Marion A. McClure, 96, a longtime resident of Keene and formerly of Stoddard, died on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, at Maplewood Nursing Home. She passed peacefully while sleeping after a period of declining health, surrounded by Maplewood’s loving caretakers.
Marion was born the daughter of the late Bernice (Foster) and Kenneth McClure on Nov. 20, 1923, in Keene. Marion loved her country farm childhood of outdoor splendors, even though the home was without electricity. She and her sisters were close in age and lost their mother when they were pre-school. Her beloved father remarried, and the family was whole. She was educated locally and graduated from Stevens High School in Claremont with the class of 1941. In those years, country children were required to find their own transportation to high school; thus, Marion lived with several Keene families, transferring to Claremont in her senior high school year, where she later lived for several years.
Returning to Keene, she built a strong and satisfying life, purchasing her own house as a single lady in 1957. While she never married, her many talents stood her well. After retirement, Marion worked tirelessly to plant and maintain her beautiful gardens. She knew the flora and fauna of New England like the back of her hand. As well, her house became her palace, utilizing her artistic abilities and knowledge.
She worked as an event coordinator for the Winding Brook Lodge in Keene for 25 years before her retirement in 1989. These were her happiest of years, mingling with the public and enjoying the diversity of people. Prior to her Winding Brook years, she was employed at Bullard & Shedd drugstore in the center of Keene, where she was able to walk to events, never having owned a car, but loving downtown Keene.
Her knowledge of antiques became her happiest hobby: buying and selling, collecting, and researching. Her collection was astonishing. While having no children of her own, her nieces and nephews became close and loving. At one time, her neighborhood was thriving with her friends, who admired and enjoyed Marion’s gardening talents, needlework artistry, kindness and humor. Marion surrounded herself with beauty, in her gardens and her home, which was filled with her favorite books, photographs, paintings, antiques and history, her 1840 house itself being historical.
Miss McClure is survived by her sister, Joyce H. Williams, of Keene; her nieces: Gladys Carpenter, Susan Szoc and Jolene Young; her nephews: Jeffrey Szoc, Stephen Szoc, Mark Williams, Lance Williams, Ross Williams, and their families; plus many grand-nieces and grand-nephews. Marion is predeceased by her sisters, Beverly Ordway and Natalie Szoc.
Marion’s family sends very heartfelt appreciation to Maplewood Nursing Home for their excellent loving care and attention.
In keeping with Marion’s wishes, there are no calling hours. Family, friends and others whose lives Marion touched are invited to celebrate her life at a Celebration of Life being held on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at 10 a.m. in the funeral chapel at Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave., Keene. Burial will follow in the family lot at Munsonville Cemetery, Old Route 9, Munsonville. Flowers will gladly be accepted. However, the family would prefer donations be made in memory of Marion A. McClure to: Stoddard Historical Society, P.O. Box 860, Stoddard NH 03464. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave., Keene NH 03431 (www.cheshirefamilyfh.com).