Marian Day Herzer

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Service Information
Memorial service
Saturday, Jun. 6, 2020
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Southside Senior & Community Center
3151 E. 27th Ave.
Spokane, WA
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HERZER, Marian Day Marian Day Herzer (age 86), who always called Spokane "home," passed away peacefully October 21, 2019, in Shoreline, Washington. Marian will be remembered most for her unceasing love for her family and others, her amazing singing voice, her conversational exuberance, and her supernatural ability to sit through her children's and her grandchildren's baseball and softball games, where she created her own scorekeeping system on whatever paper was handy. One of her most significant professional achievements was founding Spokane's very own Project Joy in 1972. Marian and her husband, USAF Major (Ret.) Kaye Herbert Herzer, and their three sons, Scott, Kent, and Brett, moved to Spokane in 1969, where she and Kaye served as Co-Directors of the Sinto Senior Center. Marian soon shifted her focus to developing a women's chorus, the "Sinto Singers." The chorus performed locally and inspired the creation of other singing and arts groups for seniors, including a Vesper Choir, a choral reading group, and a creative dance group. These new programs and ideas evolved rapidly into Project Joy, a city-wide program funded by the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation Department and the State Office on Aging. Two early highlights of Project Joy included its 70-voice chorus and 20-piece orchestra performances at the EXPO 74 World's Fair, as well as being highlighted in Spokane's selection as an All-American City. Project Joy is still lighting up lives, this year celebrating its 47th anniversary, and it acts as the roadmap for similar programs across the country. Marian's vision twenty years ago also helped found Monarch Arts, a program supporting hundreds of local senior visual artists and allowing them to display their work publically. While these programs were very important to Marian, her primary love and commitment was to her husband and sons. They will always remember her for her warmth, her smile, her unearthly patience, her passion and competitiveness playing board games, and her stuffing Christmas stockings at two in the morning on Christmas Eve. She also created the best strawberry Jello with bananas and whipped cream this side of the Rockies. Marian's singing voice was discovered when she was young. She sang in small rural churches when she was young, and as she grew older she sang everywhere from inner city churches big, and small, to venues like the Kennedy Center Theater in Washington, D.C. She was innately curious about the world around her and often amazed by what it had to offer to a self-described simple girl from North Dakota. Her life journey took her all over the country and Europe. She marched with Martin Luther King's Poor People's Campaign In 1968, and wrote letters to government officials in the U.S. and abroad decrying injustices and poverty. In this, she continued the love and compassion she learned from her parents, Joseph Rollins Day and Catherine Bissett Day. Her father was a Department of Education administrator and her college-educated mother stayed home and raised Marian and her older and younger sisters, Helen (Day Garnaas, Linton, N. Dak.) and Catherine (Day Foseide, Shelton, Wash. She graduated from Grand Forks High School in Grand Forks, N.D. in 1951 and went on to the University of North Dakota (UND) where she majored in music and minored in Kaye, her future husband. Fittingly, they met after Kaye saw her singing on stage in a UND Drama Department musical. He asked one of his friends, who also knew Marian, to arrange an introduction. After three attempts, Kaye managed to finally assert himself into Marian's busy social calendar, and their adventures began. They married in 1953, right after Kaye graduated from UND and received his Lieutenant's commission in the Air Force. Kaye joined the Korean Occupation, while Marian completed her degree. Upon his return from Korea, Marian and Kaye followed the life of a typical Air Force officer, serving at installations around the country, and in Europe. Their stops included Illinois; Mississippi; Texas; Los Angeles; North Dakota; Brussels, Belgium; Alabama; and then on to the Pentagon in Washington D.C., where Kaye eventually received his honorable discharge. The family moved to Spokane in 1969, where, aside from brief stops in Bellingham, Seattle, and Portland, Ore., they lived for the next 50 years. Kaye passed away in 2010. Marian is survived by her three sons, Scott of Honolulu, Hawaii, (his wife Jann, and their sons Kai, Kirk, and Cade); Kent of Charlotte, N.C., (his wife Lynnell (New York City) and their son Nickolas); and Brett of Edmonds, Wash., (his wife Cheri, and their daughter Jessica, and son, Sam, who is serving in the Navy). Marian is also survived by her sisters Helen Garnaas of Linton, N. D., and Catherine Foseide of Shelton, Wash., and her nephews Charles, Paul, and Howard Garnaas, and nieces Kay Foseide Hall and Julie Foseide Osterberg. A memorial service and celebration of a brilliant life rooted in love and joy will be held 1-3pm, June 6, 2020, at Southside Senior & Community Center, 3151 E. 27th Ave., Spokane, WA 99223. Please email Marian's son Brett Herzer at [email protected] if you wish to attend. There will also be a notice in the Spokesman Review approximately 30 days prior to her service date.
Published in Spokesman-Review on Nov. 24, 2019
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