Marlene Ann Marquette – Post Bulletin

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Marlene MARQUETTE, 85, died peacefully on Sunday morning February 20 at her home in Bamber Valley, southwest of Rochester, surrounded by children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Marlene was predeceased by her husband Lawrence “Butch” in 2012.

She is survived by her seven children: Morris of West Concord, his wife Jane (Rendler); Jacqueline “Jackie” of Rochester, her husband Richard “Rich” Rundquist; Nancy of Albuquerque, her husband Martin “Marty” Hatfield; Steven “Steve” of Lake Worth, Florida, his partner Roselle Santos; Suzanne of Boca Raton, her husband Jack Yellen; John of Miami, his wife Fedline Ferjuste; David and his wife Gilbert “Gil” Hernandez of Visalia, California; and his nephew Mark from Melbourne, Florida.

Grandchildren include: Danielle Rundquist of Rochester and Marlene’s great-grandchildren, Alexander “Xander” and Estella; Brandon Rundquist of Arvada, Colorado, his wife Jackie (Spencer) and his great-granddaughter Cadence; Jacob Marquette of Waseca, his wife Chasity (Haslip) and his great-grandchildren Aiden and Eli; and Rory Yellen of Rochester.

Marlene Ann Dickey was born on October 8, 1936 in Faribault, the only child of Donald “Don” Dickey, a city policeman, and Adeline (Tupy), a pharmacy assistant. She attended the Dominican Sisters’ Immaculate Conception Elementary School and was a finalist in the state’s Spelling Bee. After graduating from Central High School in 1954, she was accepted to Mankato State College (now Minnesota State University, Mankato). Before college, while working at Josten in Owatonna, she met Butch and fell in love. They married in 1955 at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, West Concord.

With a budding family in Ellington Township in rural northwest Dodge County, they grew their family farm. In 1968, Butch started a grain elevator building business with Marlene managing the finances. Both businesses continue today: Morris and Jane farm with Jackie and Rich in Byron’s grain elevator business, now Kasson.

Marlene chaired the education committee of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Parish from 1979 to 1983. She was a leader of Ellington Township 4-H Chapter. Marlene was a delegate to the 1980 Democratic-Farmer-Worker (DFL) State Convention in St. Paul and served on the board of the Dodge County Development Activity Center until 1984, a mental health provider non-profit community.

Along with Butch, she cherished their volunteer work at the Blackfeet Nation Indian Reservation in Montana and administering medicine to orphans at the Flores Franciscan Mission in Honduras.

As a teenager, Marlene worked at the downtown box office of Paradise Theatre, inspiring her lifelong love for the big screen. While babysitting for a wealthy family, she marveled at their paintings of Grant Wood, famous for his iconic 1930 work “American Gothic.” Becoming her favorite artist, for Marlene’s 70th birthday, she visited Wood’s studio in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Dressed in a suit and tie this Saturday night, Butch was her surprise dinner party at the Figge Art Museum in nearby Davenport.

Beyond trips to Venezuela and France, Marlene’s trips in Butch’s motorhome have covered the 5,000 miles from Alaska to Miami. On several occasions they traveled to Plains, Georgia, attending Marantha Baptist Church with former President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn.

“Marlenka” (Marlene) and Butch visited Bohemia, her ancestral homeland in the Czech Republic, and Butch’s in Marquardt outside Berlin in eastern Germany, where they befriended the inhabitants of the Landgasthof tavern who Butch thinks might be his long-lost cousins! Marlene had an audience with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in Rome, 2005; in 1979, she attended Pope’s Outdoor Mass in Des Moines.

In her final years, Marlene was blessed to stay in her cherished home with devoted grandchildren: Danielle as primary caregiver and health advocate; and Rory helping out while attending Winona State University. Her cat Truman was a great comfort to Marlene in her final days, after the deaths of her beloved cats Pierre, Chloe and Flower. Marlene was never alone, never without love.

Marlene was always a joy in meetings with thoughtful conversation and wonderful humor. She loved music, from rock by Tom Jones, operas by Andrea Bocelli, disco by the Bee Gees to country by Willy Nelson. She loved meeting new people, engaging in conversation. His joie de vivre was contagious; Just two weeks ago, she dined with her family at her new favorite (replacing Chester’s Kitchen at the Galleria) Four Daughters Vineyard near Spring Valley.

Goodbye, goodbye Marlene Ann Dickey, goodbye Marlene Marquette, goodbye Grandma, goodbye Mom, because there will never be another like you. A private service will be held and interment will take place at St. Margaret’s Catholic Cemetery, Cemetery Road, Mantorville, Minnesota at a later date.

DONATION IN MEMORIAM: Mercy Ships donate.mercyships.org/

The Wild Animal Sanctuary, Colorado www.wildanimalsanctuary.org/donate

Online condolences are welcome at www.mackenfuneralhome.com.

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