Marion Lee Peabody Lawrence

The following was sent to me by Marion Stegner, her namesake. Presumably the eulogy from her very unexpected  service.

______________________

 

It is hard to believe that Marion Lawrence has passed from among us, for no one was ever more imbued with energy and the zest of life than she. Even in her teens she was a leader in everything and no girl was more admired and beloved by her contemporaries. Ideally married, she carried out to the full every pleasant duty of family life, and was utterly devoted to every interest of her husband and her children. Unlike many wives, however, she was not content to let her activities stop there. She soon became sought after as a valuable adviser or executive in many different fields. During the World War she was chairman of the canteen service of the Red Cross in Boston, a work which took most of her waking hours for over a year and a half. She was a director of the Milton Hospital and the Community Health Association of Boston and chairman of the ladies’ visiting committee of the Massachusetts General Hospital, and in addition to these and other continuing activities she was constantly called upon for every sort of temporary service.

It would seem that for a woman so preoccupied but little time would he left for the cultivation of her friends, but it is precisely here that she most shone. Her house was a Mecca for young and old, and was never too full to take in an unexpected friend or two for a night or a week. When a college classmate of one of her sons was severely injured, it was she who attended to the emergency operation that was necessary and took him to her house for a long convalescence; and when any of her friends were suffering from bereavement or other trouble she was the first to arrive with understanding sympathy and constructive helpfulness. Particularly noticeable was her hospitality at “The Homestead” in Groton where her mother’s family had lived for generations, a place which she loved more than any other spot on earth and which she endeared to a multitude of friends.

For a long time she had known that she was suffering from a disease that would prove mortal, but no one around her had any inkling of the fact. She had pursued her work and her play with unabated energy and good cheer until within two days of her death, which came after an acute illness that was mercifully short and painless. No soldier ever marched more gallantly up to the last firing line than did she.

By her generosity, her sympathy, her quick action wherever action was needed, and by her sparking personality, which was like a burst of breezy sunshine wherever she appeared, she will always live on in the hearts of all who knew her, and of no one could Lowell’s words be more appropriately written:

Who gives of himself with his alms feeds three— Himself, his hungering neighbor and me.

 

–R.W.

Dec 1935

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