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Marna Leah Prine

Marna Leah Prine
/ Categories: Obituary

Marna Leah Prine

June 2, 2017

Service Details
 Cremation will take place and a memorial service will be held at the Hohner Funeral Home, 1004 Arnold St, Three Rivers, MI 49093 at 12:00 noon on Saturday, June 10, 2017, with visitation one hour prior to services. Pastor Jim Dyke will officiate. She will be laid to rest with her husband in Riverside Cemetery, Three Rivers.                   
Obituary Notice

Marna Leah Prine, age, 79, of Portage passed away unexpectedly at her home on Friday, June 2, 2017.  Marna’s life began on September 8, 1937, the daughter of the late John L. and Gladys L. (Markle) Kemmerling formerly of Three Rivers, MI.


Marna was a graduate of Three Rivers High School class of 1955.  She furthered her education and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Michigan State University where she was a  member of the Tri Delta sorority. Marna was united in marriage to Loran D. Prine on August 20, 1960, who preceded her in passing in 2010. She taught at Milwood Methodist Nursery School and Galesburg-Augusta Schools.


Marna attended St. Andrew’s Community Church and was also a founding member of the Mad Dogs and Englishmen Car Club of Kalamazoo. She was a lover of all animals especially her dog, Sophie.  Marna was a caring friend and devoted mother and grandmother who will be dearly missed by all the many lives she touched with her generosity and kindness.


She is survived by her two children, David Prine and Melissa (Timothy) Rosin; grandchildren, Josiah and Eden Rosin; sister, Judith Schmid; nephews, John and Martin Schmid and niece, Becky (Jedd) Sondergard.

Below is a letter that Melissa had written for her mother:

I want to address you; but the weight of my emotions will not allow me coherently, or likely even intelligibly, to speak to you directly.

Thank you for coming today to honor my mother. She is a woman greatly deserving of every honor that you and I can bestow on her.

She is above all, a lady. My dad would call her a classy broad. She is.

She is a wonderful, beautiful, complex and sometimes bewildering mix of qualities.

She was ever welcoming, open, gracious . . . the consummate hostess. She almost never said no to invitations, requests, responsibilities, or opportunities to help. And she also, sometimes, really loved her alone time.

She was proper. As David and I can attest: there were things you simply must do because it’s the right thing to do and things you should definitely not do. But, as I discovered to my surprise and delight, she was also just a teensy bit of a party girl.

She could be so funny – usually when she didn’t even mean to be.

She was fastidious in her person, in her home, in her habits. But was always willing to join in the chaos of grandparents’ day at school, garage sales, cross country meets in the sleet, helping us pack up and move – whether across town or all the way to Las Vegas.

She had her opinions. She may not voice them, but, boy, you knew. But she also compromised and adapted – mostly to Dad. And she could nag – mostly to David and me. She raised it to an art. She prided herself on it, joked about it, threatened us with it: “Don’t you make me nag you about this. You know I will!”

Although I suspect she wouldn’t agree with me, she was creative and imaginative. And that creativity expressed itself in how she decorated her home, how she designed her gardens, how she hung ornaments on the Christmas tree, how she planned our birthday or holiday meals.

She was thrifty and didn’t want to waste money; and yet she was so generous and giving to me, David, Tim, Robert, her grandchildren Josiah and Eden, and to you. And, yes, she loved to shop!

She was lovely and elegant. She was breathtakingly beautiful in many ways.

She is a woman who deserves, who earned, who compelled to you to honor and love her by just being herself.

But what I really want to say to you all here today is thank you.

She held you close in her heart, from so many years past up to recent days. And you’re here today:

friends from high school – from both Three Rivers and Constantine; class of ’55!

