Ilona Joyce Marchand, age 77, passed away peacefully on Friday, January 14, 2022, at the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Needham, Massachusetts, with her daughter by her side. Born in Norwood, Massachusetts, she was the daughter of the late Vano Edward Gronroos and Ellen I. (Koivu) Soares. She spent her early years in Medfield, Massachusetts before settling with her mother in Westwood, and she graduated from Medfield High School with the Class of 1961. Following her graduation, Ilona took a secretarial position with a company in Fitchburg, where she and one of her close girlfriends rented an apartment.
A year later, Ilona moved to Norwood, Massachusetts and took a position with the Medfield State Hospital, working as a switchboard operator. While enjoying a meal at the Norwood Town Square Diner, Ilona caught her first glimpse of a young man named Merrill Marchand. It was love at first sight and after a short time of dating, Ilona and Merrill were married on July 16, 1964. The young couple spent their honeymoon on Cape Cod, fishing for striped bass, before returning to Norwood, where they made their home together. Ilona and Merrill shared an incredibly special bond throughout their life together, they were truly inseparable. She enjoyed every moment she spent with Merrill, whether hunting, trapping and fishing or traveling together to relax and unwind.
Ilona went on to take a position with the Masoneilan Company, however, after welcoming her children, she left her working career, taking on the role of a homemaker. There was nothing Ilona loved more than spending time with and caring for her family, looking forward to spending time with them around her backyard pool. As her children grew up, Ilona took up a part-time position in the cafeteria at the Norfolk County Agricultural High School in Walpole and later with TJ Maxx in Norwood. In addition to caring for her family and her part-time positions, Ilona always made time to help her husband with his company, Custom Design Pool Deck, ensuring his operation ran flawlessly.
As a talented artist, Ilona loved working with oil paint to create beautiful canvases for her family to enjoy. She often used the natural beauty around her, to create her artwork, gaining inspiration from the birds surrounding her home or the flower garden that Merrill cultivated for her each year.
Beloved wife of Merrill B. Marchand.
Loving mother of Jeanette C. Jones and her husband, Russell, of Walpole, Merrill Wade Marchand of Norwood, and Craig B. Marchand of Norwood.
Cherished grandmother of Russell Jones Jr. and his wife, Natalie, of Roslindale, Andrew Jones and his wife, Lauren, of Virginia Beach, Jessica Jones of Walpole, Genevieve Marchand-Luiz of New Bedford, Christopher Marchand of New Bedford, Michael Marchand of Norwood, and Kaelynn Marchand of Norwood.
Sister of the late Edward William, Alan R., and Edwin O. Gronroos.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend Ilona's Life Celebration on Monday, January 24, 2022, from 4 to 7 PM in the James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, 48 Common Street, Walpole.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: Dana Farber Cancer Institute P.O. Box 849168 Boston, MA 02284.