Marion Vise with her volunteer certificate from 1983. She’s a 2023 Lifetime Achievement Awardee!

Marion Vise received this very special award and honored on Feb. 26, 2023 at our annual awards ceremony in front of 400+ hospice professionals. 

Nancy McCranie, Hospice Austin; Director of Volunteer and Bereavement Services, wrote Marion’s touching nomination, you can read it here:

“Marion began volunteering for Hospice Austin in 1983, almost forty years ago. She has been a faithful volunteer the entire time. In the early years, she was one of the small group of people who helped get Hospice Austin started. In the years since, she has given her gifts in the area of facilitating bereavement support groups. It’s hard to calculate the thousands of lives she has touched over the past four decades.

Marion is still going strong, facilitating a loss of spouse group for people over the age of 60 that began in September of 2022. Marion truly embodies the Hospice Austin mission to provide care and support to anyone in our community who needs it. She is reliable, highly skilled, needs very little in the way of praise or attention, and keeps showing up year after year to provide comfort, wisdom, and guidance to those in our community who are grieving a significant loss.

Marion Vise has literally done it all at Hospice Austin.  She started out in administration and direct patient care in 1983 and then ran the bereavement department when Hospice Austin was just beginning.  Ever since. she has fulfilled her calling facilitating support groups for grieving people in Central Texas.  The former nurse immigrated to the United States in 1962 and settled in Shreveport, Louisiana, where American friends sponsored her immigration.  “Talk about a culture shock,” Vise quipped.  Two years later, she met Bernard, a military pilot, and six weeks later they were married.  The couple raised three children while military transfers hopped them across the nation and abroad.  In 1974, an assignment to Bergstrom Air Force Base brought them to Austin where they stayed.


Vise came to Hospice Austin in 1983.  She attended the fledgling organization’s second volunteer training class and began working with patients and families.  She left for a period, spending time in England following her father’s sudden death and her mother’s illness and subsequent death.  When she returned to Hospice Austin, she began helping bereavement program founder, Carolyn McDonald, in the office.  She soon began counseling the bereaved and took over the department when McDonald retired.  Vise received facilitator training shortly afterwards and led many loss of parent support groups and general loss support groups.   Subsequent to her beloved husband’s death in 2004, Marion began leading the loss of spouse groups at Hospice Austin.  She and Bernie were married for 39 very happy years and she is a sensitive and highly skilled facilitator of these spousal loss groups.  She most recently led a loss of spouse group this past October and November.


“I really enjoy facilitating groups.  When you have a loss, you feel like you can’t impose on friends, you feel all alone.  Groups are a safe place for people to talk about their loss,” Vise says.  She encourages those who are grieving the death of a loved one to take advantage of the support Hospice Austin offers.  She says working through grief is a discovery process.  “You’re not the same person when you’ve been through a loss.  You reinvent yourself.  If you’ve lost your parents, you’re now an orphan.  If you’ve lost your only sibling, you’re now an only child.  If you’ve lost your spouse, you are now single.  Talking about things like that and identifying those things in group helps.  You learn to have a new relationship with yourself by realizing that the person died, not the relationship you had with that person.” Vise said.  “In group you can talk, listen, cry or just be—you don’t’ have to do anything,” she says, “there are no expectations.”

Marion is a much loved and valued volunteer for Hospice Austin.  No one is more deserving of this life time achievement award.  She has given of herself for forty years and helped thousands of Central Texans along the way. ”

Congratulations Marion! We’re so very proud of you!  – TNMHO Board  of Directors and Team!