Obituary of Marian Svenheim
Marian Upson-Svenheim was a wonderful lady who exuded kindness, loved people, and being a helpful friend and neighbor . This beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister in-law, niece, cousin and friend passed away August 27th at her home in Tucson, AZ. She was 97 years old.
Marian’s story began on July 2nd, 1926, where she was born in Marshall, Michigan. She was the only child of Melvin and Helen Wood. Her mother passed away when she was one month old. Her father then married her stepmother – Iva Wood – who filled that important role of Marian’s mother. Even as a young child, Marian was gregarious and always loved being social, going places, and being with her friends.
She married her first husband – Theodore “Ted” Upson, and soon became the mother of two beautiful children – Jerry and Cynthia (Cindi). In 1958, the family moved to Tucson, AZ in the hopes the desert would help alleviate Jerry’s chronic asthma, and to begin a new life. She worked for St. Joseph’s Hospital for 20 years where she started in housekeeping, then moved to central supply, and finally as a ward assistant. Upon retiring she then became a volunteer at the hospital, where she served faithfully for 26 years. She had a service-oriented heart and loved to help others. She was a true mainstay at St. Joseph’s Hospital and no doubt left an indelible mark in many lives.
In 1982, Ted Upson passed away. Many years passed, and during her time as a volunteer at St. Joseph’s she met her second husband – William “Bill” Svenheim. She then became a step-mother, grandmother and great-grandmother to Bill’s family – son Greg (wife Judy) Svenheim, son Scott Svenheim, daughter Gail (husband Scott) Beede, daughter Donna (husband Frank) Lee, and grandchildren Erica, Kasha, and Marisa, and great-grandchildren Kate, Avery, Dylan and Stella.
Marian loved being social and helping others. She once was bestowed the honor of being a Ben’s Bells recipient for her service to others. She spent many years assisting her neighbors by bringing up newspapers and trash cans for those that were not very mobile and keeping watch over the neighborhood. She always knew everyone on her street! She was truly a little firecracker, and fiercely independent. She adored animals, always had dogs of her own, and was a friend to all critters. Some of her favorite things to do were feeding and watering the native birds, relishing in the beauty of the desert, rooting on the Wildcats basketball team, doing her circle words puzzles, and enjoying the company of family and friends.
Marian is survived by her daughter Cynthia “Cindi” Stewart, granddaughter Shannon Stewart, favorite Bulldog “Dozer”, Greg (Judy) Svenheim, Scott Svenheim, Gail (Scott) Beede, Donna (Frank) Lee, and grandchildren Erica, Kasha, and Marisa, and great-grandchildren Kate, Avery, Dylan and Stella, along with many members of her extended family. She is now with her beloved late son Jerry Upson in heaven.
Funeral services will be held at 10 am, Wednesday September 6th, at Bring’s Broadway Chapel, 6910 E. Broadway, Tucson, AZ. In lieu of flowers, Marian’s heart would be overjoyed if you donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Pima Paws for Life, or any animal rescue organization of your choice.
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