Mount Vernon Memorial Park & Mortuary

8201 Greenback Ln, Fair Oaks, CA


Mrs Marianne Orschel Schirmer

2 juillet , 19383 octobre , 2019
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Marianne Schirmer was born on July 2, 1938 in the town of Ramstein, Germany. Marianne passed away peacefully on October 3, 2019 in her home surrounded by her family.

Marianne was preceded in death by her loving husband Ken, her sister Lilo, her mother Helene, her father Franz, and her nephew Heinz. She was survived by her children Dean and Janet and her sons, by love, Michael & O'niel.

Marianne grew up in Ramstein during World War II and lost her father in the war. Her mother raised her and her two siblings on her own until they reached adulthood. She met her husband Ken when he was stationed in Ramstein and fell in love and began a new chapter of her life with him, traveling the world while raising her two children. She loved sewing, bowling, cruises; enjoying all to their fullest. Later in life she joined the El Dorado Stammtisch and found many friends that filled her later years with much joy.

Family & friends are invited to a memorial & funeral service on October 18, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at Mt. Vernon Memorial Park & Mortuary on Greenback Lane. An Interment & Reception will follow the service at Mt. Vernon Mortuary.


  • Funeral Service vendredi, 18 octobre , 2019
  • Reception vendredi, 18 octobre , 2019


Mrs Marianne Orschel Schirmer


Robert Schirmer

22 octobre , 2019

I met Marianne in 1960. I liked her from the very first and she was my favorite sister-in-law. I will miss her and pray that she shall Rest In Peace.

Sharon Fisher

20 octobre , 2019

Can't forget the many Sunday brunches we went to, also the trip to Germany. I would never have gotten there if it wasn't for Ken & Marianne.

Brad & Bernee Martin

20 octobre , 2019

We remember the New Years party at Dean's in South Sacramento and her generosity in loaning Bernee a wheelchair for her broken ankle.

Hannelore Hartmann

20 octobre , 2019

A few years ago, a few of us German ladies were very lucky to get invited to Marianne's home for an almond ring with coffee and home baked delicious goodies. Marianne greeted us into her beautifully decorated christmassy home with outstretched arms and her always gorgeous smile. And as always, we had a wonderful time! As we left we all received a gift - a colorful painted wooden nutcracker.
We will always love you - Special Marianne

Erika Johnson

20 octobre , 2019

Oh, Marianne, There are so many happy memories I could share, It would take a little book to write. Such as driving in a carpool together to play Bunco, going to the winery or parties. She always talked so loving about her family and all the great times they had!! And when we were at parties, shopping, etc., her spirit was always high!
We had so many good laughs!!
Marianne, my wonderful friend, will never be forgotten!

Dave & Patti Ehret

20 octobre , 2019

We will never forget Marianne's loving smile. Often starting as an impish grin with a glint in her eye, a broad, radiant smile that would blossom full of love.
We will miss her.

John & Ingrid Anderson

20 octobre , 2019

Remembering Marianne & her zest for life, a good story, sharing, gathering groups, and a good glass of Zinfandel !

Jurgen, Lorna & Rosie Lurtz

20 octobre , 2019

When we think about Marianne we always think of friendship and a lot of fun.
We will miss her.

Donna and Ray Balecki

20 octobre , 2019

The night we went to Eastern Empire restaurant for dinner. We ladies had too much wine and we were laughing and having a good ole time. Well, it was closing time and the waiters and our husbands tried to get us to go home, but we were not ready to leave yet. Until, they turned the lights off! THEN we went home!

Gisela Kelly

20 octobre , 2019

Marianne told me so often, from the time we met, we connected. She said I was the first to greet her, Ken, Jerry, and Annie at the club. She also said it was so much fun to tease me and give me a hard time. I will truly miss you!
Love you


Old Family Home in Ramstein Germany. The place of Marianne's birth and early childhood.


Marianne’s parents, Helene Johanna Lesmeister Orschel and Franz Orschel.


Marianne participating in a German holiday early in her life.


Marianne with friends enjoying a German holiday.in Ramstein, Germany


Glamour shot of Marianne in her late teens.


Marianne with Rosie and her girlfriends in Ramstein Germany


Marianne with an early boyfriend named Theo. The man she might have married if not for a unfortunate accident which ended his life.


Marianne with her sister Lilo, her mother, Lilo’s husband Heinz, and her soon to be husband Ken.


Marianne with her sister Lilo's son, Heinze. The first grandchild for the Orschel clan.


