Marie Cling, 89, of Salinas, died peacefully at home on Saturday, October 30, 2010.
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Marie Therese Carey Cling was born on May 20, 1921 in Seattle, Washington at Providence Hospital. Marie was baptized three different times by the French speaking Sisters who ran the hospital because she was so small they said she could fit in a shoebox. In 1921, at that size, they did not expect her to live. They gave the French name Marie Therese to a 100% Irish girl. Her mother, in gratitude for the care they had received, kept the name. She was educated through high school at Forest Ridge in Seattle by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart. As a young woman, Marie was an accomplished equestrian, pianist, swimmer, and student. The youngest of five, and the only girl, she was much beloved by her parents and her brothers. Her parents affectionately referred to her as Tess (shortened from her middle name).
Marie attended one year of college at the University of Washington, Seattle before she transferred to Stanford University. She attended Stanford University her sophomore year, but when she realized her parents were taking out loans to send her in the midst of the Depression, she transferred back to the University of Washington where she earned a degree in journalism and graduated summa cum laude.
That year at Stanford and the friends she made there, drew her back to San Francisco after graduation. Marie worked at the San Francisco Chronicle, writing for the "This World" section for a year. A highlight of her time with the Chronicle was her interview with Madame Chiang Kai-chek. During that time she met Leonard, who was an Army Air Corps captain stationed at Fort Mason, San Francisco. They married in 1943 in Seattle. Leonard was sent to Salina, Kansas where work was being done on the B-29s. When Leonard was sent to India as part of the Strategic Air Command, Marie returned to Seattle to stay with her parents and that is where her eldest son Stephen was born.
When Major Leonard Cling returned from India and was discharged from the service, they settled briefly in San Francisco while Leonard sought to start his business career. Marie's friend from Stanford, Georgia (Fanoe) Richardson suggested that Leonard come talk to her father Anker Fanoe. Thus, Marie and Leonard came to live in Salinas in 1945.
Marie was a devoted mother to her 10 children. She and Leonard were committed to providing a college education to their children. To their credit, all 10 graduated from college. When her youngest child, Jeanette, was school age, Marie returned to school to earn a teaching credential. She worked at Chualar Elementary School as an ESL teacher. In addition to her teaching, she was also instrumental in raising money from various local produce companies to upgrade the playground equipment at the school.
When she retired from teaching, Marie enjoyed traveling, visiting her children and grandchildren, hosting family BBQs, golfing, playing bridge and watching the Giants and 49ers. Marie was proud of the fact that she had attended the World Series, the Kentucky Derby, and the U.S Open. During her many years of disability, she never lost her sense of humor or the light in her eyes when one of her children came into the room.
Marie was well-known and loved for her facility with words, both written and spoken, her love of sharing books, her delightful sense of humor, her head-thrown-back laugh, her "well hello" greeting at the front door, her roll-with-it attitude to entertaining, her "no-command performance" holidays, her love of a slightly risqué joke, her kitchen table wisdom, her sweet comments on birthday notes, her out-of-tune birthday phone calls, her deep pride and sense of protection with regard to her children, and her deep faith in the goodness of life. Marie was a long-time member of the Sacred Heart Parish.
Marie is preceded in death by her husband Leonard; her parents Belle and S.V. Carey, her brothers Richard, David, Stephen and Joseph Carey ; her son Stephen Cling; and her grandson James Patrick Cling.
She is survived by her children, Mary Patricia (Clyde) Pearce of Salinas, Peter (Peggy) Cling of San Francisco, Michael (Mary Jean) Cling of Salinas, Tim (Erin) Cling of Eugene, Lisa (Frank) Robinson of Hollister, Katharine (Robert) Donovan of Modesto, Sara (David) Singleton of Hollister, Maureen (Andy) Hergert of Seaside, Jeanette (Bill) Narlock of San Anselmo, and her daughter-in-law, Marta Streuter of Laguna Nigel.
Marie is also survived by grandchildren, Bart Streuter, Melissa Cling Frueh, Shannon O'Neill, Joseph Mollner, Meredith Nady, Molly Messenger, Michael Cling, Peter Cling, Tyler Cling, Lannon Cling, Madison Cling, C.J Cling, Kelly Streeton, David Robinson, Greg Robinson, Doug Baudler, Kurt Baudler, Patrick Baudler, William Singleton, Stephen Singleton, Colleen Narlock, Lauren Narlock, Audrey Narlock, Dean Narlock. Marie is also survived by 13 great-grandchildren.
The family gratefully acknowledges the loving care of her devoted caregivers, Charito and Kenny Hamlin.
Visitation will be held Thursday, November 4, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Struve and Laporte Chapel, 41 W. San Luis St., Salinas, Calif. 93901.
Rosary service will be held Thursday, November 4, at 7 p.m. in the Struve and Laporte Chapel.
Funeral Mass will be held Friday, November 5, at 10 a.m. in the Sacred Heart Church, 22 Stone St., Salinas, Calif. 93901.
Burial will follow in the Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 18200 Damian Way, Salinas, Calif. 93907.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Marie Carey Cling Scholarship Fund at Notre Dame High School, Salinas.
Funeral arrangements by Struve and Laporte Chapel.
Online condolences: www.struveandlaporte.com
Struve and Laporte Funeral Chapel
41 West San Luis
Salinas, CA 93901
Published in The Salinas Californian on Nov. 3, 2010