Marion Zeltzer

Born May 28, 1925

Marion Zeltzer passed away at home on May 9, 2011, enveloped in the love and warmth of her family and her devoted caregiver, Tess. An artist whose exceptional talent was surpassed only by her greatest works: the enduring love of, and for, her husband, Allen, and the powerful, nurturing bond she created with her children and her grandchildren.

Marion, was born on May 28, 1925 in Los Angeles, California to Julius and Celia Andelson and was raised in the City of the Angels. In 1942, a world war raging, Marion, a striking beauty, met a handsome lieutenant out on a weekend pass. This chance encounter in Lake Arrowhead, California blossomed into love. Marion married the love of her life, her sweetheart, her friend, her constant companion of 68 years, Allen Zeltzer, on April 18, 1943, embarking on one of the greatest love stories ever told. This enduring love produced three devoted children, Jeffrey Zeltzer, Linda Durr and Nancy Zeltzer. Her family, including her grandchildren, Jennifer Berterreche, Danielle Garland and Blake Garland, grieve her passing but cherish the time they had with this wonderful woman.

Allen and Marion lived in Los Angeles County during the earlier years of their marriage. In 1959 Allen and Marion moved with their three young children to the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan so that Allen could pursue his previously deferred dream of earning his PhD. in Theater Arts. Surmounting cramped quarters, and limited funds, Marion made the experience an adventure for her children and provided constant support for Allen as he studied, taught, and worked multiple jobs, to support his family and earn his degree. Marion and Dr. Allen Zelter returned, triumphant, to California in 1963 where Allen was appointed as a Theater Arts professor in the newly established Orange State College, which eventually became California State University, Fullerton. Allen and Marion settled in Yorba Linda, California where they resided for the next 30 years.

While in Michigan, Marion began to explore her innate aptitude for the visual arts. She studied and experimented, and upon her return to California she continued this exploration, ultimately reaching the full flowering of her talent. Marion worked in watercolors, textiles, photography, wood and metals, but it was in ceramics that she reached the true apogee of her creativity and artistry. In her small home studio, complete with a backyard brick kiln, Marion's output was as prodigious as it was amazing. Ceramic pots and vases, immense stoneware constructions, delicate porcelain perfume bottles, startling ceramic hubcaps, and rustic (and working) ceramic whistles, stylized birds, and whimsical hanging bird feeders, all adorned with the glorious glazes Marion created herself. Marion's imagination was boundless and her craftsman ship impeccable. Marion's work was displayed in prestigious galleries, and sold at open-art fairs throughout the state where she basked in the delight and appreciation of her customers. While truly a self taught artist of the highest degree, Marion furthered her formal education in her chosen field, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from California State University at Fullerton in 1976.

Marion was also an artist at life. Together with Allen, she traveled the globe, by plane, by train, by ship, foot, but most of all by bicycle. Allen and Marion lead an amazing 15 annual bike tours to Europe. From Paris to Senegal, to Istanbul to Rio De Janeiro, from Amsterdam to Salzburg, these two glob trotters, gloried in the adventure and gathered mementos with which they enriched their home with memories of the four corners of earth.

In 1991, upon Allen's retirement, the nest empty, Marion and Allen moved to Palmia in Mission Viejo, California. For the next 20 years, Allen and Marion were one the most popular and active couples in this senior community. In addition to forging lasting and lively relationships, Marion amazed her friends and neighbors with the glory of her garden. Marion was an enthusiastic member of the Palmia Garden Club, serving several terms as a Board member, and was never happier than when puttering in her meticulously maintained and luscious garden.

While Marion's life was filled with love and laughter, during its course she also faced, and overcame, many medical challenges. Her last fight, her most valiant, ultimately took her from her adoring family, despite the magnificent battle waged not just by Marion, but by her greatest champion, her husband Allen.

Marion's passing has left an irreplaceable void in the lives and hearts of her husband, her son and daughters, their spouses and her grandchildren; but the memory of this amazing woman lives on and continues to enrich their thoughts, and, as ever, to astound, and inspire them.


  • Celebration of Marion's Life Sunday, June 5, 2011

Marion Zeltzer

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted


May 15, 2011

My sympathy goes to Allen and his family for the loss of Marion. I live in Palmia and have enjoyed knowing both of you.
Marlene Bergman

May 15, 2011

We are greatly saddened to know Marion will no longer be with us here in Palmia. It was always so nice to see her and Allen in so many enjoyable activities. We will miss her and want to offer our deepest condolences to Allen.
With love, Jean and Harold Golden

May 14, 2011

Marsha Selway

May 11, 2011

I so wish that I had benefitted from knowing you better. You will be sorely missed by all your friends in Palmia. Allen and your family were so blessed to have you as a wife, mother, and grandmother. May God be with all of you in your time of sorrow. Marsha Selway

George Durr

May 11, 2011

I miss our daily chats and always looking forward to seeing are not in pain and resting in the dreams of dad who loved you more then life.....your Loving daughter, Linda

Janice & Gary Zeltzer

May 11, 2011

Our most heartfelt condolences to Uncle Allen and the whole family.
With our love.

Blake Garland

May 11, 2011

I miss you Mama.

George and Linda Durr

May 11, 2011

Allen Zeltzer

May 11, 2011

I love you darling Marion, I will love you forever. Allen

Nancy Zeltzer

May 11, 2011

I love you mom, and miss you so much already. Nancy