Marietta Towry




Marietta Towry

1930 – 2021

The fencing community has lost a great fencing coach and pioneer. Marietta Windsor Towry passed away two days before Christmas. She was one of the earliest women to referee and to coach. She started fencing in the living room of her Brownsville, Texas home when she was eleven. Her father, Colonel Tinnin Windsor, was a fencing instructor and it was only natural that she took up the sport. She was the only kid fencing back in those days and one of the very few women. In Marietta’s eight decades of fencing she and her husband, Bill Towry, built strong successful fencing programs in Dallas (Dallas Fencers Club) and El Paso, Texas (Texas Excalibur.) She taught and coached at the University of Texas at El Paso for 30 years, retiring at the age of 83. She coached many champion fencers. Marietta was one of the first U.S. women to gain an international referee license. In the late 1990’s, she became one of the first women to earn her Prevot D’Arms certification. It is even more impressive that Marietta gained the Prevot D’Arms certification because she lived through a time when women could not fence epee or saber but, at that time coaches had to pass the exam in all three weapons! Through her resiliency, her great sense of humor and the unwavering support of her husband, Marietta was able to break through barriers and open the doors of opportunity for other women interested in fencing coaching or refereeing. She was 91 years old and her presence in the fencing world will be greatly missed.

Click here to see an interview with Marietta part 1 and Marietta part 2

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