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Marion Francis Speight, beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, passed away peacefully in the early hours of February 18, 2019 at the age of 96. She was born on April 21, 1922 in Port Huron, Michigan to Ellen and Frank Zurek. She and her brother Frank grew up during the Depression and had many escapades together. When Marion was an adolescent, her mother remarried, and her step father, Daniel Demchuk, became a very important influence in her life.
As a young woman, a job with a traveling magazine marketing group brought her west. While in California, she met Robert Pierce, a musician, and began singing with his band. Over the course of her singing career, she sang at the Palladium in Hollywood and was acquainted with such celebrities as Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra.
Her marriage to Robert resulted in the birth of her first daughter, Robyne Inyana. She later met and married Andrew Marsh, with whom she had three children, Anne Scott, Ellen Danielle, and Lindus Cody. Her final marriage, to Kenneth Speight (a.k.a “Gun”), endured the test of time. They were married for fifty-three years. During their marriage they had many great adventures together, living wherever Gun was stationed during his career in the Navy, including in the Philippines and in Japan.
Marion loved to learn new skills and approached every new endeavor with passion and with the absolute confidence that she could master anything. Not only was she a wonderful cook and seamstress, she also painted beautiful pictures, made lifelike ceramics, repaired and designed clocks, and hand sewed and crocheted magnificent dolls. Her skills as an amateur interior decorator allowed her to leave her mark on the lives of many of her descendants by transforming their homes into show places. Additionally, she helped neighbors who were in financial trouble manage their finances and extract themselves from debt and also helped numerous acquaintances sell their homes.
Marion loved her family fiercely, and the impact she had on many of their lives cannot be overestimated. She was willing to provide help in any way that was necessary, whether financial assistance was required or a dedication of time and effort spanning weeks. Even in her eighties she was standing on ladders and plastering and painting walls for family members. She was affectionately known by her grandchildren as “Lambie.” She will be deeply and eternally missed.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Frank, and her son Cody. She is survived by her husband Kenneth, her daughters Robyne (Roy) Callaway, Anne (Nef) Martinez, Ellen (Daren) Child, 11 grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great granddaughters.
Private family services will be held on a later date.
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