Marion Wells Patterson
MILFORD, NH – Marion Wells grew up in Melrose, MA during the Great Depression. She had hoped for a career in nursing, but recognized that the cost of such an education might be too great a burden at a time when money was tight. Still, it was her wish to work in a profession, “Where you wore flat shoes and had a purpose in life.” She turned her attention to nutrition and, after graduating with a BS in Home Economics from Simmons College, Marion began a life as a professional dietician and nutritionist.
After several years she took a job as Chief Dietician at Syracuse University. It was there that Marion met a student who worked in the kitchen and was eager for them to date. She firmly told him that she had a rule never to date anyone who worked for her. The next day he asked again, and she reiterated her rule. He told her that was no longer problem, because he’d quit that morning. She and Bill Patterson went on their first date that night, and they spent 55 years together.
Marion Louise Wells Patterson passed peacefully away on October 18, a few days shy of her 95th birthday. The daughter of Lewis and Helen Brown Wells, she was the second of six siblings. She was born on Oct. 23, 1922 in Melrose, MA, graduated from Melrose High School in 1940, and took her degree from Simmons College in 1944. After marrying Bill Patterson on the last day of August in1950, Marion remained at Syracuse for another year while Bill completed his studies. The couple moved to Jay, NY in 1951 and over the next five years they had three daughters – Janice, Marcia, and Judith. All three were born in nearby Saranac Lake, an area known for its winter sports. Marion and Bill were avid cross-country skiers and snow-shoers, as well as hikers and swimmers.
Much of Marion’s love of the great outdoors came from spending summers at the family land, lovingly known as Wellswood, on Long Island in Lake Winnipesaukee. Marion was an acknowledged matriarch of the family, Aunt Mimi, much loved by a large and extended circle of relatives. Remarkably, in 1959, Bill was offered a job in Laconia, NH, giving them a chance to spend most of the remainder of their lives very near their beloved summer home.
Ten years later, with the children now older, Marion returned to work as a dietician at Laconia’s Lakes Region General Hospital. By the time she’d retired, in 1987, Marion had left an indelible mark on the hospital, her community, and especially with many friends. She was active within the Congregational Church, taught Sunday School, was a Girl Scout leader, served with The League of Women Voters, and worked many functions in Laconia. Her friendships spanned many decades, and she was even corresponding with friends from Simmons and her days in Jay until very recently. Not a milestone in the lives her friends and family would pass without a remembrance and kind word from her.
Following Bill’s death in 2004, and a heart attack in 2009, Marion moved to Milford, NH to be closer to her family. Still sharp, and with a keen laugh and bright smile, she played a mean game of Scrabble, cheered for her Red Sox, and stayed in touch with her extraordinarily large circle of loved ones.
Marion is survived, and will be missed, by daughters Janice Locke, Marcia Patterson, and Judith Wing, her sons-in-law Gary Locke and Michael Wing, granddaughter Mollie Wing, and great granddaughter Rylin.
A service commemorating her life was held at 1PM on Sunday, October 29, 2017 at the Congregational Church of Laconia, 69 Pleasant Street, Laconia.
Burial will be private.
Donations in her memory may be made to The Loon Preservation Committee, P.O. Box 604, Moultonborough, NH 03254 or at www.loon.org.
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, N.H. is assisting the family with the arrangements. For more information and to view an online memorial go to www.wilkinsonbeane.com.