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
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