Marianne with her mother and nephew Heinze. He looks like he isn't quite ready to walk but is getting help none the less.


Marianne’s father, Franz Orschel was conscripted into the army when Hitler rose to power. As with many German boys and men, they had no choice but to go where they were ordered. He was definitely not a supporter of the war, but he had no choice but to fight. It was while serving in France that he was killed, leaving Marianne without a father. Once he was gone, her mother, Helene (Leni) was left to raise three children on her own, Franz Jr., the oldest, Lilo, the middle child and Marianne, the baby of the family. Leni suffered from congestive heart failure and raising three kids on a widow’s pension was not enough and Marianne remembers that they would go out to the potato fields after the farmer’s harvested them to look for unharvested potatoes. Sometimes they were okay, but usually they were purple or shriveled. She remembers eating them because she was hungry, but was happy when that time ended. She also recalls, her and her siblings going into the forests surrounding Ramstein to pick wild berries that they would sell to the baker for flour. Marianne often came home from those forays with as much berry juice around her mouth as in the basket. Even though times were tough and Leni had bout’s of illness, she managed to raise three kids, maintain and keep the family home, and start a bookstore for extra income. Being raised in wartime and not having a lot to eat was an integral part of her personality and why she always liked the better things in life as she got older. Once she was old enough to pay her own way, she wanted those things she was deprived of as a child.

Marianne’s first boyfriend was named Theo. She had known him from her school days and was planning on getting married to him once she felt the time was right. Unfortunately, he was killed in a motorcycle accident and whatever plans they had were gone along with him. However, fate had other plans for her. Marianne often told a story about a visit to a gypsy in her childhood who told her that she would live in a far off land and be very rich when she got older. She thought the prediction was ridiculous given her situation at that time, but a few years later she met dad and moved to America to begin her new life. As for being rich, by 1950 standards, she was very rich indeed.

Marianne and her best friend Rosie wanted to go to another town but had no way to get there on their own. However, they new a male friend who had a car but didn’t want to take them. So they somehow convinced him to let them tie him up after he said no. Once they had him tied up, they took his car keys and drove to the next town without him. Marianne stated that she and Rosie were not very good drivers and not used to a stick shift and as a result they managed to run over a couple of chickens during their adventure. When they returned the car it had a few chicken feathers still attached to the grill.

Once Marianne started working she did what most teenage girls do, she bought herself clothes and shoes that didn’t have the “mom” bought these look on them. After helping her mother with household expenses, any money she had left over went to buy the latest fashions, of if she couldn’t afford them, which was often, to pay for the fabrics and materials she would need to make the clothes herself. She became quite the seamstress after a while and it was a skill that came in useful once she had kids of her own. She often complained that her sister Lilo would often “borrow” her clothes when they were younger, leading to some mighty big fights over what belonged to whom.

After completing her studies at the Berufsschule in Landstuhl Germany Marianne took a job as a waitress at a movie theater/bar called the Gloria when she was in her early 20’s and still living at home in Ramstein Germany. The Gloria was literally right across the street from her house, which was why she was allowed to work there as it allowed her mother to keep an eye on her and ensure that when her work shift was over she came straight home. It was while she was working in the Gloria that she first met her future husband Kenneth Schirmer. Marianne mentioned that it was not love at first sight as she had no intention of falling for an American, but his outgoing personality, humor and persistence where enough to win her and her family over.

When Ken was trying to date Marianne he used to bring American food over to her mother’s house for her mother to cook, as he was wanting home cooked meals and in his own way thought it was a good way to get acquainted with her family. He used to bring things like ribs and corn, which were completely foreign to Marianne and her family. In fact, Marianne always said that they thought Ken was a bit strange because corn was not used for human consumption in those day in Germany. It was grown and used to feed the pigs or other livestock. Because of Ken, they thought that Americans would eat anything you put in front of them, whether suitable for human consumption or not.

Kenneth Schirmer, who almost everybody called Ken, was born in Iowa, of Forest and Faye Schirmer. He had a few years with his mother before she died of TB and upon her death, his dad Forest took off, leaving him and his siblings to be adopted or fostered out. After spending time at the orphanage, he was fostered out to a farmer and his wife, who took him and his brother mostly for the fact that they could help him on the farm. His older brother Robert, took most of the brunt of the work, but he didn’t recall to many pleasant memories of growing up there. Once he was old enough to leave, he headed for Santa Ana, California to be with his brother and from there joined the Army and then the Air Force as an electrician. If not for his wanderlust he would never have made it to Germany and if not for his upbringing, Marianne would never have met the man she would one day marry. Marianne always stated that it was his personality and vulnerability that attracted her to him.

