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Obituary of Ronald E. Marion

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He was better known as Ronnie by family, as is commemorated by the Christmas stocking his mom stitched for him as a boy. But he went by Ron in his professional life and with his second ARC family. Reflecting on his time on earth one can truly say he was 83 years young! He enjoyed the world with wonder and his merry heart did him good, like a medicine! He was quick to cheerily greet all he encountered with, “Hi, how are ya?” followed by an enthusiastic inquiry into their family's well-being. His laughter was contagious.


Ron and twin brother Robert, “Bobby,” were born in Dryden, NY to Russell Irwin and Doris (Carpenter) Marion. They grew up on Union Street down from the elementary school with an older sister, Eleanor, and a younger sister, Marie. The Marion and Carpenter farming families extended far and wide through Central New York and kept quite close relationally.

Early on he pushed past any limitations in his life to find the pleasures to be had. This remained true throughout his long lifetime and various new settings. For example, though he never knew sight he maneuvered alone up and down neighborhood sidewalks and even around bulky tree roots on both roller skates and his bicycle. In his youth Ron attended Batavia School for the Blind and the New York School for the Blind in the Bronx. His blindness never seemed to bother him too much. Ronnie was up for all kinds of fun adventures and community gatherings. His favorite pastimes included boating, fishing and amusement park rides.

In his adult life Ron found purpose working at Challenge Industries of Ithaca and JM Murray Center of Cortland. He often spoke proudly about his important jobs sorting toothbrushes or nuts and bolts. He would also sand rough edges off various items. He liked having co-workers who became dear friends, and earning his own pocket change. Other hobbies were swimming, bowling and music appreciation, besides his “karaoke”.

He took comfort in hymns and in prayer and in routines. He was blessed again and again with caring staff and creative dayhab programs. In retirement he grew to be more of a homebody, content to socialize with housemates or listen to talking books. But still, he loved special events! He chatted excitedly about the next party and grew even more eager if he could pick out accessories or a costume to wear for it. What stands out most to those he leaves behind is his extreme love for people. He took delight in connecting while having a “good time” together like sharing an event, a conversation or better yet a meal, perhaps with a dessert and/or coffee.

He is survived by sister, Eleanor Mahony (Harold) of Lido Beach, NY, many nieces and nephews and several cousins. His joy-filled demeanor and ready smile will be missed sorely by all who knew him. Many have recounted again and again about his remarkable gift. He quickly recognized people by their voice alone, even if he hadn’t spoken with them in several years. It’s often been said that he was an amazing man!

A celebration of life will be held January 29, at 1pm at Wright Beard Funeral Home in Cortland, NY.

In lieu of flowers monetary gifts may be given to talking books:

National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue, SE, LM-613, Washington, DC 20540-9130

Tribute gifts: www.loc.gov/programs/support-the-library-of-congress/ways-to-give/tribute-gifts

Or

Madison Cortland ARC, www.arcofmc.org “donate”.

Or

JM Murray Center, JM Murray Foundation, attn: controller, 823 NYS Route 13, Cortland, NY 13045
Or jmmurray.com

Or

American Foundation for the Blind, American Printing House, aph.org “donate now”

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