It is with great sadness that the family of Marie Elizabeth Hightower Cousin-Brindiar, announces her passing on Saturday, February 8, 2020, at the age of 91 years. Marie was born on September 25, 1928- in Macon, Georgia to the late Anne and Major Hightower. She was the second oldest of six children. She married Mr. Jeffie Cousin, together they had four sons, Jeffery, Karl, Darrell and Timothy. Later in life she married Paul Brindiar.
Marie had been a member of Metropolitan Baptist Church for over 60 years. She was formally educated at the Dana School of Music, Youngstown, Ohio, where she received her Master’s degree in Music. She was an accomplished cathedral organist, pianist, vocalist, instructor and conductor... a true Pioneer in Gospel music. Marie worked with the likes of James Cleveland, the Hawkins, Shirley Caesar, the Clark Sister and that list goes on as well! Through her career she was offered many recording contracts but always said “I’ll choose GOD over stardom every time”, and she did! She played on several gospel albums, directed numerous choirs, she even taught music at The Boys and Girls club of Youngstown as well as her Alma mater South High School. Marie has been the Minister of Music in an array of churches, since the age of 5. She was a proud and formative member of churches from Youngstown to L.A., including but not limited to: First Baptist, 2nd Baptist, Third Baptist, Tabernacle Baptist, Metropolitan Baptist, Faith Temple, Friendship Baptist, New Hope, New Bethel Baptist, Calvary Baptist, Calvary Southern Baptist, Frontier Southern Baptist, Desert Harvest and believe us the list goes on... After relocating to Virginia Beach, VA, she worshiped at Bank Street Church, in Norfolk, VA. Marie was a loving and dedicated servant of God. She loved her sons, and enjoyed watching her family grow. She was a devoted wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend, grandmother and teacher.
Marie was preceded in death by her parents and stepfather Robert Fulton, siblings; Major Hightower, Ruth Atkins, Jane A. Ship, and James Hightower. Her son Jeffery Cousin, daughter-in-law Deloris. Her husbands Jeffie L. Cousin and Paul Brindiar.
She leaves behind her surviving siblings, Laura Howell and Joseph Hightower; her three sons, Karl, Darrell, Timothy; daughter-in-laws, Irma and Wendy; 5 grandchildren, Marcus, Kimberlee, Karolyn, Darrell Lee, Evan; 7great-grandchildren, and thousands of musical children with more to come! Her teachings will go on forever.
A musical celebration of Marie's life will be held in both Youngstown, Ohio and Las Vegas,NV during the month May of 2020.
Through her love and teaching of music, Marie has and will continue to enrich and change the lives of many more musicians to come! HER LEGACY WILL LIVE ON! As mom would say... SING!
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