Marian Soss

January 2009

Marian Soss, this year’s recipient of the Lotus Award for outstanding support of Mission Hospice, graciously combines a personal passion with her longtime support of Mission Hospice’s work in San Mateo County.

Most recently, she dedicated the profits from a new book, Let Love Abide, The Marian Soss Sampler Collection (available at to Mission Hospice. The book, published last fall, is a testament to Marian’s love of needlework samplers. It’s also a memorial to her her mother-in-law, Rose Soss, who gave her first sampler as an engagement gift, and to her late husband, Dr. Thomas Soss, who joined Marian both in collecting samplers and in supporting Mission Hospice. The collection includes many rare and beautiful pieces, including one sampler that dates to 1734. For Marian, the visual beauty and artistry of the samplers, mostly created by children, is only a part of their charm.

“I usually picture these little girls sewing the samplers,” said Marian, who has two daughters, a son and three grandchildren. “Were they sad little girls? Did they have a sense of humor?”

Over the years, Marian has given hundreds of talks and presentations on her collection, and has donated the honoraria to Mission Hospice. She still averages about one event per month.

An early member of the Mission Hospice board of directors, Marian also was a charter member of the Auxiliary. Marian said she receives her greatest pleasure when she meets people who used and benefited from Mission Hospice services. These meetings have occurred at charity events, other meetings and even chance encounters on the street.

“They always say something similar; ‘Mrs. Soss, I know about your connection to Mission Hospice. May I tell you about the wonderful caregiver who helped me through a most difficult time,’ or ‘I couldn’t have survived mentally or physically when my spouse was dying ifhospice hadn’t been there for me.’”

“I feel this is the finest tribute to Mission Hospice and I feel privileged to be a part of it.”