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Marion King Schlefer

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Marion King Schlefer Obituary
Marion King Schlefer

1922 - 2015 PUTNEY, VT Marion King Schlefer, died on January 17, 2015 a month short of her 92nd birthday. She was a woman who taught us to see the beauty in the things humans create. She was a woman of great kindness and elegance who treasured her family, friends and the beauty of the world around her. Marion enjoyed Christmas at home in Putney with her husband of 70 years, Mark P. Schlefer, all of her children, grandchildren, a great-granddaughter and two sons-in-law. But soon her strength declined, at first gradually and then sharply, until she died peacefully with her family around her. Marion was born on Brooklyn Heights, N.Y., but her family soon moved to Long Island where she grew up. She graduated from Putney School in 1941 and Swarthmore College with honors in 1945. Later she attended the Harvard Graduate School of Design and received a master's degree from American University. She and Mark moved to Washington D.C. in 1951. Marion conceived all her work, in housing and planning, art and architecture, first of all as good design. She chaired the Committee of 100 on the Federal City, the oldest planning organization in the District of Columbia. She was a member of the D.C. Board of Commissioners' Planning and Urban Renewal Advisory Council and the Mayor's Committee on the Downtown and received a special tribute at the 50th year celebration of the Metropolitan Washington Planning and Housing Association for distinguished service to the Washington community. She worked as an analyst specializing in planning for the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress. She published studies on industrialized housing, national housing needs, central-city policies and Meridian Hill Park in the District of Columbia. Drawing on her esthetic interests and knowledge, she taught a survey of architecture from Mesopotamia to the Renaissance at Northern Virginia College. She later wrote histories of buildings significant for their architecture for the Historic American Building Survey for deposit in the Library of Congress. Marion had close ties to Putney. Her mother bought a farmhouse on the Putney-Dummerston Road in 1941, where Marion and Mark lived for a year after World War II, while he taught at Putney School. It was in part because of close friends from that special year, that they retired to Putney in 2005. Marion served on the boards of Morningside Shelter and Putney Family Services. She is survived by her husband, a son, Jonathan of Boston, a daughter, Ellen and her husband, Michael Bicks of Durham, NH, and a daughter, Kate Dodge and her husband, Charles of Putney, VT. In addition, Marion leaves three grandchildren, Maggie Dodge and Lucy and Molly Bicks, two step-grandchildren, Samantha and Baird Dodge, and great-granddaughter, Baird's daughter, Lida.
Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Feb. 6, 2015
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