Marion Bloch, longtime Kansas City philanthropist and wife of Henry Bloch, dies

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Marion Bloch, wife of H&R Block co-founder Henry Bloch and a co-founder of the Bloch Family Foundation, has died in Kansas City. She was 83.

Marion was born in Kansas City, and she and Henry grew up less than a mile apart. However, the pair did not meet until Marion's brother asked Henry to escort his sister to his engagement parties.

During their five-month courtship in 1951, Henry wrote Marion: "My dearest love, I do believe that no man has ever felt such love and honor towards his fiancée. May our next hundred years together help me to prove it."

The two married that summer after Marion graduated from the University of Missouri and they went on to have four children.

Marion and Henry Bloch are known as shining examples of philanthropy in the Kansas City area. Their names grace countless buildings and programs. The list includes the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, St. Luke's Hospital and the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at UMKC.

In 2012, Marion and Henry formed the Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation to continue supporting the arts, healthcare and opportunities for underserved communities in Kansas City long after they are both gone.

In an interview with Mark Clegg in August of 2012, Henry called his 62-year marriage the greatest success of his storied career.

"The biggest thing I've achieved is marrying my wife," he said. "Everything else pales to that. She is a wonderful person. I'm very much in love with her."

Bloch is survived by her husband, Henry, their four children, Mary Jo Bloch Brown, Robert Bloch, Elizabeth Bloch Uhlmann and Tom Bloch. She also leaves behind 12 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.

Following a private funeral, the family is planning a public memorial Monday, September 30 at 2 pm at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to two of the causes Marion Bloch held dear:  the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art or St. Luke's Hospital Foundation.

 

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