Marianne T. Lohrman 1948-2021
CHARDON — Marianne T. Lohrman, Warren native, left this world on Monday, May 3, 2021, and became stardust, lighting the way for her loved ones past and those to follow. She was incandescent. For 73 years, she shared her warmth, light and love. She laughed and cried with us. She created spectacular meals for us. She was a compassionate friend, incredible wife, amazing mother, proud daughter, guiding sister, talented gardener and writer, woke activist and so much more.
She was born Jan. 1, 1948, in Warren to Thaddeus and Irene Was. Her dad would smile as she romped, her blonde hair bobbing in the breeze. She will always be his “Buttercup.”
Marianne’s finely honed intellect and natural talents took flight in many directions, including as a reporter for the Niles Times and Canton Repository and as a public relations professional for the Hoover Company, Heritage Trust and the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition. She also earned a Realtor’s license, helping many families find their dream homes. Her lifelong love of books opened doors to positions at the Chardon Public Library and the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library.
The lights in her life will forever be her husband, Eugene “Gene” D. Lohrman, whom she married in 1968; their two remarkable children, Kirsten and James; and grandchildren, Alexa and Joe.
Her education included graduation from the Villa Maria High School in Villa Maria, Pa. in 1966, where she had won the Junior Miss Pageant in 1965 during her junior year. She attended Kent State University, where she met Gene. When Gene was offered a job in South Carolina in 1985, they moved their family to Summerville, S.C., where they lived for nearly 20 years. It was at the College of Charleston that Marianne earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, in English literature. She and Gene returned to Ohio in 2000, following the loss of their son, Jim, and her father, Thad.
Marianne was a loving force of nature, devoting her energies to being a wife, mother and “Gramee” to her grandchildren, Alexa and Joe. She also relished her time with mother, Irene, whom she called “Mamusia.”
Butterflies and gardens occupied a special place in Marianne’s heart, so she and Gene celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary touring Vancouver, British Columbia, Whidbey Island and the historic Butchart Gardens.
Her eye for design allowed her to create a distinctive and comfortable home for family and friends. The kitchen was her domain, where she often assembled incredible appetizers, savory meals and decadent desserts. The electric tea kettle was always on for tea, ready to welcome visitors.
Marianne valued deeply the written and spoken word. She wrote poetry, short articles and exquisite letters to family and friends. In an article on the healing power of butterfly gardens, she wrote, “Why is it that the sight of a butterfly fills me with heart-expanding joy? Is it the beauty of form? The display of color? The delicacy of movement? Can it be something that approaches the divine? So many famous artists paint angels with expansive bird-like wings. I smile as I imagine teensy angels with butterfly wings. Soft, colorful, silent.”
She searched for opportunities to serve a need and share her voice. Marianne was a natural leader and welcomed many to a variety of life-affirming organizations. In memory of her son, Jim, she used her grief experience to support other bereaved parents. She became an active member of The Compassionate Friends Charleston, S.C., chapter and later the Geauga County chapter, contributing articles to the newsletter and meeting with parents who had lost their children. She used that same compassion through the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation. She was a certified Laughter Yoga practitioner, sharing the power of therapeutic laughter as a stress reliever. Her fierce love for our American democracy led her to found and create a private Facebook page for women who shared her values and wanted to make a difference. She served on the board of the Burlington Green Homeowners Association.
Marianne left this world as she lived it, with courage and grace.
Surviving are her husband of 52 years, Gene; daughter, Kirsten Antony (Tracy) of Highlands Ranch, Colo.; and grandchildren, Alexa and Joe Antony; her mother, Irene Was of Warren; and sister, Christine Zust (Mark) of Westlake.
She was preceded in death by her son, James A. Lohrman; father, Thaddeus Was; and sisters, Phyllis Hare and Janice Douglass.
The family thanks The Cleveland Clinic, The Gathering Place, the David Simpson Hospice House and in-home hospice nurses, for their loving care of Marianne throughout her two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.
Due to COVID-19, no public viewing or service is scheduled. The family will host a private celebration of life memorial service this summer.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests supporting one of Marianne’s favorite charities, the World Central Kitchen at https://wck.org.