Marion Sullivan

July 25, 1928 - November 24, 2016
Kalamazoo, MI



Thursday, December 1, 2016
10:30 AM EST
St. Augustine Cathedral
542 West Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 345-5147


A Rosary will be recited at 10:00 AM on Thursday at the Church.

Burial will follow at Ft. Custer National Cemetery, 15501 Dickman Road; Augusta, MI 49012.

Following the burial, food and fellowship will be shared in the Life Story Center.

Web Site


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Pretty Lake Vacation Camp
9123 Q Ave
Mattawan, MI 49071
Web Site

Senior Services of Southwest Michigan
918 Jasper
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Marion Sullivan lived a life of purpose while holding her loved ones near. A devoted wife and mother, Marion was filled with unspeakable joy to witness her family tree blossom to include the grandchildren and great-grandchildren she treasured. Accompanied by an unwavering faith, she was always looking for ways she could help others in ways both great and small. Life will never be the same without Marion here, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.

Peter and Nellie (Spazinsky) Sidorowich were filled with great anticipation as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as the heat of the summer held the city of Kalamazoo, Michigan, firmly in its grip in July of 1928. Their wait was over on July 25th when the baby girl they named Marion drew her first breath. Raised by her parents who were Russian and Polish immigrants, she grew up in the Vine Street area. Money was in short supply as the Sidorowich family felt the strain of the Great Depression of the 1930s firsthand. As a result, Marion started working at a young age. Because she was often working, she wasn’t able to do many of the things that her friends were doing. Marion attended local schools and went on to graduate from Kalamazoo Central.

As the country was deeply entrenched in WWII during the early forties, the workforce was largely focused on supporting the war effort. Marion took a job at the Upjohn Company in Kalamazoo, and this ended up being where she spent her entire career. She had a strong work ethic and loved her work there, her coworkers, and the benefits. Marion was involved in soft elastic capsule manufacturing and was a machine in her efficiency and productivity.

New and exciting changes were in store for Marion when she met the man of her dreams. His name was Norm Sullivan, and they met at a bar one night. Sparks flew right from the start, and they began dating. After dating for a short time Marion and Norm were married on November 29, 1947, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Kalamazoo. Together they welcomed their daughter, Terry, into their hearts and home. Marion was a strict mother who instilled within her daughter the importance of family, traditions of the holidays, and old world values. A progressive woman ahead of her time, she made it seem effortless to juggle being a working woman while also being a wife and mother.

Family and extended family were always first and foremost in Marion’s life. Marion was the “cool” aunt who was more like a big sister as she would take her nieces to the lakeshore, ice skating, sledding and anything that involved outdoors. As grandchildren came along Marion was thrilled, and Christmas was always the time of year when she really went over and above to make it special for her daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She was a great cook and loved her traditional Russian and Polish dishes. Marion was a huge gift giver, and there were always plenty of gifts to go around.

Throughout her life Marion was a woman of many interests. Faith was an important part of her life, and she was very devout in her Catholic faith. Marion loved the water and sunshine with some of her favorite places being near the water in South Haven and at Pretty Lake. She was forever thinking of others, and she rarely missed an opportunity to send a loved one a card for a special occasion. She also made sure the grave sites of family members that had gone before her were always maintained and adorned with beautiful red geraniums.

She was never one to complain about her health. While most her age would have been content to stay comfortably at home or in assisted living, she was “on the go” daily always wanting to get outside.

Truly beautiful on the inside and out, Marion Sullivan was a blessing in the lives of her family and friends. A lifelong resident of the Kalamazoo area, she touched so many others who were near. With unwavering faith as her compass, Marion savored every moment she spent with her family. Opinionated, determined, and hardworking, she usually stepped up to be in charge of whatever needed to be taken care of. Deeply loved, Marion will never be forgotten.

“Call when you get home!”

Marion Sullivan, of Kalamazoo died on Thursday, November 24, 2016. Members of her family include her daughter, Terry Torian of Richland, 2 grandchildren, Michael (Kelly) Torian and Matthew (Beth) Torian: 5 great grandchildren, Hailee, Polly, Ethan, Vincent, Maura and several nieces and nephews and other relatives. Marion was preceded in death by her husband, Norman D Sullivan; son-in-law, Michael Torian; 4 sisters, Agnes Harper, Sophia Kamaneck, Carmilla Jackson and Dorothy Sidorowich. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday December 1st at St. Augustine Cathedral where the Rosary will precede the Mass at 10:00 a.m. Burial will take place at Ft. Custer National Cemetery. Please visit Marion’s personal web page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her online guestbook. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Pretty Lake Vacation Camp or Senior Services of Southwest Michigan. Arrangements by Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive; Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900.

“Little acts of kindness do not go unnoticed, even if they go unseen by the crowd below.”