Marion Rose (Cunniff) Ryan, of Turners Falls passed away on March 5, 2023. She was born on October 7, 1922, the only child of John P. and Rose (Renaud) Cunniff who were nurturing and loving parents. Marion felt blessed to have grown up in her beloved hometown of Turners Falls, alongside her cousins, Rene, Cecile, Eddie and Annette Guilbeault. Marion graduated from Turners Falls High School in 1941, where she was a proud member of the tumbling and the basketball teams. She then attended the Farren Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, receiving her cap. The onset of a debilitating allergies prevented the completion of her studies.
In 1943, she married Thomas F. Ryan of Charlestown, MA. Their daughter, Bonnie, was born in 1946, and two years later they welcomed the arrival of their son, Thomas Jr. After her children started school, Marion was employed by the Strathmore Paper Company, where she met her life-long friend, Alice Long. Later, she worked at Greenfield Savings Bank with another dear friend, Shirley Brule.
During summer weekends, Marion and Shirley enjoyed working together at the Park Villa Drive-in Theatre. After retirement, Marion’s greatest joy was spending time with her beloved granddaughter, Heather, teaching her how to ride a bike, tie her shoes and maneuver a sled down a snowy hillside. Marion always stocked her kitchen with yummy treats in anticipation of Heather’s visits. Together they enjoyed touring Turners Falls, visiting friends and relatives. Marion was an incessant reader, who enjoyed playing cards with friends, and socializing, often with her favorite cocktail, a Black Russian, in hand. She also enjoyed boating up and down the Connecticut River with Alice and Harold Long on lazy summer days.
Marion was dedicated to her family and felt particularly proud of the care that she was able to lovingly offer to her mother who had suffered a paralyzing stroke. She could often be seen walking her mom up and down 15th street. Throughout all of her life’s ups and downs, she attempted to remain positive and gently reminded all who knew her to “take time to smell the daisies”.
Marion felt especially blessed for the continued relationship that she had with her former daughter-in-law and forever friend, Carol Novak Demers. She was always greatly appreciative of the devoted friendship and support offered by Ann Marie Allen. In addition to Ann Marie Allen, the family would like to thank Debbie Dobias, Kim White, Cheryl Lowell, and Shelley Bryant for their dedicated care of Marion.
Marion leaves behind her daughter, Bonnie M. Ryan-Spanswick of Naples, FL; her granddaughter and son-in-law, Heather Caban and Hasoo Hwang of Seoul, Korea; and her great grand-daughter, Alannah Hwang. Marion will be remembered as a loving, caring and fun-loving person, a wonderful daughter, a loving mother and grandmother, and a good, true friend. She will be sorely missed.
A Memorial Mass will be held Friday, April 28, at 10:00 AM at Our Lady of Peace Church, 90 Seventh Street, Turners Falls. Burial will follow at St. Anne’s Cemetery in Turners, with brunch to follow at The French King Restaurant in Erving.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Kostanski Funeral Home. For condolences, please visit www.kostanskifuneralhome.com.
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