After they got married, Kenneth was re-stationed to Mather A.F.B. in Sacramento, California. On the way to Sacramento, they decided to travel cross country by car instead of flying the whole distance. This allowed Ken to go through Iowa and Kansas to meet relatives such as his sisters and nephews and nieces. When they stopped in Santa Ana to visit his brother Robert (Bob) Marianne often told the story that when they sat down to eat dinner, Ken wanted seconds of salad. Instead of using utensils he simply reached into the salad bowl and grabbed a handful of salad with his hand and put it on his plate. Marianne, being from Germany and being raised by both Nuns at school and Mom at home was appalled by his manners and without taking a second breath, she reached over into the mashed potatoes with her hand, grabbed a handful, and slapped them on his plate, saying “If you want to eat like a pig, let me serve you like one.” It was all his brother Robert and sister-in-law Carrie could do not to bust out laughing.

It was in 1959-1960 when they arrived in Sacramento, California. After looking around, they decided to buy a house off base in a new development called Lincoln Village. Dad was making about $85.00 a month as an airman in the Air Force. This was not enough to pay for a house and feed himself and new wife, so he began working at the bowling alley at nights to make extra money and Marianne began working as a waitress at the Sheepherders. Later, Dean was born and Marianne began working at the bowling alley café to make ends meet and Dean would go to the bowling alley daycare while Marianne worked. When it was time for lunch he would toddle over from the daycare to the café and order “flinch flies” for lunch, along with his milk, of course. With the three incomes, it was enough to purchase the house at 9930 Aries Way, Sacramento, California for the sum of $12,000.00 and some change. A house that Marianne still owned at the time of her death.

Marianne often told the story about the “coffee pot.” It seems that while the family was living on Aries Way in Lincoln Village, there would be occasions when she and Ken would go out with Mel and Lil. On those occasions, Mel’s son Elmo or Craig would babysit Dean and Janet. Well it happened that on one New Year’s Eve, when the parents were out partying, and Elmo was babysitting that Elmo heard an intruder in the backyard of the house. He called his parents and the police as it sounded like someone was dragging things around in the backyard and he couldn’t see them by looking out the window. He pulled Dean and Janet out of bed and when the police arrived, they searched the property and found the intruder. It seemed the coffee pot had been left on and had run dry. The sound Elmo heard was the coffee pot running without any water in it. Luckily, the police looked at the Elmo and the two kids and simply left without any further incidents.

After Mather A.F.B., Ken was stationed back in Germany, however, he was transferred to Bitburg, Germany rather than Ramstein. Once back in Germany, Marianne was able to visit her family again, but it was a bit of a drive from Bitburg to Ramstein. They soon started visiting each other on a weekly basis, but the cars that each of them had were not the most reliable cars, and they therefore reached an agreement that if a car broke down before the ½ way point, they would cancel the visit for that weekend. If the car broke down after the ½ way point then the other family had to drive to pick them up and tow the car to their home to fix. Somehow, Ken and his brother-in-law Heinz were always able to fix the care before the weekend was over.

While living in Bitburg, Ken let his Yankee Trader side of him come out and was making deals left and right because the dollar was so strong against the German Mark. In those days you could get 4 marks to a dollar, and a mark represented about what a dollar could buy in America, thus it was like making 4 times the salary while in Germany. There was a time when Ken and Marianne had 8-10 Grandfather and Grandmother clocks in their home. They found out quickly that when 8-10 clocks all strike midnight at or about the same time, no-one is staying asleep for long. While grandfather clocks would have been nice to have in California, Ken and Marianne traded all of them for a washer and dryer, as they needed those much more than they needed the clocks. With them family came first, even if it was exactly a fair trade. Marianne always said, that she never had regrets about it, because the clocks provided something they needed, when they couldn’t have afforded it otherwise.

After Bitburg, there was a move to Tampa, Florida, where Marianne was first exposed to a semi-tropical climate and the things that come with it. The one thing she always remembered about Florida was the house they rented while Ken was stationed there. When they first arrived, they went to the house to see what they had rented, and she remembers turning on the lights and seeing the carpet move. It didn’t take her too long to figure out that the moving carpet was in fact Florida size cock roaches that had moved in between tenants. Needless to say, we didn’t move into the home until the house had been tented, bug bombed, twice and then cleaned out and repaired thoroughly before we moved in. The greatest thing about the house, wasn’t the house it was the huge tree in the backyard that sprawled everywhere and provide a jungle gym for the kids to play on and build forts in.

