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Marion Isakson

Aug 25, 2011

Marion Savage Isakson, formerly of Cheshire, Ct., Chilmark, Ma. and Sanibel, died peacefully in her sleep on July 7 at Peconic Landing, Greenport, N.Y. She was 91.

Born Oct. 31, 1919 in Meriden, Ct., Marion was the daughter of Eleanor Dyer Savage and Walter Elliot Savage. After graduating from Jackson College of Tufts University in 1941, Marion trained in merchandising at Jordan Marsh in Boston and also worked as a bridal buyer for Worth’s Department Store in Hartford, Ct. Her hope had been to write for a women’s magazine.

She married Robert Owen Hawkins in 1942; he died in 1944. A young widow with a small child, Marion turned to a career in education. She received a certificate in early childhood education from Yale University in 1948, a second bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Southern Connecticut State College in 1949, and her MA in educational administration from Stanford University in 1952.

Marion was active in education throughout her life as a teacher (first grade and high school English), a teacher trainer, a consultant in early childhood development, a reading specialist in the Cheshire Public Schools, English department co-chair at the Day Prospect Hill School in New Haven, a representative for reading materials and literature programs, and a writer and editor for local publications wherever she lived.

She was a champion of education for women and an active and avid member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) for 70 years, from 1942 until 2007 when the local Greenport, New York chapter of AAUW closed. Voted “best dressed” by her college classmates, she also never lost her sense of style.

Marion’s passion for education and her leading edge spirit as a professional woman were only surpassed by her love of and devotion to her family.Marion was predeceased by her husband of almost 45 years, Carl Isakson, in January of 1999.

She is survived by her two daughters and their spouses, Roberta Martin (Paul) of New York and Carla Swedish (Bill) of Seattle; two grandchildren, Christopher and Elizabeth Martin, and two step-granddaughters, Jessica (Swedish) Kerkhofs and Rachel Swedish, and two step-great-grandchildren.

Marion and Carl were residents of Cheshire, Ct. from 1954 until 1989 and founding members of the Copper Valley Swim and Tennis Club and later of the Farms Country Club. Marion and Carl were residents of Sanibel from 1989 until 1999, and Marion remained on Sanibel, after Carl’s death, until 2001, residing then briefly in Naples until 2002. She was active in retirement on Sanibel as a tutor of elementary school children and a member of The Dunes “Nifty Niners.” Marion and Carl were also seasonal residents of Martha’s Vineyard, Ma. for five months of every year, from 1967 until 1997.

Marion loved every aspect of the Vineyard and enjoyed sharing that love with family and guests in her Chilmark home, off South Road.Burial and memorial services were private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Tufts University in Marion’s memory.