Maura Doreen Marchionni

Obituary
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MAURA DOREEN MARCHIONNI
September 11, 1936 ~ July 21, 2018

Maura Marchionni, professional singer, nightclub hostess and in later years a nanny to the children of Vancouver, WA, passed away on July 21, 2018.

She was 81.

A native of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Nanny Maura was the youngest of two daughters born to beautician Doreen McAfee and jazz drummer/singer Alec McAfee. Nanny was a bit of daddy's girl and followed in her father's musical footsteps: She worked as professional jazz singer and club hostess. After immigrating to America in the late-1950s, the former Miss Northern Ireland Pageant winner hosted a jazz radio show in pre-Motown Detroit.

In the Motor City she met a shy, handsome jazz drummer, Ron Marchionni, and the two married and moved West in 1960. She continued her singing career in the Portland-Vancouver area, including at the Thunderbird Inn at the Quay, Portland's Union Station and the downtown Vancouver Frontier Room. Her special St. Patrick's Day shows were often standing-room-only.

She was known as "Precious" to her children. She switched careers to work as a nanny in the 1980s, eventually helping to raise dozens of Vancouver children with whom she remained in close contact. She was a devout member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in the Heights neighborhood, where her outreach included tending to the sick and the elderly for the past 50 years.

She relished conversation, high tea with a touch of the American (Kit Kats, doughnut holes and chocolate sugar-wafer cookies), a good Riesling, going to the movies, dinners out and a good laugh.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband and sister, Pat Coogan. She is survived by sons, Charlie Marchionni and Tony Marchionni, both of Vancouver, WA; daughter, Doreen Marchionni and son-in-law, Albert McMurry of Tacoma, WA; and grandsons, Angelo and Mario Marchionni.

A Rosary and funeral mass will be held on Aug. 6 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, starting at noon, followed by a brief tea reception at the church. A private cemetery service will follow.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to one of the following:

• Society of the Little Flower, 1313 N. Frontage Road, Darien, IL 60561
• Share House, 1115 W. 13th St., Vancouver, WA 98660
• St. Joseph Catholic Church, 400 S. Andresen Road, Vancouver, WA 98661

Please sign her Guest Book at www.columbian.com/obits.
Published in The Columbian on July 31, 2018