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Marian loved company, and would heartily thank you for visiting her!

Marian Beth Ness Tucker, born Chicago, IL 08/11/1920. Died San Rafael, CA 01/04/2005, age 84.
Tributes and Condolences
A Life of Impact   / Sheri Castleman (former daughter-in-law )
Dear Gail and Jim It is now 2010. Although I was able to contact each of you when your mom first passed five years ago and spoke again with you Jim a couple of years ago or so I just today found this website. Perhaps because of the elapsed time you w...  Continue >>
I loved you and I miss your friendly smile   / Kathryn Eastman (Good Friend )
It was a real privlege to visit your resting place in Aptos, California, recently. I touched your name along with Tom's and shed a tear.  You were good friends and I miss both of you. 

My love to both of you.   Kak
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Her legacy
Obituary & Memorial Info  
Marian Ness Tucker died January 4, 2005 in San Rafael, CA of congestive heart failure complicated by dementia. She was 84. She was preceded in death by her husband, Tom Tucker and her son, Brian. She is survived by son Philip (Detroit); Brian’s son Nicholas (Pacific Grove CA); daughter Gail, husband Tim Whipple and their children Lucas and Andra (Dayton OH); and Jim Tucker, his wife Sumi Lewis and their children Christopher and Zilei (Mill Valley CA). Born a “blue baby” in Chicago, 1920, Marian managed to defy all predictions of an early demise, going on to graduate with a Bachelor of Music Education degree from St. Olaf College. She met and married fellow student Tom Tucker in 1945. After WWII, they made their way to Detroit where they raised a family of four despite medical predictions that Marian was too weak to bear children. Marian held many professional positions in her 40 years in the Detroit area: teacher of music and special education, church organist at Holy Savior Lutheran Church, and director or creator of several programs addressing mental health services. She served on local and state committees on mental retardation and mental illness. She and her husband Tom were dynamic partners in creating a world of opportunity for people with developmental disabilities. They retired to Aptos in ‘85 and became active in Christ Lutheran Church’s social issues work. Marian served as organist and sustained her passion for playing piano. After Brian died unexpectedly in 1991, and Tom died in 1994, Marian continued to live at her beloved “Seacliff” until diagnosed with dementia in 2000. She couldn’t see it, wouldn’t see it at first. Imagine how frightening it would be to confront the fact that you will lose your mind. It was a rough few years before she lost a critical mass of spirit, hearing and cognition. But she never lost her desire to gather with her family at Seacliff, and she faithfully played the piano daily. In September of 2004, it became clear that a new line had been crossed. As a dear friend said, “Her piano playing, for the first time, lacked feeling.” By late October, she suffered a fall, resulting in a health crisis from which she barely managed to emerge. However, life from Thanksgiving to New Year was reduced to a death-watch. Just before Christmas, her children gathered for her last days... yet on Christmas, she rallied a bit - but never really spoke or ate again... By January 4th, her breathing became labored, and Jim sang her to heaven with the help of the old, red Lutheran hymnal. Marian’s family wishes to thank the many friends and kind strangers who walked this final, slow and debilitating journey with her, showing her the kind of compassion and generosity that she gave to so many in the active years of her remarkable life. There will be a memorial service at Christ Lutheran Church in Aptos, CA on April 2, 2005 at 11:00 am, luncheon following. For more information, feel free to contact Gail Tucker Whipple at 937-609-0906 or IF YOU WISH TO MAKE A MEMORIAL CONTRIBUTION: Tax-deductible contributions can be made to The Dayton Foundation Fund #5571 (The Tucker-Whipple Fund). Checks may be sent to The Dayton Foundation, 2300 Kettering Tower, Dayton OH 45423. Visa & MC can be used either online at or by calling Tracy Boshears at 937-225-9967.
In Her Own Words...  
“My idea of heaven is living in a neighborhood where my family and dearest friends live nearby, and all I need to do is invite them over... or drop in on them... for a cup of coffee and a chat... and, like Grandma Ness wanting to greet Grandma Grendahl, say hello with uncontained happiness and enthusiasm... hardly able to wait until I hear all the news form them since last we met. But if that doesn’t happen, it will be because something more wonderful and ethereal will take its place... something I can’t even begin to imagine. So, finally... in answer to a question Tom asked me when we were first married and that I have taken forty-seven years to ponder... my belief is simple. There is a God. He loves everyone, including me. Jesus is His Son who showed us by His example how we are to live our lives. We are all God’s children. He expects us to serve Him in this lifetime through honest, caring and compassionate interactions with our fellow human beings. What the life to come holds in store for us, I really don’t know. I can only speculate and hope. But I know that someone who created the incredible beauties and complexities of this life will surely do even more for us all in the time to come. My final hope is that peace will soon finds its way into the hearts of all men. Then we can beat swords into plowshares, eliminate hunger and war, and live with each other in love and harmony. Won’t that be heaven?” - from “Bloom Where You Are Planted” an autobiography of Marian Ness Tucker, June 1991
Marian's Photo Album
Marian in 2000
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