ONEONTA – Marion Lawhead, a NYSEG retiree who lived a vibrant life in Bainbridge, Cooperstown and Oneonta, died on Dec. 12, 2016, at Chestnut Park Nursing Home in Oneonta. She was 96.
Marion Jean Hill was born to Henry and Edith Hill on March 12, 1920, in Bainbridge, and grew up on Pearl Street there with an older brother Bruce and a younger sister Joan. She graduated from Bainbridge High School in 1938.
After high school, her Aunt Adeline invited her to Chanute, Kansas, to enroll at Manhattan Junior College. Marion graduated in 1940.
Back in Bainbridge, she met Henry Hiscox at Scintilla in Sidney,where they both worked during World War II. She married Henry in 1943. Her daughter Karen was born in 1944, followed by her son Steve in 1947. Marion became a single mother when Henry left in 1948.
Marion was working as a clerk in a feed store when, one day in 1950, she happened to meet a former classmate on the street. The woman was just leaving town and her clerk’s job at New York State Electric & Gas. Marion immediately applied and got the job as the only woman among 50 men at the Jennison Station in Bainbridge.
In 1955, NYSEG promoted her to bookkeeper in the Cooperstown office. After marrying Don Lawhead, she transferred in 1968 to Oneonta, where they lived on Bolton Drive. Don died in 1977. Marion retired at age 60 in 1980 after 30 years with NYSEG.
Along the way, Marion served as a Cub Scout den mother; she sang as an alto in church choirs in Bainbridge, Cooperstown, Richfield Springs and Oneonta; she bowled for many years on the Richfield Diner team; she golfed at Ryerson’s in Springfield Center; she sent her children to college; she took up painting and studied German; she swam hundreds of miles at the Oneonta YMCA; she travelled to Europe three times; she enjoyed her three grandchildren; she survived cancer twice; she volunteered for many years at The Catskill Area Hospice; she rode her bike and mowed her own lawn into her late 70s.
At the age of 83, Marion decided to move into assisted living at the Hampshire House in Oneonta. She sold her home, of course, but she kept her car. For the first few years, she drove some place nearly every day, just because she could.
In 2014, when she fell and broke her hip, she moved to Chestnut Park Nursing Home.
She never lost her sense of humor. She often said: “Old age ain’t for sissies.” The staff at Chestnut Park fondly remember Marion as a “real pistol.”