Marion (Longyear) Sonderegger | News, Sports, Jobs

MARQUETTE, MI – Marion (Longyear) Sonderegger, 99, of Marquette, passed away Monday morning, May 24, 2021, at Brookridge Heights Memory Care, with her loving family by her side and in the care of UP Home Health and Hospice.

Marion was born October 17, 1921 in Brookline, MA, daughter of the late John Monroe and Elizabeth (Barrett) Longyear, Jr. and was a longtime resident of Marquette. She graduated in 1939 from Graveraet High School and graduated in 1943 from Milwaukee Downer College with a degree in English. She also studied English Literature at Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Marion was well known as a civic volunteer in the Marquette area for many decades, starting with the Red Feather Campaign (a precursor to the United Way) and the Women’s Federated Clubhouse. Generations of schoolchildren have enjoyed “The puppet show”, a fundraiser for the AAUW scholarship program. Ms. Sonderegger was very active in community concerts and community theater in the 1950s and 1960s.

Marion has been a long-time member of the Marquette region school board, most notably as board chair. She was a sessional elder, deaconess, and choir member of the First Presbyterian Church in Marquette. She also sang with the Marquette Choral Society for decades.

Marion helped write the history of the first Presbyterian church in the 1980s. Marion received the Dwight B. Waldo Award in recognition of her endowment enabling the Sonderegger Symposium in honor of her late husband.

In her spare time, Marion enjoyed sailing, skiing, going to opera and art museums. She loved to travel to many exotic places. The family would never miss home hockey games for the Iron Rangers and before that, the Sentinels. A fan of Green Bay Packer, she proudly displayed her stock Packer certificate. His life was both long and varied.

Survivors include four children, Richard (Susan Hackett) Sonderegger of Granby, CT, Katherine Sonderegger of Alexandria, VA, James Frederick (Mary) Sonderegger of San Clemente, Calif., And John (Elizabeth) Sonderegger of Marquette; eight grandchildren: Paul, Lori, Evan, Rachel, Aaron, Andrew, Nicole and Dylan. Several great-grandchildren: Max, Winsome, Malachi and Myana Sonderegger, Margaret and Axel Sonderegger, Christopher and Alexandria Tuttobene, and Emma and Patrick Cochran.

Preceding her in death besides her parents were her husband, Richard, and her brother, John Longyear III.

The Sonderegger family will welcome relatives and friends on Thursday, May 27 starting at noon in the First Presbyterian Church. A funeral service will be held Thursday at 1 p.m. in the church with church pastor Reverend Gary Stevens officiating. Interment will take place in the park cemetery immediately after the service. Marion’s service will also be streamed live at:

The Sondereggers wish to express their deep gratitude for the very kind and loving care Marion received from the staff at Brookridge Heights Memory Care and UP Home Health & Hospice.

Marion will be sadly missed and deeply saddened by her family and many friends; her vitality and love of life touched many lives. She will be missed by all of us.

Those wishing to express their sympathy are urged to consider First Presbyterian Church, 120 N. Front St., Marquette, MI 49855 or Pine Mountain Music Festival, PO Box 406, Hancock, MI 49930 in memory of Marion.

Canale-Tonella funeral home and cremation services support the Sonderegger family.

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