Marion Rathbone, a longtime medical transcriptionist at Maine Medical Center, died Feb. 17 after a period of declining health. She was 77.

Marion Rathbone, a family photo

Mrs. Rathbone was remembered Tuesday as a kind and thoughtful woman.

“My mom was a tornado of love and emotion,” said Gregory Rathbone of Portland, the oldest of her four children. “She would give anything for anyone. For my mom, us kids were her life.”

She was a loving wife to the late William “David” Rathbone. The couple settled in Annandale, Virginia, where she began a long and successful career in medical records.

Tragedy struck the family in 1983, when her husband died unexpectedly of a brain aneurism at age 40. She was left a young widow raising four children on her own. Her son said he was 12 when his father died.

“It was hard for my mom, but she had a lot of support,” he said. “My dad came from a huge family. He had nine brothers and sisters. For my mom, raising four kids alone down there wasn’t going to work … So, she moved back to Maine.”

Mrs. Rathbone had roots in Bath. As a teenager, she was a fixture at the family business, Joe’s Market, where she used to make their Italian sandwiches, her son said. She was a 1962 graduate of the Academy of St. Joseph in South Berwick.

Following her husband’s passing, she settled in Brunswick with her children. She worked at Maine Medical Center in Portland for 30 years as a medical transcriptionist and in electronic medical records. In addition, she worked part-time at a hospital in Brunswick.

Her son said she worked long hours and was active in their schools and activities. He said she fulfilled her goal to send them to parochial school and college.

“She paid for all of our college educations. She went without to provide for us,” he said. “She was incredible. She ran on no sleep. She worked. While my brother and I were at Cheverus, she was dealing with two younger kids at St. John’s in Brunswick. How she coordinated that was unbelievable.”

Mrs. Rathbone centered her life around family and work. She was a medical transcriptionist for most of her career before transitioning to electronic medical records. Her son said she was the first to learn the hospital’s talk-to-text technology and quickly became an expert.

“She loved going to work because she had so many friends there,” he said.

Mrs. Rathbone was injured in a serious motor vehicle accident in 2016 that left her with a dislocated knee and other injuries to her leg. She retired from Maine Med after the accident, her son said. She went to live with her daughter Michelle Raymond in Weston, Massachusetts, to recuperate.

Most recently, Mrs. Rathbone lived at Sable Lodge Retirement Community in South Portland. Her son said she was loved by so many people.

“If you met my mom, she would know your whole life story and remember it,” her son said. “She was an incredible woman. I’ll miss everything … the way she loved us and loved her grandkids. She would always call us right in the middle of dinner. She was very persistent. If she didn’t get me on my cell, she called the house phone, then my wife’s phone,” he said, laughing.

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