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December 21, 1938 - November 3, 2023

In Loving Memory ~

Born in Brooklyn, New York Marlene came to Quebec as the daughter of a Plymouth Brethren missionary at the age of seven. She adopted that culture and identified as a French Canadian throughout her life despite the fact that she and her family experienced many discriminatory episodes during the years of her father's mission to promote the Plymouth Brethren's presence in Quebec, where participants could read and interpret the bible vis-a-vie the prevailing Catholic doctrines at the time.

Some episodes involved their chapel being ransacked, their bibles being burned, their car being overturned, her father being kidnapped, sent out of the province, and told not to return - all under the noses of the local police. This gave her a strength that carried through the rest of her life.

Married at nineteen to Wallace Bowes, she bore four children, Valeri, Marc, Stephen, and Nathan and is survived by Marc, Nathan, and her current husband John Lerbscher. She and Wallace separated, and she eventually came west to Calgary with her current husband where they enjoyed skiing and hiking in the Rockies as well as the Western Canadian prosperity. The couple moved to Johnson's Landing in 2003 and were able to enjoy being there until health issues arose. She had a comfortable life living mostly in Nelson for her last six years.

She was a single mother for a number of years but had good jobs such as running the Career Center at Champlain Regional College in St Lambert, Que. As well as providing for her children, she finished a certificate program at McGill University in public relations and was president of the Support Staff Union at Champlain College for many years. After moving west, her proficiency in French positioned her to be the main facilitator of Calgary's French-Canadian Association as well as working part-time for the University of Alberta helping French speaking Alberta women upgrade their education.

Her final position before retiring to BC was at Shell Canada's Call Centre that served all of Canada. She was an indefatigable CFL fan and sadly didn't get to see her Alouettes win the Grey Cup this year.

An accomplished cook, she made many memorable meals for family gatherings finding great ways to prepare all the wild game that passed through her kitchen. Her house was always open to the extended family and all others who visited or needed accommodations.

Her grandchildren benefited from her love and devotion responding with endless attention and by keeping her updated on their adventures. As a loving wife, she was a friend, a sympathetic ear, a staunch supporter, and a partner in our many adventures together. She will be missed by all.

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Thompson Funeral Service

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