Cover photo for Grace Eleanor Marion's Obituary
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1979 Grace 2019

Grace Eleanor Marion

September 13, 1979 — November 8, 2019

DURHAM – Mrs. Grace Eleanor Marion, 40, passed away Friday, November 8, 2019 at Duke University Hospital.
Grace was born September 13, 1979 to Todd Marion and Melva (Molina) Marion in Toledo, OH. A fierce Buckeye fan, she graduated from Ohio State University in 2001 with a major in Theater, where she developed her passion for singing and performance that would continue throughout her lifetime. She found her soul’s voice with Judaism at Temple Israel, and received her Bat Mitzvah at Judea Reform Congregation.
Grace’s incredible life is difficult to summarize in a few words. She was a devoted mother and a sage to her beloved family and friends. She was quick to laugh out loud and unafraid to speak her mind. With a love for tango, singing, playing guitar, scrapbooking, travel and design, she was inexhaustibly invested in life. She had a powerful, unmistakable voice. Whether singing onstage to a starstruck audience, harmonizing with her lifelong friends, or simply to comfort her children at bath and bedtime, Grace was a true rockstar. We are so fortunate to have had that voice shared with us.
Without a doubt, her greatest passion was her loving family, to whom she was fiercely dedicated. Magazine-quality birthday cakes and family-themed Halloween costumes were yearly events. Her vivacious, warm character enveloped everyone around her. Without effort, she made new friends and nourished relationships that were decades long. People went out of their way to seek her company, guidance and love.
She gave us light, she gave us life. Knowing Grace was an amazing journey, and her loved ones have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead. To say that Grace will be deeply missed by so many who loved her is an understatement. The tremendous void left by her absence leaves us with an eternal gratitude for having been close to her. She was truly special, a flame to light this world; we moths will never forget her.
Grace is survived by her husband of 9 years, Mario Calderon; sons, Jonah Todd Smiley and Brandon Todd Marion; daughter, Aurora Ligia Calderon; mother, Melva Kareklas (Luke); sisters, Autumn Morris, Alison Calloway, Angie Soles, Cristina Benedetti, Rebecca Huffenberger, Shelley Garrigan and Star Sanders; nieces, Airika Morris and Alexis Morris; nephews, Mateo David Calderon and Ari Lucas Calderon. Grace is preceded in death by her father, Todd Marion.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, November 11, 2019 at Judea Reform Congregation Synagogue. Rabbi Matt Soffer will officiate. Burial will follow at Judea Reform Congregation Cemetery.

People have been asking how they can help. The best, most important benefit you can give Aurora, Jonah and Mario is to share your memories and stories of Grace. In any format (written, audio or visual), please send them to this email address: memories at gracemarion (with the dot and com afterward), or you can post below.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be directed either to Families Moving Forward:, or The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society:

Grace would want us to remember: in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. GO BUCKS!


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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, November 11, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Judea Reform Congregation Cemetery

2560 Jones Ferry Rd, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

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