Paul Marion, aged 90, of Toledo, Ohio died Wednesday, March 13, 2013. The cause was leukemia, diagnosed on February 1.
Mr. Marion was born in Neosho, Missouri on September 18, 1922. When he was a young child, his family moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, where he developed his musical gifts at school and church.
Paul enlisted in the Navy during World War II. He was assigned to the Navy Band and given varied duties: playing for reveille and marching exercises; performing in a jazz band, and as the bass drummer, marching ahead of Franklin Roosevelt's hearse down Pennsylvania Avenue in April, 1945.
While stationed in the Pacific Northwest, a region of the country which would always be Paul's favorite, he met and married Kathryn Troth. On November 1, 2012, Paul and Kay celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary.
After the War, Paul enrolled at the University of Illinois. He received a Bachelor's degree in music, with highest honors, in 1950. He continued his studies in sacred choral music in New York City at Union Theological Seminary and was awarded a Master's degree in 1952. At Union, Paul and Kay were introduced to many influential theologians, among them Reinhold Niebuhr.
Paul's career as a church organist-choirmaster began in 1952. Most recently, he had been organist-choirmaster at St. Michael's in the Hills Episcopal Church, a position he held for thirty years. His devotion to his choirs was exceptional. Rehearsals were disciplined, but lightened with humor. Choir members responded with joy and professionalism.
Paul also worked for State Farm Insurance for 40 years. As an agent, he was known for his integrity and meticulous attention to detail. He became a Chartered Life Underwriter and a Chartered Financial Consultant. He enjoyed continual professional development and also a number of State Farm trips to Europe and Hawaii.
Paul's service to the community took many forms. He was a member of the Masterworks Chorale, St. Michael's in the Hills Episcopal Church, Toledo Modern Art Group, the Toledo Museum, and Westgate Neighbors. He volunteered in the Toledo Public Schools, and worked on many social issues.
Paul's 90th birthday was celebrated at Georgio's in September with dozens of friends and family members. He remained an active pianist, lay reader, and singer until his death. His last days were graced by many visitors and musical performances at Hospice of Northwest Ohio, where he received skilled, compassionate care.
Paul is survived by his wife, Kay, and two children and their spouses, Margot and Fred Amrine of Ann Arbor, and Marc Marion and Martha George of Oklahoma City. His younger sister, Helen Jarman, resides in Lubbock, Texas. He has numerous surviving nieces and nephews. Paul's three grandchildren delighted him: Stefan Amrine of Washington, D.C., Alexander Amrine of Blacksburg, Virginia, and Gabrielle George Marion of Oklahoma City. All three were together with him when he moved into hospice.
A Memorial Service will be held at St. Michael's Episcopal Church (Brittany Road in Toledo) on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. Tributes to Paul's memory may be made to the Music Fund at St. Michael's, the Toledo Museum of Art, or St. Paul's Community Center, Lucas County. Online condolences may be shared at
Published in Toledo Blade on Mar. 17, 2013