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I see Marjorie Williams smiling. She's laughing, she's heard some delicious gossip. She's smart and poised and -- it's an unfashionable word, but applies -- sophisticated. She's also gorgeous, and literally attractive, in the sense that, without treally trying to, she becomes the gravitational center of a party.

And then in the newsroom, when we're working together on a tight deadline, co-bylining some breaking Zeitgeist piece, she's obviously the captain of the enterprise, in charge yet perfectly collegial, and when she sits at the keyboard she manages to weave all the facts and quotes and ideas and larger themes into a narrative so seamless you might make the mistake of thinking that writing is easy.

She died this weekend, and you might get a sense of how much she was respected and adored by reading the great tributes by David Von Drehle and Marc Fisher. Her battle against cancer lasted as long as a world war, but she never lost her humor or grace, nor did Tim Noah, her husband. Marjorie's final piece in the Post (which I'll try to link to) was a classic, the writing so controlled, the message so heartbreaking. We wrap Tim and his kids and all of Marjorie's family in our love. We say to Will and Alice: Your Mom was a beautiful lady. We'll always see her smiling.

By Joel Achenbach  |  January 18, 2005; 11:16 AM ET
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