Marian Vliet, age 84, made her transition on April 7th at The Inn at University Villages after several years of declining health from Alzheimer’s disease. She was born June 27, 1934 in Keokuk, Iowa to Fred and Delpha Young. Her father worked for the Mackson Construction Company out of Cincinnati, and was the pilot of a large river barge, building bridges and dams. His work took the family all up and down the Ohio River, so Marian lived in several different states, including Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee. She attended 4 or 5 different schools in her young days, and they finally settled in Tell City, IN, where she graduated in 1952. During her high school years, she played French horn in the marching band and was crowned Miss Tell City – no wonder, for she was beautiful, vivacious and gifted!
She then went to nursing school at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, following in her mother’s footsteps to become a registered nurse, graduating there in 1955. While a student nurse she was sent to Massillon State Hospital, now Heartland Behavioral Healthcare, for a three month psychiatric nursing rotation. That same year she met Charles “Chuck” Vliet; Divine Order was definitely at work!
Chuck and Marian married in Tell City on February 19, 1956, and honeymooned in Gatlinburg. He bought his father’s company, and she worked in the delivery room at Aultman Hospital for 3 years. They had two wonderful children, Charles F. and Pamela S. Baker who sadly preceded her in death. Also preceding her in death was her brother, Doug, of New Orleans.
Marian was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. Her granddaughter Lake shared the most beautiful and happy memories with me; she and her sister would fight for the privilege of staying the weekend at their grandparents’ home, where they would construct huge floor puzzles, watch movies, build card houses and play dominoes. Lake so fondly remembers lunch and shopping dates with her grandma, and what she will miss most is Marian’s contagious laugh, saying she laughed with her whole face!
Marian and Chuck traveled extensively, visiting nearly every state in the U.S., and many parts of the world; The Fiji Islands, Central and South America, the Caribbean, just to name a few. Chuck said about the only two places they never traveled to were Africa and China.
Marian was a devoted member of Unity Church of Massillon since 1975 and served a term as president of the board of trustees. She volunteered for the Massillon Chapter of the American Red Cross bloodmobile for 30 years. Marian believed in holistic health and became a Reiki master. She administered Reiki and taught it, continuing her mission as a healer. She was an incredible soul with many interests; she owned a video store for years, filled in at several doctors’ offices when they needed help, loved playing cards, visiting with her card club, friends and her nephews and their families.
She is survived by her loving husband and consummate care giver Chuck, who embodies the true definition of selfless love in his unwavering care for her these last several years. She is also survived by her grandchildren Lake (Erik) Minor and Lydia Porter of Massillon and Charles F. Vliet of Stow and great grandchildren Cirene Minor, Leah Blake, and Anthony Vliet.
*Member of Unity of Massillon