The family later moved to Edwards A.F.B. in the Mojave Desert of California. Let’s just say it was not the garden spot of California, and it was remote from any major city or any form of normal city life. So you made due with what you had. While in Edwards Marianne became very interested and very good at bowling. She was good enough to join a woman’s championship bowling league for a while and this allowed her to compete all over California during that time, though for some reason Bakersfield seemed to be the location of choice for the league championship tournaments. She won a few and lost a few, but no matter what the result, there were bowling trophies all over the house. There was a time when she and Ken bowled so much, that when Dean babysat his sister Janet for only ten cents an hour, he earned enough to buy a ten-speed bike and a couple of bowling balls, along with all the accessories that went with them with his babysitting money.

It was in Edwards where Marianne realized that her daughter was a bit more off a handful than she anticipated. One story she always told us was the time that a neighbor from the other end of the street came to the door with his two sons about Dean's age and told her that her child was telling his sons they could not walk down the street to get to their home. He wanted Marianne to take care of the problem and she called Dean to confront him about the accusation. When Dean came to the door the neighbor told her that wasn't the child they were talking about, he informed her it was her daughter. Well, at the time Janet was probably 5-6 and the boys were 8 and 10. Marianne was amused at the thought, but made sure Janet never terrorized those particular children again. Another story she told was when Janet would always come home with extra money. She was suspicious of her daughter given her daughter's history, so she asked Janet where she got the money, expecting she was taking it from other kids. However, Janet told her she simply found the money on the side of the road. Well Marianne told her not to pick up any more money "from the side of the road." A few days later when Dean and Janet came home from school, Dean was holding onto a five dollar bill. Marianne asked him where he got it from and he said, Janet and him were walking down the street and Janet walked right past the money so he picked it up.

While in Edwards she began cake decorating. The first cake she made and decorated was a “Doll Cake” which consisted of a Barbie doll encased in cake in the shape of a ball gown. The cake/gown was decorated with rosettes in various colors to make the dress portion of the cake. The rosettes and other cake decorating techniques made the dress look like it had different textures. She was so proud of that cake that it sat on the stereo for months, until the frosting on the outside had petrified and become gray from the dust that could not be wiped off without damaging the frosting dress.

She was also into Tupperware parties at the time. I remember her hosting and attending Tupperware parties and our house was full of the stuff for quite a long time. When she was just getting into the Tupperware phase, Ken was not too happy about all of the money she was spending on the plastic bowls and containers. In order to show dad how good the Tupperware was, she took the left over spaghetti from dinner and placed it into one of the Tupperware bowls. She snapped a lid onto the bowl and told him that she could throw it up in the air and catch it and the lid would not come off. Unfortunately, she was a little too enthusiastic in her demonstration and the bowl hit the ceiling and popped open. Once it hit the ceiling the contents sprayed out and fell right on Ken's head. Needless to say, I don't think it changed his opinion of Tupperware.

As stated above, the Mojave Desert, despite its stark beauty did not provide a lot of things to do, but the one thing the family did enjoy was the weekend drives to Lancaster, California for “weekend getaway”. The weekend getaway consisted of a trip to the K-Mart to go shopping and a trip to McDonald's to eat lunch. While we didn’t always buy something at K-Mart, it was enough to get off the base and drive over the road cutting through the salt flats which was the next best thing to a roller coaster when you sped over the small undulations in the road at 90 miles an hour in a Plymouth Fury III.

One thing Edwards A.F.B. was know for was very hot summers. Being a desert it was also known for water rationing. There are no rivers or streams running through the desert, so water was either ground water or piped in. Thus, it was no surprise that the Base positively forbade the use of outdoor swimming pools, other than the ones at the schools or recreation center. However, Marianne wasn't a big fan of that rule, so in order not to get in trouble she bought an above ground pool about 3-4 feet high and put it up in the garage. She then ran a hose into the garage and slowly began filling the pool. Thus, during the summer, if we wanted to swim we would walk out to the garage and swim in the dark, with only the light from the back door and overhead light to swim buy. Remember, she couldn't open the garage door facing the street as everyone would have seen the pool and Ken would have been in trouble with the Base Commander for violating the rules.