friends from college – Tri-Delts and married housing at Spartan Village;

friends from her teaching years – you taught with her, you were taught by her;

friends from the early days of your parenthood – David and I played with your kids, camped with your family, had to be quiet and well behaved while you played bridge;

friends who attended each other’s kids’ graduations, then weddings, welcomed grandchildren together, and, sadly, grieved with you at funerals;

friends who enjoyed the empty nest years, then retirement years of traveling together – Hawaii, Alaska, small adventures or big trips, near and far; airplanes, cruise ships;

friends with whom she and Dad fostered a ragtag group of enthusiastic little-British-car owners into the robust and successful Mad Dogs and Englishmen club that it is today – she and dad welcomed you, were the reason you joined the group, they led you on tours, watched while you tinkered with Ole Grandma TR, sputtered and stalled with you, sat along the roadside with you, laughed with you, wined and dined with you;

friends who stood by her and Dad as he became ill; who grieved, cried, prayed for, and prayed with her when he died; friends who held her up, encouraged her and supported her as she navigated her way through the aftermath; and friends who watched as she gained strength and rediscovered that she was capable - the strong and fiercely independent woman that she always had been;

friends from St. Andrews with whom she worshipped and served – she sought refuge with you and you graciously welcomed and enfolded her. You were solace and strength when she needed it most; and you allowed her to sow back into you as she healed and was ready;

friends who were handymen or women around the house, who unstuck doors, silenced squeaks, stopped the drip, mowed, shoveled, pruned, who were tech support with email or digital pictures as she tried to master the baffling world of cell phones, computers, tablets and smart TVs;

some of my friends and David’s friends are here too; we thank you for being here with us and for us today. Every single one of my friends who met my mom, without fail, told me, “oh, I just love your mom!” And I’m sure David has had the same experience with his friends as well.

there are friends who helped her to indulge her little Sophie; who drove through some scary snowstorms together to work with your dogs – dog school was so much more than training for Sophie, it was a lifeline for Marna – a joy, an accomplishment; they were quite a little team, mom and Sophie;

finally, there are the friends who, in these last rocky months for Mom, visited her in the hospital, washed her laundry, cleaned her house, cared for Sophie, took her to doctor appointments or took her shopping, tended her wounds, neighbors who watched over her like hawks . . . and on her last day, friends who were concerned that her blinds weren’t open and that she wasn’t answering the phone or knocks on the door – friends who were willing to find their key to her house, to look for her, and to deliver the news to me even as you discovered she was gone.

I cannot thank you enough for your steadfastness and loyalty and love. David and I will never ever be able to express the depth of our gratitude for your love of our little mom. She embodied the true and pure meaning of community. And you, you reflected it right back to her. She loved you – each one. You brought her such joy. David and I are the family she raised and loved. You are the family she cultivated and loved.

Thank you. Thank you so much for enriching her life. She was blessed beyond measure.


  Memorial contributions may be made to the Kalamazoo Humane Society.  Envelopes available at the funeral home.                      
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8 comments on article "Marna Leah Prine"

Jim Hurd

I'm sorry to hear that Marna passed away. She was my TRHS 1955 classmate. My prayers are with her family.

Therese Bartholomew

Dave, I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your mother. Prayers to you and your family.

Mary Alice Warsco

Our condolences to the family at this time in their passing of such a dear friend of mine. She will be missed greatly, and thought of all the time.

Janet (Meyers) Koehler

I remember Marna with smiles as a fellow member of the Three Rivers High School Class of 1955. It's amazing how although we haven't been close geographically for years, how we both had similar interests in animals...especially our dogs..

My sympathies and prayers are being sent to her family..

Judy and JIm Stark

Our thoughts and prayers to David, Melissa, Tim, Josiah and Eden. Words can not express how much we will miss our car trips and adventures with Marna. She was so proud of her family and loved it when one of you could join her in the TR-3 and share some time on the road. We know she and Loran will be with us as we continue the MD&E traditions but they will never be the same. Sending our love and prayers.

Michael E. Hastings

David so sorry to hear about your mother you are in my thoughts and prayers HUGS

Jeff and Carrol Erickson

We have known Marna (and also Loran) mainly through the Mad Dogs & Englishmen Car Club, and we lived in the same Portage neighborhood. She was a wonderful, energetic, approachable and positive lady. A very nice person who always had a smile and kind words. We now live in Indianapolis and saw her infrequently over the past several years. But she always greeted us by name and willingly spent time and conversation with us. We will miss her. We also send our condolences to her family and to her friends too.

Jeff Erickson

Ken Carpenter

Melissa, sorry to hear about the passing of Marna. Linda & I so enjoyed our friendship with Marna & Loran and the many road trips we took with the car club. I will not be able to make it to the funeral, but my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family today and forever.

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