Obituary: Mary Anne Crowley Marion, former Darien resident, founded Center for Hope

Mary Anne Crowley Marion of Thousand Oaks, California, died peacefully on Thursday July 14, she was 77 years old. She was beloved by her family and her many friends who made her life very full.

Born in Camden, New Jersey to John Adams Crowley, Jr and Mary McKenna Crowley on July 23, 1938. She grew up in Scarsdale, New York. She lived in Ardsley, New York, Dobbs Ferry, New York and Darien, CT for many years before moving to California in 1993. In California, she lived in Marina Del Rey, Oxnard, Westlake Village and Thousand Oaks. She graduated from Scarsdale High School in 1956, attending Rosemont College, class of 1958 and Cornell University Nursing School, Class of 1961 where she received her Registered Nurse certification. She later attended Fairfield University where she earned a master’s degree in counseling in 1983. She was a National Board Certified Counselor, a member of the American Association of Counseling, the New England Association of Alcoholics and a Certified Employee Assistance Commission Professional. She received the Humanitarian Award from the Darien Chamber of Commerce in 1987.

Mrs. Marion  was known for understanding new age concepts before they became acceptable. Following a cancer diagnosis of a child of a close friend, she was inspired to start the Center for Hope in Darien in 1982. For more than 30 years, the Center for Hope has been one of the area’s most respected and trusted resources for bereavement and critical illness support. From its humble beginnings as a concept in a classroom at Saint Thomas More Church, it later became a center that provided support groups and counseling for people suffering from terminal illnesses, with the emphasis on living fully with a holistic philosophy. After moving to California, she became a Reiki Master as well as an ordained minister. She continued to practice nursing long into her life working for Ventura County Behavioral Health. Additionally, she maintained a private counseling practice at C.O.P.E where she performed both group and individual counseling.

She was known for her love of the colors purple and turquoise and the many angels that adorned her house. She loved Hawaii and felt happiest when she was at the beach. She was very active in AA, having achieved 34 years of sobriety. Many of her closest friends she knew through the program.

She is predeceased by both of her parents and her Aunt Anne Cosgrove with whom she had a very close relationship. She was previously married to John L. Marion for 25 years, with whom she had four children. She is survived by her four children, John Marion, Jr., Debbie Murray (Mike), Teri Christie (Peter) and Michelle Marion. She is also survived by seven grandchildren, Schyler Murray, Ryan Murray, Peyton Murray, Jack Marion, Winifred Marion, Olivia Thompson and Sophie Thompson. Additionally, she is survived by three brothers, John Crowley (Emily), Thomas Crowley (Lynda) and Robert Crowley (Marcy).

A celebration of her life will be held at the California Community Church in Agoura Hills on Saturday July 23, at 10 am. Contributions in her name may be made to The Center for Hope, 590 Post Road, Darien, CT 06820.