One thing you don't get a lot of in the desert is snow, but Edwards was in what they called the high desert, and once in a blue moon, it would actually snow during winter. It only happened one time while her family was in the desert, but given the novelty of it all, she got Dean and Janet out into the snow and suggested they build a snowman. Well, the snow on the ground was about a half inch to inch deep, so there was not a lot of snow to work with. So in order to get this snowman built, she had the neighborhood bring all the snow they could from their lawns to the house and combined them to make a pretty decent looking 3 foot snowman. Granted the rest of the block looked like it hadn't snowed, but there was a snowman in front of the Schirmer house.

As mentioned earlier, Mom started sewing early on in order to keep herself dressed in the newest fashions during a time when there was definitely not enough money to buy the outfits she wanted. Well this ability to sew became very useful once she had children of her own. She spent many hours making clothes for her kids, but it was mostly Janet who became the recipient of her sewing talents. She would sew little outfits for her which no one else in the neighborhood would have. One outfit that stood out was a little skirt outfit that had a green leather vest. I dont think Janet appreciated it as much as Mom, but she got to wear that outfit a LOT. In Edwards, she began sewing Bowling shirts for her kids, Ken and herself. The family was quite the color coordinated fashion plates.

In Edwards, Marianne was introduced to the wonderful world of camping. Now everyone else was happy with a tent, cook stove and a roaring fire, Marianne was not that kind of girl. If she was going out to the wild with the trees and critters, she was not going to do it in a fabric tent in a sleeping bag. This was the time when Ken had to start locating cheap and affordable campers and then mobile homes. If she was going camping she was going to have electricity, stove, refrigerator,bathroom, and if possible a T.V. (That was the German in her.)

One unusual thing about Marianne, was her uncanny ability to do math, especially addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. You could rattle off any bunch of numbers to her and she could calculate the total in her head while you were talking without the need for pen or paper. It never took her more than a second or two to give you the total. There was a time in Edwards when Dean was not grasping what they called “new math” at the time. The teacher called Marianne and mentioned that Dean would need to be held back a year because he couldn’t seem to grasp the math. Marianne, was having none of that and asked for a teacher’s textbook so she could teach the subject to Dean herself. She met some resistance from the teacher, but the principal let her have a book and she proceeded to tutor Dean in math. After just a couple of weeks of tutoring, and a few smacks to the head for Dean, when he took the next math quiz he aced it. The teacher didn’t believe he could go from failing to 100% in just a few weeks and accused him of cheating somehow on the test. Well it didn’t take long to show her that she was just a lousy teacher, and Dean happily went on to the next grade with the rest of his class.

After Edwards, Ken was stationed in Upper Heyford, England. While this wasn’t Germany it allowed for occasional visits to Germany and trips to see her mother and sister. These trips were months long and usually occurred over the summer holidays. By that time, most of the children were old enough to take care of themselves and that meant Marianne and her sister and Mother could enjoy more time with themselves. The one thing that happened during that time is that everybody became proficient in Canasta, because that was her mother’s favorite card game. We found out later that Grandma cheated a little, but it didn’t make the game any less fun for everyone to play. It was from Upper Heyford, that Ken finally decided to retire and move back to Sacramento and move into the home they bought in 1960.

When Ken retired, the move back to Sacramento was like capping a really adventurous vacation for the kids. After having traveled all over the world, the family was finally settling down for good. Ken and Marianne became reacquainted with their neighbors Mel and Lil Banning and Hank and Sue Caron, who had been in the neighborhood when they originally bought the home. After moving back, the Schirmer’s and Banning’s began their tradition of Thanksgiving at the Bannings and Christmas at the Schirmers. Things changed after a while, when Mel and Lil divorced and Ken and Marianne moved up the hill to Folsom. However, the love between the families never stopped, even if the visits did. In later years, Ken and Marianne would start going to Las Vegas for Thanksgiving, usually spending a week in Vegas for the Holiday. This lessened the burden on the Banning’s whose family grew by leaps and bounds and also satisfied Ken and Marianne’s love of gambling at the same time. While no one really won at gambling, Marianne’s inevitable Diamond status ensured that we always had free rooms and food whenever we stayed at a Harrah’s casino.

I mentioned above that Marianne was a Diamond member at Harrah's casino. Well the reason she was always Diamond, especially in the later years, was because when we went to Las Vegas, she would have everyone use her card, so she could get more points and reach the requisite 10,00 before we left. Everybody would do it, though Janet alway complained a little about it. However, to be totally honest, if it wasn't for Janet, she wouldn't have made Diamond from the points Dean and Ken earned every year. Lets just say they weren't as lucky at gambling and put a whole lot less money in the machines than Janet.

