Marion Byers Crisler Kubitschek
January 17, 1927 – December 3, 2022
VISITATION: Friday, January 13th, 4:30pm to 6:30pm at the West Center Chapel, followed by VIGIL SERVICE at 6:30pm.
MEMORIAL MASS: Saturday, January 14th, 10am, St. Cecilia Cathedral, 701 N 40th St.
Memorials are suggested to the Siena Francis House.
To view a live broadcast of the services, go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button at the top of the home page.
Marion Byers Crisler Kubitschek was born on January 17, 1927, in Knobel, Arkansas- the second of seven sisters who were the daughters of Don and Hilda Byers. Marion was a quiet child who loved to read and play the piano. She graduated from Jonesboro, Arkansas’ Holy Angels Academy in 1944 and walked across the streets that spring to sign up for nursing school at Saint Bernard’s Hospital, where she earned her license as a registered nurse in July of 1947.
Marion worked as a nurse for most of the next decade, moving from Tennessee to Arkansas to Missouri. In 1955, she met Air Force pilot Harold “Cris” Crisler, and they married in 1956. His career took them from Georgia to Massachusetts to Florida to Alaska, where Cris died in a plane crash in May 1962. Marion moved her three children back to her childhood home and waited for the fourth to be born in September. In July of 1963, Marion bought a house near her younger sister in Lincoln, Nebraska, where she raised her children.
In 1976, Marion married Paul Kubitschek. 12 years later, Paul had a stroke and died at the age of 72. Marion retired a few years later and moved to Omaha in 1991, where she lived with her daughter, Jana. When Jana married in 1994, Marion rented a house a few blocks away. She remained in the California Street house for 26 years, going to assisted living in 2019. In all her homes, Marion enjoyed digging in the dirt, and no spring was complete without many trips to the local nurseries. When she lived in Omaha, Marion enjoyed getting up at 6 a.m. and going outside with a cup of coffee, where she would listen to the birds in the cottonwood tree next door and admire the gardens she had created in the spacious backyard.
Another of Marion’s pastimes was playing the piano, and a highlight of her later years was being asked to provide background music at the Parish Breakfasts at Saint Cecilia. She loved to play Christmas music, and then she would pass the winter eagerly anticipating March because it was the month of Irish music, which she also loved. When the Knights of Columbus would gather around the piano and thank her for her service by presenting her with flowers for her January birthday, she would take them home and proudly show them off to anyone who visited. When her sisters called, they heard all the details about her flowers and her “gig,” as she called it.
In her early 90s, her health began to fail, and she was no longer able to drive or play the piano as well. She quit playing for the Parish Breakfasts and eventually moved to assisted living, remaining there for two years. After an October 2021 hospitalization, she came to live with Jana and her husband, Brian. Marion was blessed with good health until the end of her life and became weaker as the Fall of 2022 progressed. She died peacefully at home on December 3, 2022, surrounded by her family.
Marion was preceded in death by her parents; first husband, Captain Harold F. Crisler; second husband, Paul L. Kubitschek; and sisters: Josepha May, Lucia Reynolds, and Regina Dawson.
She is survived by her daughters, Julie Crisler and Jana (Brian) Donahoe; sons, Robert (Patricia) Crisler and Frank (Laurie) Crisler; stepson, Greg (Kelly) Kubitschek; grandchildren: Allison (Joe) Green, Dan Crisler, Sam Crisler, Mari Crisler, Annie and Claire Donahoe; great-grandchildren, Charlotte (“Lottie”) and Emily Green; sisters: Rita Johnson, Celeste (Phil) DiMatteo, and Judith Fanning; many nieces and nephews.