Judge Marquardt was born in Chicago, Illinois. She received a B.S. in Education from Missouri Western State College. After teaching school in Wisconsin, she attended Washburn University School of Law and received her law degree in 1974. She now has three adult sons and six grandchildren.
Judge Marquardt joined the Topeka law firm Cosgrove, Webb & Oman in 1974. In 1986, she moved to the firm Palmer, Marquardt & Snyder. Then, in 1991, she joined the Kansas City firm Levy & Craig, P.C. Three years later, she formed Marquardt & Associates, L.L.C. with her son. She practiced at this firm until her appointment to the court.