Marion Bloch, the philanthropist, pillar in the Kansas City community and wife of Henry Bloch, died Tuesday.
The Jewish Community Relations Bureau confirmed her death, saying the 83-year-old passed away peacefully.
"Marion's devotion to her husband Henry as well as her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will forever influence them and future generations. Family always came first for Marion," the release said.
She graduated from Southwest High School in Kansas City and the University of Missouri. Her older brother set her up on a date with his close friend, a budding entrepreneur named Henry Bloch.
While he ran H&R Block, which he founded with his brother, Marion Bloch ran her household.
"In an extraordinary family, she was an extraordinary woman. It is a tremendous family, and she was at the center of it. She and Henry had a relationship like no other. They are just really a loving, caring family, and the connection between she and Henry was extraordinary," said Marion Bloch's rabbi, Alan Londy, with the New Reformed Temple.
The couple's personal philanthropic legacy includes generous support of arts institutions and particularly The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Future generations can enjoy their collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings.
In 2007, the museum's new Bloch Building was ranked No. 1 by Time magazine on its list of the 10 best architectural marvels in the world.
Marion Bloch began battling brain cancer at the age of 58. In the last few years her health worsened as a result of the long-term effects of radiation that was required to treat the cancer, according to the release from the Jewish Community Relations Bureau.
"It is a tremendous loss to the community. She was a very vibrant force and partner with Henry in all of the wonderful things the family has done for the family and for the world," Londy said.
Londy said even though he is new to Kansas City, only being their rabbi for two-and-a-half years, the family, and Marion Bloch in particular, made a tremendous impression on him.
"They're quite a giving family, to each other, and to the world. They've been dedicated to the community in so many ways, but the personal relationship Henry and Marion had was also incredibly sweet and close," he said. "The family is deeply saddened by her passing."
Marion Bloch will be forever remembered by Henry Bloch, her husband of 62 years, and their devoted children: Robert Bloch (Barbara), Thomas Bloch (Mary), Mary Jo Brown (Robert), and Elizabeth Uhlmann (Paul). She also leaves behind 12 loving grandchildren: Brian Bloch (Allison), Nicholas Bloch, Chase Bloch, Benjamin Bloch, Lynne Greenstein (Andrew), Timothy Brown (Rebecca), Allison Gershon (Brad), Jason Bloch, Edward Bloch, Lauren Blazar (Aaron), Emily Fehsenfeld (Wesley) and James Uhlmann. The couple treasured their seven beloved great-grandchildren: Zachary and Charles Greenstein, Henry and Arthur Brown, Macy Bloch, Thomas Gershon and Sophie Blazer.
The funeral will be a private service for the immediate family only.
The public is invited to attend a memorial service at the Atkins Auditorium in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art on Monday, Sept. 30 at 2 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak St., Kansas City, MO, 64111 or St. Luke's Hospital Foundation, 4225 Baltimore Ave., Kansas City, MO, 64111.
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Friday, August 29 2014 2:50 AM EDT2014-08-29 06:50:19 GMT
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