Marion E. Joergensen, who for more than two decades directed the Mashpee Singing Seniors, has died. Ms. Joergensen, 92, died March 23 at Atria Woodbriar in Falmouth.
She lived for the majority of her retirement years at the home in Seabrook Village that she shared with her husband of 71 years, John Joergensen. They were married at St. John’s Lutheran Church in the Bronx in May 1948.
She was the daughter of George and Maria Kestler, and was in the first-ever graduating class from the Fashion Institute of New York. She worked as a seamstress and dressmaker for many years until her retirement.
She and her husband moved to Mashpee in 1984 from East Granby, Connecticut.
A pianist, Ms. Joergensen continued her passion as an organist at parishes throughout the Cape, including at Christ Lutheran Church in Falmouth, where she was a member. She also sang with the Falmouth Interfaith Choir.
Ms. Joergensen co-founded the Mashpee Singing Seniors with four other residents in the mid-1980s. She led rehearsals for the group at the Carol H. Jacobson Senior Center—and later, at Mashpee Senior Center—and provided the accompaniment for participants as they sang songs from the 1920s and 1930s as well as other selections. Whenever she was seeking additional members for the group, she welcomed “men and women who like to sing” and gave reassurance that there would be “no auditions” and that “knowledge of how to read music is not necessary.”
The choral group stayed busy with performances at nursing homes and senior centers Capewide, and also provided entertainment at special events, such as the popular “Merry Mingle” at the former senior center with Santa Claus on hand with gifts for attendees who came to share refreshments and holiday good cheer and, later, at the annual program of patriotic music and military tributes when the new center was built.
Ms. Joergensen had also produced a number of shows for the local public access TV station, and coordinated the town’s 2000 ecumenical Memorial Day celebration. She volunteered as an adult role model with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.
In 2002, Ms. Joergensen was named Mashpee’s Senior Citizen of the Year.
“She has shown 15, 16, 17 years of involvement with the [Mashpee] Council on Aging, and she displays the spirit of positive aging,” James W. Long, director of the Mashpee Council on Aging, said of Ms. Joergensen. “She is always pleasant, enthusiastic, and joyful.”
Ms. Joergensen received the honor at the Elder Services of Cape Cod & the Islands annual meeting at the Coonamessett Inn in Falmouth that May. At the subsequent Monday meeting of the Mashpee Board of Selectmen, the selectmen declared June 7 to be Marion Joergensen Day, and she was scheduled to be honored by the town council on aging at the organization’s annual volunteer recognition breakfast.
Aside from music, her hobbies included swimming and exercising.
In addition to her husband, she leaves two daughters, Irene Nelson and her husband, Daniel Nelson, of Old Orchard, Maine, and Janet Burke of Windsor, Connecticut; five grandchildren, David Nelson, Christopher Nelson, Erica Burke, Edward Burke and Erin Burke; three great-grandchildren; and extended family.
A graveside service will be held at a later date at Elmwood Cemetery in East Granby, Connecticut.