July 18, 1915 - December 16, 2020
San Jose, CA
Margery, or Marge, passed away peacefully of natural causes at the astounding age of 105. It was 25 years to the day of her husband, Adrian Hatfield’s passing. Marge was at home, visited by family and friends in the weeks before.
Marge was born in New Orleans to Benjamin Wall Kernan and Alice Marie Lange, where she spent her childhood and young adulthood. She developed a lifelong appreciation for the cuisine and culture of the region, and could often be heard reverting to her native southern accent many years after leaving the South for the West Coast. Her father Benjamin, who served as President of the Louisiana Bar Association, passed away when she was still a young girl, and she and her four sisters developed independence and a strong work ethic as they helped their mother Alice (“Mere”) make ends meet through the Great Depression.
Marge worked for the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps in Biloxi, Mississippi during World War II, where she met Adrian. After a brief courtship, they were married on March 22, 1943. The young family moved to California in 1947, settling first in Turlock, Adrian’s hometown, and eventually raising their six children in Menlo Park and then Los Altos Hills.
Marge worked for Hewlett-Packard from 1967 until her retirement in 1983. After retirement, Marge became even more involved with her church community at Queen of Apostles Catholic Church in San Jose and St Joseph’s of Cupertino Church. She served as a Eucharistic Minister to take communion to the “little old ladies” (as she would say) at the age of 80-something. Marge attended daily Mass and hosted a weekly Prayer group. She began each day early with prayer, followed by pool exercises at the YMCA 3-4 days each week. She developed many close friends through her Church and the Y.
For her 84th birthday, she decided that she wanted to fulfill a lifelong dream and jump out of an airplane, and did so, strapped to a tandem sky diving master. Two of her daughters, Susan and Barbara, also accompanied her. The story was featured in the San Jose Mercury News on July 19, 1999 and picked up by a number of international news outlets. By the time she reached her 100th birthday, she was featured again in many local papers, and mentioned in the TODAY Show with a birthday greeting for the nation’s centenarians.
Marge was often asked the secret to her long and healthy life. Her answer was “live by the Five F’s; Faith, Family, Friends, Fitness and Fun!” Marge’s kindness, wit and zest for life attracted many friends. She lived a full life, and even family members needed to call ahead to make sure they could fit into her busy social calendar.
Marge is survived by her sister Bea Lorenzen, six children, Ben Hatfield, Susan Oliver (Ed), Peggy May (Randy), Patrick Hatfield (Penny), Michael Hatfield (Libby) and Barbara Harper (Fred), as well as her beloved 7 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild, and many nephews and nieces.
She is predeceased by her sisters Alice (Sister Benita, SMSM), Sady Lou Kerr, and Mary Elizabeth (Mae) Manion.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in her memory:
Marist Missionary Sisters
349 Grove St,
Waltham, MA 02154
(Partners in Mission Fund - this was her sister Alice’s convent Order)
Queen of Apostles Catholic Church
4911 Moorpark Ave
San Jose CA 95129
A celebration of life will be announced at a later date, when it is safe to gather.