Floral 12
Official Obituary of

Marion J. Bahensky

November 28, 1928 ~ March 21, 2023 (age 94) 94 Years Old

Marion Bahensky Obituary

Marion J. Bahensky, 94, of St. Paul, died on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 at CHI Health - St. Francis in Grand Island.  Graveside Services will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Friday, May 19, 2023 at the Elmwood Cemetery in St. Paul.  Family and friends will meet between 1:00 P.M. and 1:45 P.M. prior to processing to the cemetery at Jacobsen-Greenway-Dietz Funeral Home in St. Paul.  

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the St. Paul Library Foundation or to purchase trees for the Howard County Historical Society which will be planted in St. Paul in honor of Marion’s life.

Marion was born November 28, 1928 in the Gage Valley area of St. Paul, to Leonard & Gertrude (Jensen) Bahensky.  She started school at four years old, graduating when she was only 16 at St. Paul High School. She received the Regent’s Scholarship utilizing it at the University of Nebraska of Lincoln, she was in the Alpha Chi Omega social sorority, graduating in 1949.  She was age 20 when she graduated, this started her many travels of the world and interesting life.

She went to New York City to work in publishing and printing.  Her first trip to Europe was in 1955 with a tour of would-be journalists.  Marion began her political involvement, being elected to the NYC Democratic Party County committee twice.  She served in the Peace Corps, in Senegal, Africa from 1964- 1966.  Upon her return she was selected for the Teacher Corps where she received her master’s degree with specialization in ghetto schools.  Marion had commented that her support of community control of schools led to the Teachers’ Union forcing her out of the program.  She continued as a devoted teacher in P.S. 207 (Harlem) from 1968-1988 and completed a master’s degree from Bank Street College of Education (Guidance Counseling) in 1972.  Marion was Chapter chair of the UFT for many years.  She had many interesting adventures with the Union, Black Panthers, would-be-muggers, parents, and children.  Marion was the New York Chapter Chair of the Appalachian Mountain Club in 1983, having founded the Bicycle Committee.  She was able to take many bicycle tours in the U.S. and Europe. Marion traveled extensively all over the world by bus or train when cycling was impossible, with the most interesting being, train travel from Berlin to Vladivostok, including the length of the Trans-Siberian Railroad in 1976 and a tourist bus from Istanbul to New Delhi in 1978.  Marion was detained briefly in Soviet Poland when her papers and money were stolen, at the time of the USSR incursion into Czechoslovakia.   

Upon retirement from teaching, Marion moved back to St. Paul to share her parents’ last years; Leonard passed away in 1992 and Gertrude in 1998.  She was elected Mayor of St. Paul serving from 1990 – 1994.  During her time as Mayor, she was a major organizer of the Loup Central Landfill, instrumental in getting vital improvements in Highway 281 from Grand Island to St. Paul, put the City Library on computer, and worked hard on town improvements.  Marion was active in the County Historical Society from 1988 – 2003, with her main contributions, the purchase and installation of a 1908 Union Pacific Depot and also application and administration of a $125,000 grant for its restoration.  She was instrumental in the publication of an award-winning 450-page county history in 2000.  Marion worked hard to restore and maintain St. Paul’s most attractive historic features.  She served as Howard County Democratic chair for many years, was Chair of the 3rd Congressional District Democratic Party, published a newsletter for the CD3, and served as Chair of the Nebraska Democratic Women’s Caucus.  Marion was honored by her peers with receiving the key to the City of St. Paul in 2017.

She was an elder of the Presbyterian church. 

Those left to cherish her memory include her nieces, Kitty, Jane and Nancy Bell; nephew, John Bell; cousin, Janet Fenton; and many close friends.

Marion was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Leonard T. Bahensky; and sister, Betsy Bell. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Marion J. Bahensky, please visit our floral store.

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Graveside Service
May 19, 2023

2:00 PM
Elmwood Cemetery
1/4 mile south Adams St. on Jackson St.
St. Paul, NE 68873


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