It is with heavy hearts that the family of Marlene announces her passing on December 10, 2017. In keeping with her wishes, Marlene passed away at home, on a warm and sunny winter afternoon. She was surrounded by her family, all of whom loved her dearly.
Marlene will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by her husband Archie Gale–semicolon– children, Brad Durling (Nancy Lastiwka), Michele Durling (Tim Kearns), Greg Durling–semicolon– stepdaughter Kandee Stadnyk (Damond)–semicolon– grandchildren, Joel, Paige, Nicole, William, Reid, Hudson, Kinzee, and Kianna–semicolon– as well as her siblings, Bookie Whissell, Brian Whissell (Rita), and Ron Whissell (Bonnie).
Marlene was pre-deceased by her father in 2006, her mother in 1976, and her cherished sister Elaine in 2016.
Marlene was born to Dr. Georges Whissell and Nellie Laurin in Montreal, Quebec. After Marlene’s family moved to Alberta, Marlene stayed in Quebec to finish high school. She then moved west to her adopted province of Alberta, where she completed her formal education. Marlene was always proud of her deep ties to Quebec and had a special place in her heart for her beloved aunts, uncles and cousins from Eastern Canada. Marlene cherished her visits back home and visited often.
Marlene was an incredible driving force in the lives of her family and those fortunate enough to be in her orbit. She built several businesses into thriving enterprises, in an era when it wasn’t usual for women to do so. Marlene enjoyed cards, particularly bridge–semicolon– her focus and intensity made her a competitive player. Marlene was an enthusiastic traveler, spending time in Europe, on river cruises, and on winter escapes to Lake Havasu, Palm Springs and Maui. Just before she was taken ill, Marlene enjoyed a cruise from New York and Boston to Quebec City, visiting her birthplace, and celebrating her 82nd birthday with her family in Montreal.
One of Marlene’s greatest joys in life was her children–semicolon– she supported them in their various endeavors, and always encouraged and challenged them to do their very best. Marlene was a proud Grandmother and an important influence in her grandchildren’s lives. She loved each of them fiercely. The life lessons they learned from their adoring Grandmother will serve them well as they proceed through life.
The family would like to acknowledge Dr. Jane Baker and Dr. Justin Sebastian for their exemplary care throughout Marlene’s illness. A special thank you to Aileen Fong and Joann Rapanan for caring for Marlene with compassion and love in her final weeks.
In keeping with Marlene’s wishes, a private family service will be held.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Marlene’s memory may be made to the Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.