HE WAS AN ACCOMPLISHED HORSE TRAINER, CASUAL PIANIST, AND PROFESSIONAL HAIR DESIGNER. BUT THOSE WHO WERE DEAREST TO DAVID MARION WOULD SAY THE BEST WAY TO DESCRIBE HIM IS “BIG BROTHER.”
“It was awesome to be David’s little sisters as young girls,” Lesa Del Llano and Dona Marion, David’s younger twin sisters, agree. “We looked up to him…and so did our friends.”
Now Lesa’s son looks up to David, too. Since the day that David passed away - March 11, 2010 - during his second battle with melanoma, Lesa’s ten-year-old son, Derek, has asked her, “What did I do like Uncle David today?”
David spent much of his time living under the care of Dee Ann Marion, the eldest of his three younger sisters, after his cancer returned in October of 2008 following 18 years in remission. For a brother and sister who spent countless hours through childhood and into adulthood in the arena training horses and competing against each other, this final time together was sacred. Dee Ann remembers feeding David his meals each day and the priceless time it gave them to talk.
“With so much uninterrupted time together, we resolved all of our differences,” Dee Ann says.
In honor of David Marion, close friends and family members made gifts to the Melanoma Research and Patient Care Fund of the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation. Dee Ann, who has been a Neuro ICU nurse at Barnes-Jewish Hospital since 1992, was grateful not only that her expertise was able to help her brother and comfort their family, but that family and friends chose to honor David by helping others facing the same battle.
When asked to describe her most vivid memory of David, his mother, June Marion, remembers Dee Ann’s first day of school. Eight-and-a-half-year-old David had said he wanted to take her to school, and so he grabbed his little sister’s hand.
“I picture my two little ones walking together hand in hand down the driveway,” she says, adding that David and Dee Ann had always been best friends as well as siblings.
Dee Ann also recalls an exchange she had with David three days before he died that will always remain with her. “He said he wanted to ‘go home.’ I told him to go ahead home and take care of the horses there, and I would take care of the ones here until I could catch up with him later,” says Dee Ann.
To give to the Melanoma Research and Patient Care Fund of The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital, please visit our online giving form.