Marian Strauss

February 4, 1950September 10, 2021

Marian Strauss was born February 4, 1950 in Riverdale, New York to Inge and Walter Strauss, Holocaust refugees from Germany. She attended the Fieldston School in Riverdale, the University of Michigan and the Simmons School of Social Work. After leaving Michigan she moved to Massachusetts where she lived in both Somerville and Arlington.

Marian always loved her work as a clinical social worker, as an individual and group psychotherapist, working with seniors in assisted living, as a graduate school student advisor and as an administrator and manager.

She loved to read, take walks in nature and she adored animals of all kinds. Some of her favorite moments were “dog time” at Menotomy Rocks Park around corner from the house, and she treasured the over 20 years she, Dore and Sam spent a week each summer at the East Hill Farm in New Hampshire among the sheep, cows, chickens, horses and pigs, but most especially among the goats and donkeys. She may have enjoyed herself there more than the children did. And there was the very special relationship she shared with the family’s cherished cat Calvin, over the last 17 years.

She loved a big guffaw with her beloved friends! She had a strong support system of close friends who gave her much strength and courage over the past four years battling uterine cancer.

The love of her life was Dore Penn, her partner and husband for nearly 42 years. His loving caregiving over the course of her illness and especially near the end are emblematic of the deep enduring and eternal love they shared throughout their lives together. They loved loving each other. Those who know them best know they also loved to squabble, because in the resolution of the squabble came profound learning, understanding and deepening love. Their son Sam, was the heart of Marian’s life. She was always so proud and happy to be his mother. She loved him so deeply, so profoundly, with every fiber of her soul and being. His joy, his passion and the spark of life that he is, were gifts that transformed her, delighted her and filled her with joy and the full measure of all life has to offer.

May her memory be for a blessing.

Donations in Marian’s memory can be made to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Program at P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284-9168 or to an organization of your choice.

Funeral service and shiva are private.


Marian Strauss

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Stanley Pollack

September 13, 2021

Marian’s infectious laughter, her warm sweet spirit, her majestic and enviable zest for life, her sweet, loving, and beautiful soul came shining through, no matter the obstacles that life presented. Oh how this world benefited from her presence and how we mourn this incalculable loss.

penny schwartz

September 13, 2021

While I did not see Marian often in these last few years, her warmth, glow and ready conversation over many years (sometimes on the High Holidays, others in supermarket aisles, or out in the neighborhood) stand out. We first met when our kids , different ages, attended the same pre-school a quarter century ago. She was a bright light in this world and her loss for her family and those closest with her is heartbreaking. May her memory be a blessing.

Norma Aviles

September 13, 2021

It’s difficult to distill 30 years into a single memory so I can only describe my love for Marian and for the beauty I would see from her every time I saw her. I witnessed as her family grew, and eventually she, Dore, and Sam became family to me, too. She’ll always be in my heart and I will never forget her, her sweet smile, or her warm embrace.