BRUNSWICK - Marion F. Cheney died quietly March 7, 2015 in Brunswick, Maine. She was born in tiny Sebec Village, on October 23, 1915, and maintained strong emotional ties to it throughout her 99 years.
Both her parents, Fred and Genevieve Maguire Hayes, passed away before she was nine years old. The harsh economics of the times meant that the three surviving sisters and a half-brother were split up. She was then raised by her uncle, Alden Hayes, a school superintendent, and his wife Mildred. She graduated from Presque Isle High School in 1933, and Husson College in 1935, where she is a charter member of the Sports Hall of Fame for her basketball prowess.
After college Marion began a career teaching secretarial courses. She began at Traip Academy in Kittery where she enjoyed the ease of getting to Fenway Park. The Red Sox remained another strong emotional tie. Thereafter, came teaching stints at Gardiner HS, Westbrook Junior College, and finally Deering High School, where she retired in 1981. A few years before retiring she moved to “the farm,” in Bowdoinham—according to her “the prettiest place in Sagadahoc County.”
Marion leaves behind countless reminders of her warmth, intensity, and quick wit. She was skilled at bridge, and played a million hands of cribbage with her father-in-law, Hal, who wryly advised her, “If you can’t win, Daughter, cheat.” Her piano accompaniment to her husband Fred’s violin warmed the hearts of many visitors. Her leadership and way with words were evident during her term as Worthy Matron of the Electra Chapter, Order of Eastern Star in Bowdoinham. And her skill with crossword puzzles continually turned heads at the Highland’s Cadigan Lodge and Skolfield House, her residences since 2001.
She is survived by her son, Alden Frederic, and his wife Una, of Bowdoinham; grandson Trevor, and his daughter Madison, of Greenwich, CT; and granddaughter, Jennifer McIllhatton, her husband, Craig (Jock) McIllhatton and their sons, Max and Sam, of Bowral, NSW, Australia. Also, a number of nieces and nephews saying, “We wish you well, Auntie Marnie.”
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband of 57 years, H. Frederic Cheney; her sisters Nellie Mooers of Plainville, CT, and Genevieve Babineau of Bangor and South Portland.
A graveside remembrance will take place this coming summer.