Marion Frances Abrams

Marion Frances Abrams

Marion Frances Abrams, 86, died Nov. 6 surrounded by family in Portland.

She was born Marion Frances Morrow on April 26, 1927, in Williams, Ariz., to O.G. “Bill” and Sara Frances Morrow.

Marion’s good humor never failed to win her friends, as true kindness, curiosity and optimism were the hallmarks of her personality. While she loved gardening, crossword puzzles and reading, her family and friends were the center of her life and she expressed unabashed enthusiasm for all of them.

She grew up in Prescott, Ariz., and graduated from Prescott High School in 1945, then won a full scholarship to Stanford University. She graduated with honors in 1949 with a bachelor's degree in English literature. She later earned a master’s degree in library science at Portland State University.

While at Stanford, she met Robert Beattie Abrams and they married June 25, 1949, in Prescott. They lived in Eugene, Scappoose, Fossil and then Heppner, where they settled for more than 25 years. They moved to Pendleton in 1986 after Robert was elected to the Oregon Circuit Court.

Following his retirement, the couple moved to Portland in 1997. Marion tirelessly and lovingly devoted herself to caring for Robert as his health failed.

Marion was active in every community in which she lived. Interests in education and community improvement led her to many types of service, including volunteer work as a state board member on what is now Oregon Humanities. She also connected to the larger world, welcoming cultural exchange students from around the globe. She traveled with family to Niger, the Central African Republic, Malta, the Caribbean, France and Costa Rica.

Marion worked for the Heppner Gazette-Times and the Heppner School District. She served as the high school librarian in Heppner until she retired.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert; brother Henry Morrow; and half-brother Cliff Morrow.

Survivors include her daughter, Frances; son Robert; daughter and son-in-law Elizabeth and Gordon “Tony” Rick; daughter and son-in-law Mary Abrams and Gary Cramer; daughter Alice; “adopted” daughter Margaret Marks Jacobs; grandchildren Sarah, Jack, Noah and Charlotte; and half-sister Rosemary Damon.

A memorial service will be held in April 2014. To get details about the service or to share thoughts about Marion, please email

The family requests that remembrances be donations to the Wetlands Conservancy, 4640 S.W. Macadam Avenue, No. 50, Portland, OR 97239, or Mercy Corps, 28 S.W. First Avenue, Portland, OR 97204.

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