Marian R. Summers
September 6, 1927 - February 8, 2017
Salem— Surrounded by her family, Marian passed peacefully on February 8 from a series of illnesses. She was 89.
Born in Ettrick, Wisconsin to dairy farmers Harry and Lydia Skorstad, Marian was the youngest of six children. She attended nursing school in Eau Claire through the Nurses Cadet Corps bill during W.W.II.
After moving to Denver, Colorado Marian married Dr. William Boyd Summers in 1951 and together they had two daughters. In 1958 when their children were just one and four years old, she was tragically widowed.
As a single mom and full-time professional, Marian modeled self-reliance, practicality, discipline and dedication to family – cooking fabulous dinners after long days tending to patients and spending weekends doing yard, house work, cleaning gutters and managing finances at a time when it wasn’t common for women to “do it all”.
Marian’s career in nursing spanned from 1948-1994. She served as a hospital nurse and later as Director of Nurses in McKenzie-Willamette Hospital in Springfield, Oregon and at Ivorena Care Center in Eugene, as well as serving as an Interim DNS of ten troubled Long Term Care facilities in Washington and Oregon.
She moved to Salem in 1989 to be closer to her youngest daughter, and also worked as a Director of the Respite Program at Salem Senior Center.
Marian was extraordinarily skillful managing people and resources with her keen mind, organized methods and respectful regard of everyone. Her clear and direct communication style, courage and strength served her in every context. Her adventuresome spirit brought her rafting down the Colorado River and travelling to rural India and Africa.
Though she left the farm of her childhood, she kept digging in the dirt and advising others as a Master Gardener. She had a refined aesthetic evident in her garden, her lovely home décor and her impeccable appearance.
After her childhood as a Lutheran, she became a lifelong Presbyterian. Lucky were the numerous church committees on which she served as an insightful, hard-working and outspoken member. A word she used to describe her spiritual side was “providential”, reflecting her awareness of many blessings and her intuitive sense to align herself to receive them.
She is greatly missed and is survived by daughters Dawn Summers Pacifica, CA and Jeanne Jamison Sherwood, OR, son-in-law Dan Jamison and her grandchildren Nathan and Jacqueline Roth, Kristina Kelly and three great-grandsons.
A memorial service and luncheon will be held at noon on March 4, 2017 at her church home of Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3737 Liberty Rd S., Salem, Oregon 97302.
In lieu of memorial contributions, the family requests that you send donations in Marian's name to the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance or to Love INC of Tigard, Tualatin & Sherwood.
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