Marian Leona Prentice Dover went home to be with her lord, Jesus, on July 16, 2014. She passed away in Vacaville, Calif., at age 81 after a short illness. She will be remembered as a loving wife, mother, sister, daughter and grandmother, as well as a remarkable teacher, painter, singer and a devoted Christian.
Marian was born in Park Rapids, Minn., on Jan. 17, 1933, to Leonard Prentice, a Baptist minister, and Alice Jenks Prentice, a kindergarten teacher. She spent a happy childhood in Minnesota and Southern California, with her siblings Betty, Phillip and Bruce. In L.A., she attended Cutler Academy, a private Christian school, and then Westmont College in Santa Barbara, where she majored in elementary education and met the love of her life, Harold Dover, whom she married in 1956.
Marian spent most of the next 30 years in Montana, where she helped her husband ranch on his family’s homestead and continued her career of elementary teaching. She also sustained an amateur singing career, notable performing for more than 16 years in a radio ministry that she created with her husband. While in Montana, Harold and Marian were blessed by the birth of three sons: Stephen, Timothy and Bryan Hayden, three of the brightest lights in Marian’s life. She kept the family stable and was a wonderful support to Harold as he pursued the various roles of rancher, minister, owner of a large construction company, community leader and state senator.
By 1986, the Dover family moved back to California, where she continued teaching in the public schools, taking a deep personal interest in her students. She also continued to volunteer as a singer in her church and community. Remarkably, Marian was still substitute teaching in Vacaville schools and volunteering to lead weekly sing-alongs with the elderly at the time of the diagnosis of her final illness.
Some of the highlights of the last decades of Marian’s life include the arrival of her only “daughter,” Andrea (her daughter-in-law), the birth of her grandchildren, twins Gabriel and Alice Grace, as well the opportunity to travel with family, especially with her beloved sister, Betty.
Marian is survived by her husband, Harold; sister, Betty Jensen (husband Don); brother, Bruce Prentice (wife Bobbie); sons, Stephen (wife Andrea), Timothy and Bryan Hayden; grandchildren, Gabriel and Alice Grace; as well as numerous friends and extended family.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Leonard and Alice Prentice; brother, Phillip Prentice and his wife Anita.
Services are at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 26, 2014, at Community Presbyterian Church, 425 Hemlock St., Vacaville, Calif. 95688.
Additional services are at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 31, 2014, at Community Church in Buffalo, Montana.
Burial will be at Straw Cemetery in Straw, Montana.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Marian’s name to the Prevent Cancer Foundation (preventcancer.org) or Community Presbyterian Church of Vacaville, Calif.
Funeral Arrangements by Vaca Hills Chapel Funeral Home, 707-446-3233, www.vacahillschapel.com.