Marion Dilley

February 1, 1934April 24, 2013
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Marion Dilley East Lansing, Michigan

Marion Dilley, loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend passed away unexpectedly April 24, 2013 at the age of 79. She was born February 1, 1934 in Rapid River, Michigan to Harry and Mildred Nelson.

Marion was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Joyce Jensen. She will be greatly missed by her high school sweetheart and husband of 56 years, MSU Emeritus Professor David R. Dilley. Marion is also survived by her daughters, Cathy (Craig) Lazar of Okemos, Jane (Rick) Greene of Lake Placid, FL and Brenda (Tom) Mahoney of Denver, CO; seven grandchildren, Stephanie, Marie, and Ross Lazar, David and Robert Greene, Matthew and Ryan Mahoney; and brothers, Ralph Nelson of Brookfield, CT and Richard Nelson of Waterford, MI; sister, Carol (Aram) Hernandez of Orlando, FL; and many nieces, nephews, and other beloved family and friends.

She graduated from South Haven (Michigan) High School and was a proud graduate of the University of Michigan’s School of Nursing in 1956. Though she loved the Maize and Blue, she was also an avid Spartan fan! She worked in the field of nursing for many years, but she was primarily devoted to being a homemaker. She loved to dance, bake, sew, read, and do her daily crossword puzzle. Marion was passionate about fitness, and dedicated to exercising daily by walking, tennis, water aerobics, biking, cross-country skiing, or fitness classes. She enjoyed “getting her walk in” whether it was in the neighborhood, at the mall, or on the beach. Her favorite walks were on the beach along the Lake Michigan shore where they enjoyed spending their summers. She also loved to travel, and was a “trooper” on cross-country family camping trips when the girls were young. Before David retired, she accompanied him to many scientific overseas conferences. Since retirement, their travels revolved around visiting her children and grandchildren.

She was a member of University Lutheran Church, Faculty Folk, the Friday Lunch Bunch, and volunteered for the Wharton Center’s Inner Circle and the Prayers and Squares Ministry at University Lutheran Church.

A memorial service will be held at 3:30 pm on Sunday, May 5th at University Lutheran Church, 1020 S. Harrison in East Lansing, MI 48823. The family will receive friends at a visitation on Saturday, May 4th, from 4-6 pm at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Home in East Lansing. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Michigan State University Advancement designated for the David and Marion Dilley Endowed Scholarship and Research Fund at MSU, 535 Chestnut Road, Room 300, East Lansing, MI 48824.

On line condolences may be made at:


  • Visitation Saturday, May 4, 2013
  • Memorial Service Sunday, May 5, 2013

Marion Dilley

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Jeff & Kay Rosenthal

May 17, 2013

Cathy, We are so sorry to hear about the unexpected passing of your mom. Please know that you and your family are in our prayers. With deepest sympathy,

Olga Holden

May 13, 2013

Cathy and family: I am saddened to learn of your mother's sudden death. I know this is a difficult time for you and your family. Delight in the good memories.
I have fond memories of the Dilley family with three daughters at ULC, mirroring our "three daughter" family. And I remember with pride the marketing project you did when your dad was beginning what became his very successful business.
Please accept my sincere thoughts and prayers.

C.J. and Lyle Miller

May 6, 2013

Cathy, Lyle and I are saddened to learn of your Mother's passing and extend our heartfelt sympathy to all of you. We know you and your family were a constant source of love and pride for all her years. God bless!

May 5, 2013

Hi Cathy! so sorry for your loss! She sounds like she was a beautiful woman! Love to you and your family. xo Julie Regan

Dave, Sandy and Sophie Miller

May 3, 2013

Dear Dave and Family. We were shocked and saddened to learn of Marion's sudden passing. Our hearts go out to you. With deepest sympathy for you during this difficult time. She will live on in our fond memories of her.

May 1, 2013

We were saddened to learn of Marion's death. You and your family have our love and deepest sympathy.Don and Barb Harmer

Tom & Shannon Rybarsyk

April 30, 2013

Lake Michigan won't be the same without Marion - seeing her flip flops hidden behind a log on our beach and knowing she was on her way down to her special landmark tree beyond Driftwood Beach, or actually trying to keep up with her as we walked together. We now won't have her chiming in with us on the U of M side of things right before the big game. She and Dave were our first and best Lake Michigan friends.

Pat Brown

April 30, 2013

Dave: News of Marion's passing was a shock and upon getting the news, I immediately flashed back to the last time we were together at our high school class reunion last September. What a great time we had and how wonderful to have the memory of the two of you laughing and enjoying the companionship of old and good friends. My most heartfelt condolences to you, Dave, and to all of your family.

April 30, 2013

Dear Dave and Family.

Yes it was sad to hear the bad news about her death. We were all shocked about reading about her passing away. Any how you are all very proud of her personnality and for seriving the mankind throughout her life as nurse but over all about all the activities where she was involved in during her life together with Dave and her daughters. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time of loss and sorrow. I and Fatima will always continue remembering her for the good time that we have shared together both in East Lansing, at the Lake of Michigan and during her visit to Morocco 23 years ago. Her smile will never leave our memories and we will miss her a lot. The good memories of her is a big confort to all the people who knows her as a lovely mother with big hearth full of love to all. We admire her.
God bless you all.
Ahmed Ait-Oubahou and Fatima El Hilali

April 30, 2013

So sorry to hear of the passing of Marian. So enjoyed the times we shared through the MSU events and here in Florida. May God bless her soul. Jean Haarer