About Marketa

Marketa Erin McCabe was born on April 17, 2001. Marketa was a naturalist, scientist, and humanitarian.

A young Marketa on horseback.

Marketa loved hiking, camping, backpacking, and just “wandering in the woods.” Her adventurous side, sense of humor, and humble nature brought light and comfort into the lives of everyone who knew her.

Marketa was gifted and talented in many aspects. In school, Marketa earned excellent grades and received many academic awards. She was an athlete and was a key player on her travel softball teams.

Teenage Marketa playing softball, in uniform, standing ready to catch a throw.

She was also involved in field hockey, track, and bowling. Marketa was a valuable player due to her moldability. She was open to constructive criticism, playing any position without question. She was also one of the last players off the field, making sure to help clean up and thank the coaches.

In addition to being a talented athlete, Marketa took horse riding, guitar, and art lessons right in town. She appreciated the opportunity to learn new skills and became a great artist, using art as meditation as she grew older.

Teenage Marketa posing wearing her Girl Scout sash.

Marketa became a Girl Scout in kindergarten and remained active until she graduated from Shawnee High School. She completed the Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards. The Bronze and Silver Awards were earned by two separate projects that benefited Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge in Medford, NJ.

Both projects were sustainable and are still being used by the educational program. Cedar Run appreciated Marketa’s efforts and donations and honored her with a memorial plaque on the Spendelow Bridge over Cedar Run Lake.

Marketa standing beside a table of her clothes that she's selling. A sign reads "Yard Sale. Proceeds will help Cedar Run Animal Refuge."

The Gold Award idea spawned while camping on Assateague Island, where Marketa and her brother volunteered while on vacation every year; it took about three years to complete. Marketa collaborated with the Medford Lakes Environmental Committee and filled the need to address the stormwater and runoff water issue in the lakes community.

Reaching out to companies, the community, friends, and family, she raised over $10,000 to provide the Borough of Medford Lakes with a sustainable 3-D fiberglass model of Medford Lakes. The model has been used in many capacities and currently found its home in the Neeta School, supporting a new curriculum unit.

Marketa standing facing the sun, with her fingers making a "heart" shape with the sun in the center.

Marketa belonged to several clubs and organizations throughout her life, supporting the environment, fighting for social justice, and supporting women’s rights. She studied Environmental Engineering at Rowan University and was an Honors College student and a Dean’s List member.

But her academic abilities didn’t set her apart, her empathy for others did. She helped organize food collections at Rowan University and distributed food to shelters. Marketa’s last project, Project Peace, was completed at the university, where she led her team to build drones that would monitor police brutality during peaceful protests.

A metal plaque mounted to a boulder in the memorial garden. The inscription reads "In loving memory of Marketa Erin McCabe, April 17, 2001 - March 13, 2021. It includes a quote by John Muir "The power of imagination makes us infinite".

Unfortunately, after being sick with Covid, she was diagnosed with a high cardiac arrhythmia, and Marketa wasn’t able to finish this project. Tragically, on March 13, 2021, her heart stopped in her sleep. Marketa was almost 20 years old. She had amazing plans and ambitions to make the world a better place. She touched many lives and even saved some, as we learned from many letters after her celebration of life held by the family and community on the local beach.

The Medford Lakes community established a garden in Marketa’s memory. It is a beautiful, peaceful spot where anyone can sit and reflect. The garden can be found at 1 Cabin Circle, on the lake side of the Medford Lakes Municipal Building.

Join Marketa's friends and family on our email list to follow (occasionally) how we honor Marketa.