Marlene Ann Simons ended her battle with Parkinson’s disease on January 14, 2023, and has joined her family in eternity. She was a kind, loving, patient, and independent woman who was an exemplary human being, mother, and grandmother.
Marlene was born on November 2, 1933, in Joliet, IL, the daughter of Florian and Josephine (Schmitt) Fehrenbacher. She graduated from St. Francis Academy and attended the Little Company of Mary School of Nursing in Evergreen Park, IL. Upon graduation, she worked at the University of California in Berkeley. She joined the Native Health Service in Anchorage and then Tanana, AK. Her next adventure led her to Lexington, KY followed by a stint in her hometown of Manhattan, IL.
She met and married her husband Frank and moved to Grand Rapids, MI where she worked at Butterworth Hospital followed by fifteen years at Kent Oaks Mental Hospital. When the hospital closed she worked at Villa Maria Retirement Nursing Home and also performed medical transcription for River Valley Orthopedics. Marlene was an active member of St. Jude Catholic Church in Grand Rapids and was involved in many church activities. She was an avid collector of many things, including Hummel and Precious Moments figurines and Winnie the Pooh memorabilia.
Marlene devoted her life to her family, especially her grandchildren, spoiling them whenever she could. She enjoyed playing word games and loved a few hands of euchre or pinochle. Frequent trips to the west coast and Illinois to visit family were a special treat for her.
Marlene was preceded in death by her parents; her sisters Mary Helen Fehrenbacher and Jean Berg; and her brother Robert Fehrenbacher. She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Frank; her son Chris and his wife Lisi (Grewe); grandchildren Piper, Ivan, and Fiver; siblings Kathleen (James) Thomson, Elizabeth Tuscher, and Edward Fehrenbacher; sisters-in-laws Carol Simons and Cathleen (Edward) Fiest; and myriad much-adored nieces and nephews.
At Marlene’s request, a cremation has been performed and a Mass of Christian Celebration will be held in the future.