Marilyn Ruth (Bernstein) Dorson died May 18, 2023, at McGraw Center for Caring of Community Hospice after a few months of health issues. She was 83. The daughter of Fred and Etta Bernstein of Haverhill, Mass., Marilyn was a graduate of Haverhill (Mass.) High School and Boston University, where she earned her teaching credential.
Marilyn, who was predeceased by her loving and devoted husband, Lee, raised her children in Manchester, N.H., before moving to Jacksonville Beach in 1997 to be closer to her son, Robert. An enthusiastic gardener, curious traveler, avid card player, and loyal friend, Marilyn cherished her family above all else. Marilyn delighted in the accomplishments of her grown children, and her only granddaughter, Rachel Chi. She traveled regularly to California to visit family. During her more than 25 years living in The Sanctuary in Jacksonville Beach, Marilyn became a fixture in the neighborhood. She and Lee were among the last few of the original homeowners, and she delighted in living someplace where “life is still happening around me,” she would say. She enjoyed seeing young families grow, dodging bicycles and strollers, and tending, with the help of a new master gardener friend in recent years, to her beautiful, cherished, and peaceful yard.
Marilyn’s great escapes were reading, traveling, and planning travel. She’d traveled across the U.S. and North America, to Europe, Asia, and Australia, including many family trips.
Marilyn and Lee joined “Newcomers” in Jacksonville Beach shortly after moving and maintained friendships from that group through the years. She was also a member of the Newcomers Book Club, 3Bs Social Club, SOS Widows Club, and mahjong and canasta groups. Prior to moving to Florida, Marilyn was a member of the Sisterhood at Temple Adath Yeshurun in Manchester. She was a teacher for several years before her daughter, Jill, was born.
Dorson leaves behind her daughter, Jill Roberta, and granddaughter, Rachel Dorson Chi. She was preceded in death by her son, Robert J. Dorson, her husband, Lee Dorson, and her son-in-law, Samuel S. Chi.
Funeral services, officiated by longtime family friend and Rabbi Arthur Starr, will be held Tuesday, May 23, 2023, 12:00 noon, at the Ponte Vedra Valley, 4750 Palm Valley Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, with a reception to follow. Marylin embraced colorful, bold fashion choices, and you're invited to honor her in the same.
Donations in Dorson’s name may be made to the Cardiovascular Pulmonary Research at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL, in memory of Robert J. Dorson and Lee Dorson (4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, FL, 32224, Attn: Sarah B. Smith) or Community Hospice of Northeast Florida (4266 Sunbeam Road, Jacksonville, FL, 32257).