Meet Marlene of Good Shepherd

Meet Marlene of Good Shepherd


Marlene had a very interesting beginning to life. She and her twin sister, Marie, were born May 10, 1941 in her grandmother’s bed on the family farm. She mentioned there were no hospitals in the area and that’s how things were done at that time. Her father was a barber. Her mother did laundry for people and sometimes had to travel very far. Marlene and Marie were fraternal twins. They dressed alike, as most twins do, until they were a little older and started looking different from one another. Marie suddenly passed away in 2005 at the age of 64 and Marlene misses her.


As a child, Marlene remembers enjoying riding her friend’s bike and finally, at 12, getting one she shared with Marie. She loved to ride her bike! Marlene attended St. Anthony School in St. Cloud until graduating from the eighth grade. Her friends meant a lot to her. As a shy child, they helped her become more outgoing. Once she was finished with school, Marlene started working at Lantz Optical in St. Cloud. From there she moved on to working at X-Cel Optical in Sauk Rapids, where she inspected lenses.


While working at X-Cel Optical, Marlene met her husband, Bob, who worked there as well. She giggled as she remembered offering him two dance tickets. He told her he would only take them if she would be his date. They would attend dances and movies together but for some reason, Bob wouldn’t go bowling with her and Marlene really enjoyed bowling! The two were married on July 7, 1969, after dating for a year. She was able to quit her job when they started their family.


Marlene and Bob had two children and raised them in Sauk Rapids. Greg was born in 1971 and still lives in Sauk Rapids with his wife Julie and two children, Brandan (9) and Ben (5). Jill was born in 1975 and is now married to Robert. They live in Winona, MN and have two children as well, Josh (19) and Jarrett (18). Marlene can’t help but smile when she talks about her grandchildren and shares their pictures. She has taken two train trips to visit her daughter and her family and really enjoyed the traveling. She has also been to Duluth, MN, Wisconsin and took a trip to South Dakota with her parents and her uncle. She has wonderful memories of that trip.


Marlene loves Christmas. She loves it because of the excitement it brings to the children. Her room is full of cheerful decorations that show her Christmas spirit, including two Christmas wall hangings she made in high school. One of her favorite childhood Christmas traditions was her father selecting the family Christmas tree and all of them trimming it together. If it were up to Marlene, Christmas would last all year. Other things Marlene enjoys include, reading, watching “Wheel of Fortune” and sometimes BINGO.


Marlene has been at Good Shepherd for almost one year. She loves the food and that they offer choices. She is grateful that the staff is so patient with her, “They really take care of me.” Says Marlene. She remembers how much it meant to her when one staff member said, “We’re a team!” We are proud that Marlene calls Good Shepherd home.

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