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Marion Bloch, wife of H&R Block co-founder Henry W. Bloch, dies at 83

Updated: 2013-09-25T17:21:53Z

By MATT CAMPBELL

The Kansas City Star

Marion Helzberg Bloch, wife of H&R Block co-founder Henry W. Bloch, died peacefully at home Tuesday in Mission Hills. She was 83.

The Blochs married in 1951, and Marion Bloch was her husband’s partner as he and his brother, Richard, built their small company into the nation’s largest commercial tax-preparation firm.

The Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation, created in 2012, is one of the largest in the region. Throughout their lives, the Blochs’ philanthropy has benefited institutions including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Henry A. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and St. Luke’s Hospital.

“She was my whole life,” Henry Bloch said Tuesday. “We were married 62 years. There’s never been a marriage better than mine in the world, I don’t think. She was perfect.

“I was supposed to die first because I’m eight years older,” Bloch continued, “but it didn’t work out that way.”

Marion Bloch was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 58, and her health had declined slowly since that time, said her son Thomas Bloch.

Close family friend Dick Levin said Marion Bloch “was a very beautiful, talented lady who really spread love everywhere she was.”

The Jewish Community Relations Bureau/American Jewish Committee issued a statement of condolence Tuesday.

“Marion was a very special woman and a special friend to JCRB/AJC,” it said. “We were honored to have been associated with her over many decades. Our sympathy goes out to our dear friend, Henry, and their entire family.”

Marion and Henry Bloch were lifelong Kansas City-area residents. She graduated from Southwest High School and the University of Missouri. The couple had four children, Robert, Thomas, Mary Jo and Elizabeth.

Marion Bloch was a PTA president and a member of the boards of the New Reform Temple and the State Ballet of Missouri.

Thomas Bloch said the funeral will be for immediate family only but that a public memorial service will be held at the Atkins Auditorium at the Nelson gallery at 2 p.m. Monday. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Nelson or to the St. Luke’s Hospital Foundation. Condolences can be sent to rememberingmarion@ blochfamilyfoundation.org.

To reach Matt Campbell, call 816-234-4902 or send email to mcampbell@kcstar.com.

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