Native Arizonians = Rock Club’s ‘Dynamic Duo’

Pictured are Jim and Patty Marquis. Note Jim’s ancient bronze horses and the red wax figures on the cork board behind. (Photo by Doug Williams)

Husband and wife team Jim and Patty Marquis were happy to greet 2023 with renewed commitments to serving in the Sun Lakes Rock, Gem and Silver Club. Both were born in Arizona; Jim in Flagstaff and Patty in Phoenix. They moved to Sun Lakes in 2008 and joined the Rock Club in 2010.

Jim Marquis is the club’s chairperson for Lost Wax, which is one of five major divisions, including Lapidary, Silver, Glass, and Creative Crafts. Jim served proudly as a 101st Airborne Army veteran with nine parachute jumps in school and a 10th in Vietnam. Back home in Page, Ariz., he worked for the Bureau of Reclamation and was promoted to the mechanical supervisor position. Jim says, “I look forward to teaching more classes and encouraging others to join the Rock Club and discover their ‘inner artist.’”

Patty Marquis is the club’s chairperson for raffles, which are held at 10 a.m. on the third Monday of the month, October through April, in the general meeting at Cottonwood. Her duties include conducting the drawings, awarding prizes, and announcing the winners. The raffle drawings include a 50/50 where the club gets 50% and the two lucky winners get 60% and 40% of the remaining half of the money from tickets sold. Other drawings are for handmade artistic projects donated by the club members. Patty received her B.A. in education from Northern Arizona University and loved teaching kindergarten for 30 years before retiring.

Did you know the Tucson Gem Show is this month? It will be the 68th annual show, which is actually comprised of 48 individual shows all around Tucson at multiple venues. It all started back in 1955, and today it is simply the largest, oldest, and most prestigious gem and mineral show in the entire world. Yes, the granddaddy of them all is only 90 miles down the I-10 from Sun Lakes to Tucson, which takes about one hour and 20 minutes. You won’t want to miss this extraordinary event.

The world-renowned Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase is like a time portal, a trip around the world, and a treasure hunt all rolled into one. Every winter, over 65,000 guests from around the globe descend upon Tucson, Ariz., to buy, sell, trade, and bear witness to rare and enchanting gems, minerals, and fossils at over 48 separate gem show locations across the city. While the other 47 shows are already open, the original show is held for only four days at the Tucson Convention Center on Feb. 9-12 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The legendary Tucson Gem Show is the largest rock show in the world, hosting an incredible celebration of all things gem, mineral, fossil, and jewelry related. But don’t tell your grandchildren that you’re going to a “Rock Show,” because they’ll ask you, “Which bands are playing?” and then you’ll have to explain, “No, see, this is a gem and mineral show, no rock bands.”