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21 March 2016

A Remembrance: Marianne Frey

Photo from Dick Rees
Marianne Ruth Durand was born about 1936 in Maplewood, New Jersey, to Albert and Caroline Durand. Marianne attended Swarthmore College, graduating with a degree in biology in 1957. She later earned a graduate degree from Yale.

Marianne married Walter C. Frey on 2 September 1982 in Alameda County, California. They lived in Kensington, California for many years, and were avid members of the “Berkeley Folk Dancers” club. On top of her many talents, Marianne also played the oboe.

Marianne joined the California Genealogical Society in 1995. She jumped right in as a volunteer. Early in her membership, Marianne assisted with one of our “Genealogy Fairs.” Her friend, Dick Rees, recalled “I first met Marianne when I was in charge of registration for the Genealogy Fairs we used to have. Rick Sherman introduced us and Marianne immediately asked if I would like a program for my Mac that would help with the pre-registration. Would I! Not only was I amazed at the ease of using the program, I was equally amazed that someone of my generation could write a program for a computer.”

In addition to her participation in the fairs, Marianne was also on our Board of Directors as Membership Chair, she assisted with mailings, organized shelf-reading days in our library, and was a member of the Book Repair Committee. Early in her tenure, Marianne created the database for our “Look-Ups” committee and even entered most of the data. Her work ethic and dedication didn’t stop there. Marianne trained many of our volunteers in using the Library of Congress system.
Photo by Kathryn Doyle
Lavinia Schwarz said, “Marianne was here so often, helping in any way she could. She was a delight.”

Through their research at the California Genealogical Society, Marianne, Dick Rees and Lavinia Schwarz discovered that they were cousins, many times removed, through the Kitchel and Sheafe families from 15th Century Kent, England. You can read about their discovery in this 2008 blog post by Kathryn Doyle. 

"Cousins" Marianne Frey, Lavinia Schwarz, Dick Rees
Photo by Kathryn Doyle
Marianne Ruth Durand Frey passed away early this year. Her warmth and gracious work ethic will be missed. 

Memorial gifts in her name may be sent to the California Genealogical Society, 2201 Broadway, LLS, Oakland CA, 94612-3031.

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