Marion Serna

Obituary of Marion D Serna

Obituary for Marion D. Serna
August 21, 1931 – March 15, 2023

Marion D. Serna, 91 of Palm Harbor, Florida died peacefully on the evening of March 15, 2023 surrounded by family and friends.

Marion was born August 21, 1931 in Plainfield NJ. She is the daughter of Peter DeBaylo (deceased) and Katherine DeBaylo (nee Savola, deceased). Marion is also pre-deceased by her husband of 60 years, Walter Serna, and her only sibling, George DeBaylo.

Her immediate family includes her son, Stephen Serna, and his wife Roxann Serna (nee Bacon, deceased) of Hopatcong, NJ; daughter and her husband, Donna and Philip Goldstein of Chapel Hill, NC; grandchildren, Jasmin Serna and her partner Jason Mighells of NY; Lukas Serna and his fiancé Tasha Sanders of NC; Zach Goldstein and his wife Tamar Chukrun of NC; Emily Goldstein of PA.

Sharing in this loss are many other loving family members and friends in the US, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine.

Marion grew up in the close-knit community of Lake Nelson, NJ, on a small family farm, with several members of the Savola clan living near-by. She was a keen student and enjoyed participating in various school clubs, as well as babysitting and caring for her cousins. She met her husband to be, Walter Serna, at a church picnic. They married in 1952 and moved to Piscataway, NJ where they raised 2 children.

Throughout her life, Marion enjoyed participating in a wide range of activities and often took on positions of responsibility in organizations she volunteered for. As a young adult, Marion worked in the New Brunswick Savings and Loan as an executive secretary and was actively involved with Civil Air Patrol, rising to the rank of Captain. As a new mom, she organized a neighborhood baseball team and called them the Academy Street Kids. As her children turned school-aged, she ventured to employment outside the house, eventually opening up her own real estate agency, Homestead Realty. Other business adventures included owning and operating hotels in Wildwood, NJ for several years in 1970’s. All this while, she continued with her volunteer activities: PTA president; teaching English as a second language; volunteering with Friends of the Piscataway Public Library and Friends of the Historic Metlar house. Marion loved to travel and especially enjoyed visiting family in Ukraine.

Throughout her life, Marion was a devout Christian, attending mass every Sunday and spending countless hours supporting her church – Nativity of Our Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church and their Ukrainian parochial school, in New Brunswick, NJ. When Marion and Walter moved to Florida, she continued her devotion to the Ukrainian Catholic Church, worshiping at the Epiphany of Our Lord Ukrainian Catholic Church, in St Petersburg, Florida. Marion quickly re-engaged with many of the activities she enjoyed in NJ. She was president of the Ukrainian American Association of St Petersburg, FL; Ukrainian representative to SPIFFs (St Petersburg International Folk Fair) and an active member of Ukrainian National Women’s League in America (UNWLA) branch 124. She also volunteered at the Palm Harbor Historical Society and the Palm Harbor Community Service Agency and served as an interpreter with the Hillsborough County court system. She lived independently and remained active in real estate to her final days.

Marion was a loving and loyal wife, mother, grandmother and friend, who was fiercely proud of her Ukrainian heritage. Her spirit of kindness and generosity will live on in the many lives she touched. There will be a visitation beginning at 6:00pm on Friday, April 21st at Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home, 2201 Dr ML King Street North, St Petersburg, Florida followed by Mass and Repass on Saturday, April 22nd at 10 am at Epiphany of Our Lord Ukrainian Catholic Church, 434 90th Ave. N. St. Petersburg, FL 33702.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America (UNWLA) Branch 124. Checks should be made payable to UNWLA Branch 124, in memory of Marion Serna and sent to M. Bazylak, PO Box 20296, St Petersburg, FL, 33742-0296


There will be a viewing at 9 am and Service at 10 am at The Nativity of The Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church. Marion's Final resting place is at St Andrews Ukrainian Orthodox Cemetery – South Bound Brook NJ on Saturday 6th May, 2023.



Saturday, May 6th, 2023

9 am - 10 am

The Nativity of The Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church

80 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ

(Please note there is only street parking for church in New Brunswick)



Saturday, May 6th, 2023

10 am - 10:45 am

The Nativity of The Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church

80 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ

(Please note there is only street parking for church in New Brunswick)



Saturday, May 6th, 2023

St Andrews Ukrainian Cemetery

280 Main St, South Bound Brook, NJ



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