Marianne Magers Farrin

Marianne M. Farrin, 83, beloved wife, mother, sister and grandmother, passed away in her home in Princeton, New Jersey, on Sunday, July 24, 2022.

Marianne was born in Berlin, Germany on September 2, 1938.  Her mother, Dagny Albertsen, came to Berlin from Denmark to pursue a singing career.  Her father, Helmut Magers, was a journalist, and the two met following one of Dagny’s performances.  They had two more children, Irene and Jürgen, who was born with Down syndrome. They were bombed out of their home numerous times, and eventually Helmut was drafted by the German army, and never returned from the war.  In 1944, fearing the Russian advance, Dagny fled to Denmark with her children, and they lived there with Dagny’s family until emigrating to the United States in 1954.  

Marianne went to Hollywood High School for two years, and despite being new to the language and to the United States, graduated as valedictorian of her class. She received a full scholarship to Stanford University, where she met her husband, James (Jim) Farrin, and they were married in 1960.  They then lived in nine overseas countries for 17 years (Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand, Mexico, England, Switzerland, France), raising five children, before returning to the United States.

After her children had left home, Marianne decided to pursue a joint degree in Psychoanalytic Training from the Blanton-Peale Institute and a Masters in Social Work from Fordham University.  She then worked as a therapist in New York City for many years.  In 2000, after not having been on a bicycle since her youth in Denmark, at the age of 61, she decided to bike across the United States, from Seattle to Washington, DC, with the American Lung Association’s Big Ride.  It was one of the highlights of her life.

In 2004, Marianne and Jim moved to Princeton, New Jersey, so she could pursue a Masters of Divinity from Princeton University which she received in 2007, at the age of 69.  She ultimately turned her energies to writing her memoir, From Berlin to Hollywood and Beyond, which was published in 2018.

An avid traveler, adventurer, and scholar, she was also deeply devoted to her family and friends, loved writing, history, art, music, birds, and flowers, and while living in Princeton loved to walk around the town and university and visit the art museum.  Her Christian faith was a central part of her life, and she was actively involved in the church and volunteered for numerous organizations, including hospice.  Her strength, yet gentle and calm manner and beautiful smile will not be forgotten by those who were blessed to know her.

Sadly for her and her family, she was stripped of her ability to speak as the result of Primary Progressive Aphasia, which ultimately led to her death.

She is survived by her husband, Jim, of 62 years, as well as her five children, James Scott (Robin), of Hillsborough, NC; Jennifer Emerson (Scott Swerdlin) of San Francisco, CA; Raymond of Kuwait City, Kuwait; Melody of Pittsburgh, PA; Jonathan of Atlantic Beach, FL), eight grandchildren (Ellie, Scottie, Parker, James, Morgan, Tyler, Dagny, Amelia), and her sister Irene (Julian) Gingold and nieces and nephews.  She is preceded in death by her father, Helmut Magers, mother, Dagny Albertsen Magers, and brother, Jürgen Magers.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Mather-Hodge Funeral Home in Princeton, NJ. Funeral service will be held at the Princeton University Chapel on Monday, July 25, 2022 at 11 am followed by burial in Princeton Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to either Holy Redeemer Hospice (https://www.redeemerhealth.org/giving/memorial-and-tribute-gifts), Global Down Syndrome Foundation (https://www.globaldownsyndrome.org/2022-general-donation-form/), or Herrontown Woods in Princeton (https://www.herrontownwoods.org/donate).