Marion Orser
Marion Orser

Obituary of Marion Queenie Orser

Marion Queenie Orser (nee Ellis), R.N., B.A., M.Div.


Marion Orser was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and died in Toronto at the age of 93 on May 14, 2020. She was a gracious and kind woman, lifelong learner, and loving matriarch who had remarkable joie de vivre. Mom was the valedictorian of both her high school class and her nursing program (Sisters of Providence Hospital), and then nursed at the Edmonton General Hospital, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, The Hospital for Sick Children, and the Toronto Western Hospital. 


She met “the love of her life,” the late Earl Herbert Orser (O.C., LL.D. honoris causa), and they were married in 1951. Together, they created a life that was filled with friends, adventures, community service, and moves among Toronto, St. Catharines, Montreal, and London. Mom contributed to Dad’s career, which focused on developing a wide range of Canadian companies, including Air Canada, Eaton’s, and the London Life Insurance Company. When her children were grown, Mom returned to high school for some additional courses before earning a Bachelor of Arts degree. In her 70's, she completed a Master of Divinity degree from Huron University College, Western University. She served as a volunteer with various May Court Clubs, a United Church council, and Women’s Community House in London. She was honoured as a lifetime member of the Advisory Board of Huron University College in London, where the family established The Marion Orser Reading Room within the College Library. 


She will be deeply missed by “my four girls,” Darlene Orser Funnell (the late Derek Funnell), Barbara Orser (Allan Riding), Beverley Orser (Geordie Fallis), and Nancy Hart (George), and will also be missed by grandchildren Michael (Denise), Amanda (Brennan), David (Jo), Kevin (Brittiny), Becky (Kyle), Sarah, Emma, and Chlöe, great-grandchildren Johnny, Maya and Josephine, dear sister Velma (the late Nelson Rust), Connie and Calvin Firth, and other members of her extended family. Marion was the much-loved daughter of the late Frank and Minerva (nee Rainey) Ellis and dear grandmother of the late Dylan Hart. Due to circumstance, a private family funeral will be held. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Marion and Earl Orser Library Fund (Huron University College), Anova (Women’s Community Fund, London) or The Marion and Earl Orser Prize in Anesthesia and Sleep Sciences, University of Toronto.  Condolences may be forwarded through