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Marian Mae Spilner

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Marian Mae Spilner, 83, a resident of Brookline for more than 50 years, died on September 25, 2011 at Sherrill House after a brief illness. Miss Spilner was born in on September 3, 1928 in Elizabeth, NJ, to the late A. Walter and the late Evelyn Walker Spilner. She received her BA from Sargent College of Boston University in 1950 and in 1968 earned a Masters in Education, also from BU. She taught physical education for 18 years at Junior High East in Arlington, MA, retiring in 1979. Subsequently she was employed as a bookkeeper at a local bank, retiring in 1991. In her youth, Marian was an accomplished athlete. During many summers at Sis-A-Gie Camp for Girls in Maine she enjoyed archery, swimming and horseback-riding as both a camper and counselor. At Sargent, she played competitive lacrosse and later learned to ski. In later years, her enthusiasm for sports made her an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox. She attended many games at Fenway, and exulted in their World Series victory. She was a long time member of the United Parish of Brookline, to which she devoted many hours of service. No task was too small, from scrubbing pots in the kitchen to polishing church pews. She also volunteered her services as book keeper and collected clothing for the parishs thrift shop. She was active in aiding a Vietnamese family in their resettlement and in caring for members of the parish in need of assistance. Singing was one of Miss Spilners great pleasures, from Glee Club in high school to the church choir at United Parish. She was for many years a member of The Masterworks Chorale of Boston under conductor Allen Lannom. With the Chorale, she toured Europe several times, including a memorable trip to Romania when it was still behind the Iron Curtain. Travel was another of her passions, especially cruising. She visited Europe numerous times, taking in the Chelsea flower show in London and the passion play at Oberammergau. She sailed through the Panama Canal with excursions to Mayan Temples and toured New Zealand. On her last trip she visited Alaska, where she delightedly panned for gold. She maintained a life-long relationship with Sargent College and her classmates in the Class of 1950, faithfully attending annual reunions and more informal gatherings of the Sargent Dining Club. The last landmark reunion she attended was her 55th in 2005. Domestic pleasures included cultivating her beloved African violets and preparing homemade jams and jellies, which were eagerly awaited by the lucky recipients every Christmas. Her family and friends remember her dry wit and indomitable spirit. She will be greatly missed by her large extended family and her many loyal friends. She was predeceased by her brother, Robert W. Spilner (Westfield, NJ) and her sister, Norma (Terry) Spilner Holbert (Newburgh, NY). She is survived by her aunt, Clara Walker (NH) and her brother, Allan J. Spilner (Gladwyne, PA), nieces and nephews Paula Spilner (Philadelphia, PA), Candy Spilner (Cochecton, NY), Maggie Spilner-Brotzman (Easton, PA), Barbara Senden (Indianapolis, IN), John Spilner (Hamilton, VA), Marilyn Dombroski (Philadelphia, PA), Teri Anne Holbert (Cortland, NY), William T. Holbert II (Cortland, NY), Martha Davis (Trowbridge, Wilts. UK), Christina Hall (Lafayette, IN), fifteen great nieces and nephews, nine great-great nieces and nephews and many cousins. Family and friends are invited to a memorial service on October 15 at 2 PM at United Parish in Brookline, 210 Harvard St. with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Sargent College or United Parish. For guestbook and directions www.bellodeafuneralhome.com

Published in The Brookline Tab from Oct. 9 to Oct. 16, 2011
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