Marian J. West, a retired member of the IOD, died this past Tuesday at the Merrimack County Nursing Home. To some, Marian West was the friendly face at the front desk of the IOD’s Concord office, answering phones and greeting guests. To others, Marian was a teacher and advocate; she frequently spoke about her life experiences as a guest lecturer at IOD-sponsored conferences and workshops as well as a speaker at UNH classes and the NH Leadership Series. Most of us will remember Marian as a friend. Someone to talk to, to laugh with, to share concerns with, and to lean on.
“We talked every day,” said Alison O’Neill, Marian’s supervisor for several years. “She has been my support system, probably the best support system I’ve ever had.”
Marian described her life as a roller coaster. While growing up, she spent many years at the Laconia State School. Once free, she learned to live again and carve her own path. Through community organizing and advocacy work, Marian fought for equality. Notably, she convinced Concord to extend its walk signals and street lights so people with mobility challenges could safely cross streets. Because of Marian, the street lights now last longer on Center and Main.
The IOD would like to extend their gratitude to the staff and nurses at Merrimack County Nursing Home and Hospice for Marian's care and deepest condolences to the West Family.