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In nominating the late Marion Bressler, former student Woodrow Deitrich called her “the most devoted teacher you could imagine,” citing how she graded “huge numbers of written blue-book exams, reading all of them twice to determine and fair grade for each student."

He went on to say, “Mrs. Bressler was an outstanding and memorable teacher of AP History for decades. Among the many students she influenced was the famed political scientist, Francis Fukuyama (Class of 1970).”

This excerpt from Marion’s obituary, upon her passing in 2013 at the age of 91, tells a beautiful story of a life well-lived:

“In 1948 she married Leo A. Bressler. In 1951 the couple moved to State College with the first of their two children. Marion Bressler taught American history at the University Park campus of Penn State until 1959, when she joined the faculty at the newly-built State College Area High School. In 1960 she introduced the Advanced Placement program at SCAHS, making this among the first public high schools in the nation to adopt the Educational Testing Service curriculum. She joined ETS as a consultant, served by invitation as a reader/grader for AP exams at Princeton, NJ, and conducted seminars for AP American history teachers from throughout the Northeast. In the mid-1960s she served as president of the State College Area Education Association.

From 1965 to 1983, while still a full-time faculty member at SCAHS, she also taught in the Penn State Continuing Education program. From 1971 to 1975 she offered in addition a PSU summer graduate course in humanities for secondary-school instructors. With her husband she co-authored two books on modern social and political issues published by Prentice Hall (1970, 1977), and co-edited a collection of readings in American history issued by Houghton-Mifflin (1972). As an educator, she remembered fondly her cooperation with then Assistant Coach Joe Paterno as she tutored members of the PSU football team, including several of its greatest players.

After her formal retirement in 1983, Marion continued as a regular substitute at SCAHS, and as an ETS consultant. She found new fulfillment in designing and teaching courses for the Community Academy for Lifelong Learning (CALL), continuing this involvement well into her ninth decade. In 2000 the Centre County Bicentennial Committee honored her as a Central Pennsylvania "Living Legend" in education. She never stopped dreaming of a return to the classroom and recapturing the thrill she experienced in sharing her love of American History. During her last years she remained in communication with generations of her students, and she was touched to the heart by those who continued to send appreciative notes and fond greetings even after she could no longer respond in kind.

Nothing brought her greater joy than spending time with her children, their spouses, and her grandchildren. Although she did not live to see the birth of her first great-grandchild, expected in the summer of 2013, her happiness at the announcement last fall knew no bounds. Her devotion to family, friends, and teaching defined Marion Bressler; her deepest wish for her students, friends, and descendants was that they should continue to see family and education as the very anchors of the Christian life."

Marion was also a devoted friend to many, an active member of Faith United Church of Christ for nearly sixty years, and a volunteer for local non-profits. She is survived by children William Bressler, M.D. and his wife Linda Mowery Bressler (Huntingdon, PA); her daughter, Ann Lee Bressler, Ph.D. and her husband Robin B. Barnes, Ph.D. (Davidson, NC); as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.