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May 23, 2023

Marion F. Kern

Marion Frances Theresa Schreiner Kern passed away peacefully at age 92 on May 23 2023, after a short illness.

As Marion often said of similar circumstances, “It was a blessing.” If someone died after a long illness, she explained it was a blessing they no longer suffered. If they died suddenly, it was a blessing they didn’t suffer.

Until the last few months of her life she was active, enjoying visits from her daughters and their families.

Born to immigrants from Austria-Hungary, she was known for her fashion sense and love of clothes shopping.  At age 19 she married Frank R. Kern, Jr. and caused a stir when she chose to eschew the traditional white wedding gown. Her stylish choice, copied from the cover of a magazine and sewed by her mother, featured taffeta with a slight pinkish hue.

She was a receptionist in the Radiology department of Grove Hill Clinic and an office worker at the VNA. Her retirement from both careers coincided with their adoption of computers, for which Mrs. Kern held a strong aversion.

In retirement, Marion was able to convince Frank to overcome the reluctance to travel he had developed after the war.  They embarked on cruises to the Caribbean and to England, trips to Disney and Bermuda, and one memorable helicopter ride into the Canadian Rockies on her 76th birthday.

She relocated to Linden Ponds in Hingham, MA, in 2006, and became a leading member of Making Connections, created to bring new residents together. She was founder of the Maple Grove 5th Floor Dinner Club. Marion and her companion Gil were featured in an advertisement for Linden Ponds to illustrate the active social life available there.  The couple took ballroom dancing lessons and never missed an opportunity to show off their Fred and Ginger moves.

A lifetime devotee of talk shows, she enjoyed – and missed – The Phil Donahue Show, The Mike Douglas Show, and Oprah. In recent years she was an ambivalent devotee of The View. Like the guests on these shows, Marion enjoyed doling out opinions and advice. The advice – lovingly given from her life experiences – was often delivered in a direct, unfiltered way to surprised recipients. 

In the early 1970s, she was passionate viewer of the Watergate hearings . Her disdain of Nixon was only surpassed when Trump was elected.

Marion enjoyed many friendships, but none paralleled her bond with Marjorie Gordon.  In Marjorie’s words, “Marion loved fun. She has been a dear friend to so many of us, now almost all gone.  But those of us left are saddened.  We will miss her very much.”