She wasn't without her flaws, but damned if she didn't love everyone who walked into her life. She was a great storyteller with a grand sense of humor. Every time I'd walk through the door, it was likely that she'd either be on the phone or bangin' away at a crossword puzzle, and there'd more than likely be a game show on the TV. Didn't matter though, as she'd excuse herself from her call so we could chat.
With Grandpa gone almost two years now, I think she was ready to go. We enjoyed one last Thanksgiving lunch at their house last week, as we have for decades, but I reckon that'll be the last time. It was a sad day to realize that part of my life that's been there from the beginning was coming to an end. Such is life though, I suppose.
Marion Ann (Sprenkle) Murren, 81, died Thursday evening, November 5, 2015, at her home, surrounded by loving members of the three generations she leaves behind. She was the wife of Thomas R. Murren, whom she married almost six months to the day after they met in 1952. He died December 7, 2013, after they had shared 61 years of marriage, nine children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, lots of laughter and good travels, arguments and frustrations, heartaches and joy.
Marion was born in Menges Mills, York County, on April 19, 1934, the oldest child of Willis E. and Kathryn (Jacobs) Sprenkle.
She was a 1952 graduate of West York High School. She was a member of Annunciation Catholic Church in McSherrystown, where she sang in the choir for many years, and had been a longtime member of the Hanover Chapter of Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS). Marion loved people and made friends wherever she went. She welcomed and loved all the friends her kids brought home. Always room for one more at the dinner table. Always OK to invite friends who would get "snowed in" with the family. A house full of people made her happy.
She did not always love being a farmer's wife, had once sworn she would never marry a farmer. But she loved her farmer. So she fed the farmhands after a long day, she drove the hay baler when needed – at least until the kids were old enough to take over – and she supported six decades of 4-H meetings and fairs.
From her grandfather and dad, she inherited wanderlust, never passing up a chance to travel near and far. Over the years, she and Tom visited Hawaii, Australia, and Alaska. They cruised the Mississippi and the St. Lawrence Seaway. They enjoyed great times at Notre Dame football games, quite a few "wine runs" to the Finger Lakes with dear friends, and searching out covered bridges in a dozen or so states. It was their tradition to take grandchildren, two at a time, along on their annual trips to Florida.
Marion was also near legendary for her love of animals. Over the years, she raised keeshond dogs, and nurtured mutts, ferrets, bunnies, and too many cats to count.
She loved her family beyond all else. She is survived by seven children, Anthony J. Murren and wife, Joyce of McSherrystown, Angela R. Murren of Hanover, Wanda M. Murren and husband, Darrell F. Crabbs, Sr. of Spring Grove, Terrence P. Murren and wife, Patricia of New Oxford, Ann R. Murren and companion, Steven Carroll of Kenneth City, Fla., Barbara J. Garman of Carlisle, and Peggy C. Clowney and husband, John of Gettysburg; 16 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by two brothers, Ralph "Jake" Sprenkle of Spring Grove and Thomas H. Sprenkle and wife, Rose, of York New Salem; and many nieces and nephews and "adopted kids." She never stopped mourning and missing her late daughters, Kathryn Murren Hippensteel and Susan Murren Roth; as well as three grandchildren, K. Benjamin Smith, April E. Clowney, and Renee A. Clowney.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, November 10, at Annunciation Church in McSherrystown. Burial will follow in the parish cemetery. Relatives and friends will be received at Murphy Funeral Home, 501 Ridge Ave., McSherrystown, on Monday, November 9, from 5 to 7 p.m. with a prayer service at 7 p.m.
Memorial contributions may be made to Adams County SPCA, 11 Goldenville Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325.