Ken and Marianne began cruising after retirement, During one of the many family cruises in Mexico, Ken and Marianne usually let their son set up the shore excursions. Well in one port of call, Dean sent them on a harbor cruise, while he and Janet went snorkeling on the coast. Both excursions lasted several hours and allowed for them to explore the town afterwards. Well, Dean and Janet were walking down the side streets of the town and found this hole in the wall bar. Since they were on holiday and had time to burn, they decided to go in and get some tropical drinks. As they were drinking, they noticed an older couple walk into the nearly empty bar. It only took a minute to figure out it was their parents. Out of the many bars in town, somehow they had managed to walk down the same side street and pick the same bar to get a drink in. It must have been Schirmer radar, because it was too much of a coincidence to be anything else.

After Ken retired, Marianne began her career in retail sales, fine jewelry to be exact. She first began working at Montgomery Ward’s fine jewelry because the boss of the department was a friend. After a while she went to work for JC Penny because the drive was not quite as long as it was to Wards and because her boss/friend had moved on to another job. She always loved Christmas season the best, it was when she made the most commissions, and the time of year when people were usually in a good mood. She loved serving men more, because they typically pointed, bought and left. Women usually took more time selecting the items they were going to wear. It was the money she made from commissions that paid for all the family vacations, cruises and trips to Vegas. Ken worked to keep the house running and Marianne worked to make her family’s lives about other things than work. She believed you should enjoy life and not always be worried about what bill you had to pay next.

Marianne, being the typical German mother, always told us never to waste our money to buy her flowers on Mother's day, Easter, or her birthday. What she really meant is that she did not want us to buy her flowers and bring them to the house. However, if we ordered flowers on line and then had them delivered to her work, it was another story. Somehow having them delivered to work made the money spent on flowers much more acceptable. It made her feel special and then she could brag about how wonderful her kids were.

In 2005, Janet and Marianne took a quick trip to Germany for her niece's wedding. During that trip, rather than enjoying the world class wines of the Rhein and Mosel, she kept looking for California white zinfandel's. Now, out of all the wines that you can drink, a white zinfandel is not one of your fancier ones, so it was not really a surprise when no one in Germany ever had the wine she requested. However, that never stopped her from asking at every restaurant she went to if they had her wine. It became such a routine that Janet began teasing her about chasing white zinfandel around Germany.

Marianne’s favorite club in her later years was the El Dorado Stammtisch. She initially became aware of the club through an accidental meeting with Annie Roerich and Irmgard Shussler. They were standing in line somewhere and overheard each other’s accents and of course they had to strike up a conversation. They found that they liked each other right off and began having lunches on Wednesdays to get together. This kept up right until Marianne got sick and could not attend the last few months of her life. The initial group consisted of Marianne, Annie, Irmgard, Rosemarie, and Mia. This lunch led to her introduction to the Stammtisch and many years of Oktoberfests, Lumpen balls, and Fashings.

Marianne always had a easy-going personality and often found herself getting close to people she met. In 2010, Ken was suffering from Parkinson’s dementia and was having problems remembering things and sleeping at normal hours. Marianne, did her best to keep him safe and healthy, but soon found that Ken’s dementia coupled with his Sundowner’s made it impossible for her to take care of him by herself. This led to the hiring of a caretaker for Ken, and by a fortuitous series of events, Jovenelle Avellana (O’Niel) joined the family. Initially, Marianne was resistant to the idea as she did not want to spend Ken’s entire disability payment on a caretaker, but after a month of getting a full nights rest and having a caretaker that did yardwork and cooked the meals, she realized that living without a caretaker was a really dumb idea. As O’Niel took care of Ken and Marianne also, she realized that he was becoming like a son to her and that she had a genuine love for him and was sad when he had to move on to another job after Ken passed away.

Michael came into her life in a most unexpected way. After she and Dean had a heart to heart conversation about being true to yourself and she gave her blessing for him to pursue whatever his heart desired, Michael came into her life. While her initial response was guarded, she soon realized that under that young, somewhat uncultured exterior was a caring man that cared for her son. As she began to need more help with her life, he stepped in, sometimes unwillingly, and began helping her with things like shopping, doctor visits and cooking. They spent so much time together that he learned things about Marianne that even her children did not know.