Harold F. Marion, Jr. born October 7, 1940, of Scranton, died Friday morning at the Allied Services Hospice Center following a lengthy battle with Pulmonary Fibrosis. His wife of 55 years is the former Mary Doyle.
Born in Scranton, son of the late Harold and Leona Horan Marion, he was a graduate of St. Paul’s High School in Scranton and was a proud veteran of the United States Coast Guard.
Hal’s 58-year career at The Scranton Times began in 1958 delivering newspaper bundles. He moved into the newsroom as a copy boy, continually working his way up, eventually becoming the youngest classifieds ads manager in the state. Hal was promoted to the company’s first retail manager, then advertising director in 1980, and general manager in 1991, a position he held for 16 years before becoming Times-Shamrock Communications’ chief operating officer for three years. In 2013 Hal helped launch and was managing director of the company’s creative services business before retiring in 2016.
A passionate, tireless cheerleader for the industry and company he loved, Hal was as proud of his many achievements as he was the employees who worked for him. He always had an open-door policy and welcomed visits and ideas from everyone he worked with, (as long as they had an acceptable polish on their shoes). Hal passionately felt he worked for the best media company in the business and accredited that to the family ownership and the team he was part of.
Hal also served as president of the Independent Newspaper Group for several years. He also helped launch the Lackawanna County Eagles while serving as their business manager. He served on the original board for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Scranton and held board positions at St. Michael’s School in Falls Township, The Scranton Times Downtown Federal Credit Union and Friendship House. In 2010 Hal was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association.
Hal was a loving husband who treasured his beloved wife Mary and fussed over all 18 of his grandchildren. He had a unique way of making each one of them feel like they were his favorite and didn’t mind listening to them debate “who was pop’s favorite.” He was a man of strong Catholic faith and was very proud of his Irish-American heritage and could often be found leading the room in the singing of “God Bless America.”
An avid reader and diehard New York Yankees fan, Hal was also a lover of dining out. He never met a menu he was willing to order from verbatim, oftentimes tweaking his order to include more capers, sauce on the side or no potatoes. Hal was a generous tipper who always learned his servers and bartenders’ names. Hal was quick to strike up conversations with friends, co-workers, and complete strangers.
Hal loved to travel, especially on his annual epic family beach trips where he’d rent the biggest beach house that he could find, organize a ten-car caravan, cram all of his kids and grandkids inside, and relish the chaotic, perfect world of laughing, whining, sunburns, late-night conversations, cocktails and food runs that he created.
A serial impulsive shopper, Hal was a quick mark for “as seen on TV” gadgets, mall-kiosk pitch-men, and most forms of technology that he never understood and rarely used. But he remained eternally optimistic that he would learn to use his most recent purchase of an Apple watch. His kids loved to tease him about “being the king of obscure information and producer of countless unproven facts,” a reign that ended with the advent of Google. Beyond his love of family Hal famously had no real hobbies but loved cooking. He had a contagious laugh, a quick wit, and a charmingly self-deprecating sense of humor.
Surviving are his 7 children: Kaylee Pikulski and husband Ed, Scranton; Hal Marion III and wife Alicia, Palm Harbor, Florida, Michael Marion and wife Laura, South Abington Twp., Kathy Thomas and husband Mark, Laflin, Daniel Marion and wife Amanda, Georgetown, Texas, Brian Marion and wife Stacy, South Abington Twp., and Andrew Marion and wife Dana, Dunmore.
Hal had eighteen grandchildren, Brianne and Courtney Capwell, Luke Pikulski, Hal IV and Drew Marion, Meghan, Clair, Michael, and Will Marion, Benjamin and Keira Thomas, Lily, Cecilia, Daniel, and Maxwell Marion, Emma, Abigail, and Sarah Marion. Hal also had four great-grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother Ronald Marion and sister Arlene Horan.
Hal’s family would like to thank Sharon and John Martin for their love and care over the last 6 months. Additionally, they’d like to thank Allied Services palliative, home, and inpatient hospice services for the exceptional care and support they provided Hal. Special thanks to Dan Reilly, RN, Angela Hetrick, CNA, and Dawn Jeziorski, MSW.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday at 10:00 am in St. Paul’s Church 1510 Penn Ave.
Friends may call Wednesday from 8:30 to the time of Mass at the Church.
All CDC guidelines will be observed including the mandatory use of facial coverings and social distancing.
The Mass will be live-streamed on the Vanston and James Funeral Home Facebook page.
Interment will be private at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Allied Services Hospice, 100 Abington Executive Park, Clarks Summit, PA, 18411.