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THAYER, Marjory "Ree"

THAYER, Marjory "Ree"

THAYER - Marjory "Ree"
Age 88, formerly of the Ithaca and Buffalo, NY areas, passed away in Longmont, CO on September 12th after a prolonged illness. She was born in Oswego, NY to Herbert and Eula Lyons. She graduated from Oswego High School and attended Cornell University, where she met her husband and love of her life, William "Bill" Thayer. After their first son John was born, they moved to the Buffalo NY area, where Bill worked for Cornell Labs and later Moog Inc., and Tracey, Matthew and Andrew were born. They settled first in East Aurora, NY and later in Holland, NY, and in Ithaca NY after Bill retired. Ree had a lifelong love of learning, the natural world, and the arts, which she fostered in kids of all ages. She volunteered as a tutor for inner city children, was a docent at nature centers, became a Master Gardener, hosted exchange guests from abroad, and attended Adult Education classes at Cornell. Ree believed all children were treasures to be nurtured and cherished, and encouraged her children to find their own unique path. Throughout her life, she was never idle, always using her intelligence, knowledge, perseverance and passion to make the world a better place. Ree actively participated in the civil rights, anti-war, mental health and environmental movements, engaging in grass roots organizing and activism as well as the mainstream political process, campaigning for others and running for local office. She was particularly proud of her work during the Vietnam war during which, through active civil disobedience and considerable risk to her personal freedom, she helped young men follow their conscience in resisting the war. Ree organized concerned citizens to peacefully protest against industrial pollution, successfully convinced her town to invest in a sewage treatment plant to stop raw sewage from flowing into the local creek, prevented a large power line from being constructed through pristine countryside, and advocated to set aside community lands for conservation and preservation of natural resources. Her lifelong commitment to environmental stewardship was expressed in later years in her extensive work with the Finger Lakes Land Trust, where as Vice President of the Board of Directors, her talent for keeping board meetings running on time was especially appreciated. Ree was passionate about what she affectionately termed the "critters" in the natural environment. She kept the bird feeders full, let the fields grow tall, and would always rescue any wayward critters that found their way inside her house. She always said she much preferred a field of wildflowers to a neatly manicured lawn. Ree believed and, more importantly, acted on her belief that people of vastly different backgrounds, experiences, and religious, political, and world views could find ways to come together in common cause to improve their community. She was not afraid to stand up for what is right or to speak truth to power. Most importantly, she taught her children to love each other rather than to focus on their differences. Trust, honesty, openness and kindness were essential to her character. Ree possessed remarkable inner strength and spirit. She was a delight to be around, and a model of how to age gracefully and without regrets. Her infectious laugh brought joy to many. Ree gave everyone hugs and would say to others, "Give hugs to all you can reach." Ree was preceded in death by her parents, Herbert and Eula Lyons, her brothers, Bob and Dave Lyons, and her loving husband, Bill Thayer. She is survived by her sister, Nancy Lyons, children John Thayer, Tracey Bernett, Matthew Thayer and Andy Thayer, grandchildren, Chris Heidtman-Thayer, Allison and Frank Bernett, Sophia Seim and Julia Hoover, great-grandchildren Emrys and Ivy Hoover, and Olivia and Ivo Seim, and several nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to The Finger Lakes Land Trust at www.fllt.org/donate/ or by mail to the Finger Lakes Land Trust, 202 East Court Street, Ithaca, NY 14850. The family will have a celebration of her and Bill's lives next summer in Ithaca, NY. The family wishes to give special thanks to the staff at Alta Vita Memory Care Centre, Suncrest Hospice, and all of Ree's friends who maintained contact during her illness. To leave condolences, and view and share photos and memories of Ree, please visit her memorial website at Ahlberg Funeral Chapel http://www.ahlbergfuneralchapel.com

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