Thursday, September 24, 2009

Marjorie Rock: Sept. 18, 1936 - Sept. 22, 2009

My dear mother, Marjorie Rock, passed away Tuesday morning. With the help of my sister, Kelly, here is the obituary I wrote for publication. She was loved by many.

Marjorie Janet (Kiefer) Rock, age 73, rose to heaven light as a feather early Tuesday morning, September 22, 2009. At the time of her departure Marjorie was a resident of Franklin, WI. However, her final act occurred in Mountain Home, AR -- coincidentally her home for the previous nine years -- where she had traveled to speak at an Alcoholics Anonymous conference.

Marjorie debuted September 18, 1936 in Menasha, WI, the first of eight children born to Rodney and Janet Kiefer. A graduate of St. Mary’s in Menasha, “Mush” was active in the marching band, played the sax, won many prizes for her artwork and danced her way into the hearts of many.

She was married to John W. “Bill” Rock in 1955. Five beautiful children emerged from that union.

The defining date of Marjorie’s adult life occurred February 9, 1970. It was the day she began nearly 40 years of sobriety. Marjorie was a fixture at many AA clubs and was often asked to speak, several times on national stages, about alcoholism and addiction.

On July 9, 1983 she was married to Donald Howard. Marjorie and “The Donald” were inseparable (and irreverent) until the time of her final curtain call. There was so much love. Marjorie was an inspiration to many people, but their bond was something that was rare and beautiful.

Marjorie was a devotee of the theatre and the arts. She was a writer, actor, dancer, choreographer and director. During her West Bend, WI years she was involved in children's theatre as well as Musical Masquers.

After retiring to Mountain Home in 2001, she joined the Twin Lakes Playhouse where she acted in and directed several shows, including their first ever musical. She was also a painter, knitter and master crepe paper flower maker. Marjorie seemingly had time for everything and everyone.

Marjorie had a special creative friend in Diane Bloom with whom she co-wrote the psycho musical comedy drama, Pop Out of the Drama, a two-woman show blending therapy and theatre. They sang and danced in over 25 performances around the Midwest.

Unstinting with her time, Marjorie obtained an AODA certification and began a long association with the former Dewey Center in Milwaukee as an alcoholism and drug abuse counselor. After the Dewey Center, she worked another 16 years with Mary Karegeannes.

Marjorie was also an enthusiastic supporter of LGBT rights; gave generously of her time and was outspoken about intolerance.

Marjorie is survived by her husband Don Howard; her children, Timothy Joseph (Kelly), Kelly Ann (Bruce) Atwell, Thomas Michael (Tammy), Kevin Patrick, Kathryn Mary (Blaine Schultz) and Janet Howard; her siblings, Anne (Richard) Gollnick, Michael (Irene) Kiefer, Douglas, Daniel and Stanley Kiefer, Susan (Ted) Blohm, Bill (Jodee) Kiefer and Diane Bloom; thirteen grandchildren, Benjamin, Samantha, Andrew, Patrick, Brandon, Taylor, Haley, Emily, Kiefer, Keaton, Ian, Abigail and the Mighty Quin; plus a plethora of nieces and nephews.

Nothing left unsaid, all has been done to the best of my ability. So much attachment remains … but it all floats in an openness that feels incarnations old. Through all of the searching I have finally taken birth … and I see that love is the only rational act of a lifetime.

-- Noah Levine

When I die ... you can cremate me
but not right away bury me as I'll be
beneath a Live Oak Tree ...
and the roots they will suck from my decaying body
the tree will grow strong
and lovers will carve a heart in my chest
and children will swing on my arms
and the birds will drop ... down
a nest in my head
then you can chop me down
cremate me in your fireplace
and bury the ashes over the Phoenix International Airport
where they'll rise again
for the sake of HEAVEN
you can say "Marge Rock"
and Marge rocks again!

-- Biff Rose


  1. Tim and Kelly this is so beautifully done. Just like your mom's writing.
    With deepest sympathy
    Raymond Konz-Krzyminski

  2. Marjorie was well loved here in Mountain Home, Arkasas and we will miss her so very much. We are devistated for the family's loss. She was honored all around town this last week and she was a precious pearl of great price that I was so fortunate to get to hold for a short time. God bless you all!!!

    Connie T.

  3. Sorry for your loss, my friend. I know wellhow it feels..

  4. I am sorry for your loss, Tim. May you and your family find comfort.

  5. Tim,

    I am so sorry. I know how much she meant to you.

    She sounds like a wonderful lady. The world is a sadder place now.

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  7. That is pretty f'ing discussing you anonymous worm. Or is that Chris and is anti-social personality? Could be Freddy, he likes ripping on deceased mothers.

  8. That was Chris. He's pretty much dead if I ever get my hands on him.

  9. Actually, capper my friend, Fred sent a condolence via email to me. It was very civil.

    In any case, Chris is simply jealous (and stupid). You see, he never had a mother. It was the combination of slime + a bolt of electricity that caused scum to be born.

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  11. To the family of Marge Rock- If she was the AODA counselor I met years ago, I want to say I am so sorry to hear of her passing. For many years I would do a google search on her name - she told me she was going to write a book that I so very much wanted to buy. I hoped this final search would lead me to her book but it sadly it led me here. She helped so many people and will be missed.

  12. Sympathy sent to you all. Im surprised to see the obituary as I just looked her name up by googling since I hadnt heard from her since her move to Franklin. wondering also did her book get published as I wanted to purchase it and also email and chat with Marj. We had many great discussions.I will miss her and now I know why I havent heard from her..the article written tim was very well done and she would be