Marcella Arnow (2)

PART 2: from the funeral service in Winchester, England, February 18, 2010 (except for Alison Bond’s, below, which was written).

Words of Welcome by Janet Blann

I am a Civil Celebrant. I will be conducting this service today. I would like to offer you all a warm welcome as we unite in love and friendship to celebrate the life and achievements of Marcella. To give thanks for all that she gave to you all. I would like to give a particularly warm English welcome to Marcella’s cousins who are here from America Mike and Pat and Maureen.

Sadly Marcella died on 14th February in Countess Mountbatten Hospice. She was 68 yrs old.

It was more than 8 years ago that Marcella was diagnosed with breast cancer. During the past 8 years she had enjoyed many long periods in remission as well as times of great pain and distress but being Marcella she remained active and positive. In fact she was doing well and only had two more years to go for the all clear. Unfortunately she became unwell towards the end of 2009 and spent some time in hospital and was then moved to the Hospice.

During her time in the Hospice she received lots of visitors, many of you here today.

Amongst these visitors were her beloved pets her cat Pepper and her horse Blue. A memorable moment. I would also like to give a special mention to two of her very dear friends Avril and Joycelyn who visited her daily right up until the end.

This is always a difficult time for any family but it is made more challenging when your closest family is in America.

Marcella fought her battle against this cruel disease with immense courage and dignity. When Marcella knew she was dying, she was able to make her wishes known to those close to her, she made it clear the sort of funeral she wanted. In 1999 she attended the funeral of her dear friend of 32 years Lucy Keeling and it was her wish that her own funeral be similar to Lucy’s. It was her wish that that the service be organised by Lucy’s two children Miranda and Dylan. Since their mother’s death Marcella was like a mother as well as a valued friend to them. Miranda and Dylan had a very special place in Miranda’s heart as she does in theirs.

Marcella requested that Miranda [and Dylan] help organise the funeral and that it should be Civil Celebrant who would conduct the service and Dylan to be in charge of the music. It was also important to her that her Jewish upbringing be recognised during the service which we will be doing with music and prayer as we move through the service. We will begin with Miranda reading a poem.

Marcella’s friends from the stable brought her horse Blue to the hospice. Her kitty, Pepper, visited, too, brought over by her neighbor Jacqui. And friends were there every day: Joycelyn and Avril, and gardeners, horse lovers, neighbors. 

The staff even asked her friends to control the crowds–too many people were surrounding her bed all the time. Marcella remained gracious and interested. 

Her brother Tom and his wife Maureen and their son David, visited, too. Cousin Libby deRosa came from New Jersey, and I visited from New York. 

She calmly told her friends what she wanted to happen after her death, and we did our best to fulfill her wishes.
Marcella is buried just up the road from where she lived in Winchester. The cemetery is hilly and has plenty of trees
This detail of a sculpture in Winchester Cathedral expressed our feelings. We’ll miss you, Marcella.
Marcella as a baby in Keno, Kentucky, with Ernie Goldberg (the brother of Edna Arnow, who was Harold’s sister-in-law). Photo from Wanda Worley.

Reminiscence of Marcella by Alison Bond

We have been so saddened by Marcella’s death. We first met her when she was a graduate student at the LSE, and then saw quite a lot of her when she lived in Brooklyn. I remember the marvelous meals that she cooked for us. I also will never forget that she visited us shortly after our second child was born, and discovered that we had a whole pile of back walnuts that my husband’s father had sent us. Marcella set about patiently shelling the nuts, using two bricks (can’t imagine how we happened to have bricks on hand!), and then proceeded to make the most wonderful black walnut fudge. Not only have I never been able to make proper fudge successfully, I’ve also never been able to shell black walnuts, but she made both tasks seem completely effortless.

Tribute to Marcella
Marcella’s life in England 
by Janet Blann

Marcella, as well as being intellectual, was a strong woman with special warmth and a generous nature. Her friends have said to me that she would always be the same, always there for them and able to pick you up if you were down. She could be very direct and some people did sometimes find her scary! 

She had spent some time in England many years ago after her graduation in America but she returned and lived in New York for many years before making England her home in the mid eighties. Her last job was with IBM until she retired.

Marcella never married but She certainly lived life to the full.

Member and president of Horticultural society she had a great love of her garden and nature she loved organising shows for the society.

Loved Art and theatre and was a member of Theatre Royal here in Winchester.

Member of Jane Austen society

Loved Yoga and went on a Yoga holiday to Greece

She studied French

She was an excellent cook

And perhaps most important of all she was a huge fan of The Archers! In fact it was said that she was obsessed with this very British programme.

She loved to spend time with friends and remained close to her family although they were on the other side of the world.

Now we all know the Americans and British cultures are sometimes very different, and although Marcella had been here for many years she still said Tomateo not Tomato sometimes the British can be very proper and she would say to her friends you are so …. British and they would say you are so American!

When I spent some time with Marcella’s friends and family this week I heard so many stories and so many memories were recalled, more than I could tell here today, so I chosen one short tale which I think sums up the character that is Marcella
At one of her shows she organised a marmalade competition she even wrote the rules. She then made some marmalade to enter into the competition but broke her own rules by using the wrong oranges and was disqualified! That was Marcella, just one of many tales.

Ladies and gentlemen we give thanks for the life of the lady who called you all Sweetie – Marcella Arnow.

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