in San Marcos, Texas, in 1981. During her college years, Marcia was an avid caver in Canada, Mexico, and the USA, helping to map sections of Inner Space Caverns. While in college, she worked at McKinney Falls State Park, Pedernales Falls State Park, and drove a tour bus at the LBJ National Historical Park. After college, Marcia was a National Park Ranger in Wisdom, Montana. Marcia also enjoyed finding American Indian relics and unusual rocks. She enjoyed sharing her caving experiences and rock information with school groups and children. Marcia was a member of Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas. Our heartfelt thanks and gratitude go to our dear friend Zelda Marie Crayton for 11 years of care during Marcia's illnesses, and to Odyssey Hospice of Austin, and the Govalle Care Center. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hillcrest Baptist Church, 3838 Steck, Austin, Texas, 78759, or the CFIDS Association of America, P O Box 220389, Charlotte, NC, 28222-0398 The family will receive friends at Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Funeral Home Chapel on Saturday, January 27, 2007 from 12:00 Noon untill 1:00 p.m. The funeral service will start at 1:00 p.m. with interment following in the Cook-Walden/Memorial Hill Cemetery. Please join us in honoring Marcia by visiting her memorial at www.MwM.com, Through this site we invite you to share your fond thoughts and memories with our family.

Published in the Austin American-Statesman on 1/26/2007.



From: Andy Grubbs, February 2007

As a high schooler in Austin, Marcia Cossey went caving in some of the caves in the area where she grew up. That included after school trips to the legendary Dead Dog cave. Marcia started caving with the SWT grotto in the fall of 1975. She was active in lots of Texas caving that the group was doing at the time. Some local Hays county caving around San Marcos and some exploration and mapping in west Texas. Marcia also went on trips to Kendall county mud holes helping with cave salamander work we were doing at that time for Sam Sweet. She also helped in the mapping of "The Great Mud Cave" in Williamson county. Marcia was very active in the grotto and was (I believe) the first woman president of the SWT Grotto. She helped train new people in the caves near San Marcos and helped teach rappelling, sometimes at the cliffs on Barton Creek, and sometimes out the windows of a two story house where some of the cavers lived. She was a geography major at SWT and graduated in 1981. She lived at the legendary Windemere Ranch near San Marcos and was a frequent visitor at the Kirkwood cavers neighborhood in Austin.

Marcia went caving in Mexico a lot. She helped map caves in Acatlan, Oaxaca in 1975, Zoquitlan, Puebla in 1978, and the PEP area back when we just called it Brinco.

Marcia was good friends with Austin and San Antonio cavers, knew Chuck Stuehm and was a key person in building bridges between the Austin and San Antonio groups back in the mid-70s. Her house in San Marcos was always a hub of caver activity with slide shows, dinners, parties, and caving trip gatherings.

I don't know why, but last week as I was walking around San Marcos to do some errands and I thought of an incident with Marcia that happened on a trip at Christmas 1975. When our leads near Valles had crapped out, sort of on the spur of the moment we decided to go down to Acatlan, Oaxaca and "meet the bus down there."  We discovered the Cueva de Juan Sanchez, a huge river cave, and spent 3 days mapping it with Terry Sayther, Tom Byrd and some others. On the second day of mapping we had reached a large breakdown room where we ended for the day. It was late and we turned around and headed out back to camp, to dry clothes, cold beer and hot food. The other guys were moving rapidly along and Marcia was lagging a bit. As the gap between kept getting bigger I stayed behind further so I could still see her light, make sure she was OK, and coming along. It was apparent she was not going to be able to catch up and her light was looking very dim. I very clearly remember standing on the muddy rocks and watching the lights of the others disappear off into the darkness and deciding to wait for her. I went back a bit and found her very upset and in tears. Her carbide had gone out and her flashlight was not working very well. She calmed down and we got her carbide changed and re lit. A short time later she was her usual cheerful self. We exited the cave at our own pace and with no further problems. Marcia was a trooper. She was a great person to have on a survey team, lots of patience, and full of good humor.

AGG