It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved wife, mom, gramma and great gramma, Marlene, on April 9, 2021. Marlene passed peacefully at home with her family by her side.
Marlene was born in Toronto, Ontario to Gordon and Dorothy (Pike) Wake. She was the youngest of two children and shared a special bond with her older brother Ron.
Growing up in southern Ontario she shared a love of animals big and small with her Dad and they raised everything from guinea pigs to German Shepherds to horses during her childhood.
She met the cowboy of her dreams, Ronald Hunt, who shared her love of horses and dancing to country and western music. They were married on June 17, 1964 at Niagara Falls. Their love of horses led them, with Marlene’s parents, to open the Bar B6 Riding Stables. Their daughter Leslie was born a year later and their son John followed three years later completing her “perfect family”. With kids in tow they spent the first few years traveling to rodeos and gymkhanas where Marlene would compete in barrel racing, pole bending and the pick up race. They enjoyed tenting adventures with their young family at many of Ontario’s beautiful lakes and provincial parks and they made a memorable tenting journey from Ontario to Texas. In 1978 they packed up the “Wandering Winnie” and headed to Alaska for vacation. Along the way they visited the Nanton area where Ron was born and raised. Marlene fell in love with the mountains and southwest Alberta and said many times it felt like home to her. In June 1980 they sold everything except what would fit in the Winnebago and once again the “Wandering Winnie” made the trek west. They settled in the High River area until 1991. When Ron retired they spent the winter of 1991-92 in Pahrump, Nevada before moving to Lundbreck where they resided until Ron’s passing in 1997. Shortly after Marlene moved to Pincher Creek to be closer to family.
In 1999 a mutual friend introduced Marlene to Ralph Bourque, “a golfing fireman with two left feet”. A first date at A & W started what would become a new chapter in their lives. Marlene and Ralph were married on June 8, 2002 in Cochrane. Marlene was happy to welcome Ralph’s children, Kathy, Cindy and Brent and their families into her life. Seeing Ralph’s enjoyment of golf Marlene decided to learn to play. They enjoyed many games at the local course with some great friends over the years. Ralph and Marlene enjoyed many trips exploring and golfing in Palm Springs, Mesquite and Hawaii and visiting family on the west coast. Together they also enjoyed going to Stage West Dinner Theatre and attending performances at the Empress Theatre.
Family was most important to Marlene and she loved nothing better than spending time with her fifteen grandkids and seven great grandkids, whom she considered her greatest accomplishments. Over the years she attended many rodeos, hockey games, dance recitals and any other activities that they were involved in and was always their loudest cheerleader. She was a loyal friend and valued those close to her.
Marlene was active in her community and had been a member of the local Lions Club, a volunteer at Vista Village for many years and helped organize the Pincher Creek Ovarian Cancer Walk of Hope and the Pincher Creek Relay for Life. Marlene could also be found volunteering along side Ralph at many other community events.
Marlene was a very talented seamstress and also enjoyed crocheting and knitting and her family always looked forward to receiving her handmade gifts, she was an avid gardener and loved spending time tending her vegetable and flower gardens, baking delicious desserts for family get togethers, reading a good mystery, dancing and aqua fit with the ladies. Marlene also loved a competitive family game of UNO, Aggravation or Catch Phrase and we never knew whose rules we were playing by. Marlene had the best sense of humour and could easily catch you off guard with her wit. She was always a good sport when she was on the receiving end of a family joke or prank.
Marlene leaves these words to live your life by “don’t hold grudges; accept people for who they are and always try to see the best in everyone”.
Marlene was predeceased by her parents and her first husband Ronald Hunt.
Marlene will be forever missed and lovingly remembered by her loving husband Ralph Bourque, her daughter Leslie (Simon) Claringbull, her son John (KC) Hunt, stepdaughters Cindy (Michael) Osiowy, and Katherine Pedersen, and stepson Brent (Janine) Bourque; grandkids Danielle (David) Tetachuk, Michael Wiley, Ami Wiley, Braeden (Heather) Claringbull, Cody (Carlee) Hunt, Ron Hunt, Sage Ellefson, Quincy Ellefson, Taylor Osiowy, Erin Osiowy, Ellen Pedersen, Anna Pedersen, Morgan Bourque, Joel Bourque and Leigh Bourque; great-grandkids Brinley, Landon, Nery, Alis, Ella, Damian and Ariana; her brother Ron (Carol) Wake; niece Kathi (George) Wake, nephew Jason Wake and great niece Sydni Legge; best friend of 72 years Bonnie Hudson and “bestie” Vivien Vollmin.
Our family would like to thank the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Jack Ady Cancer Centre, South Health Campus Neurology Unit and Pincher Creek Health Centre for the exceptional care Marlene received. Thank you also to Dr. Gavin Parker, the Home Care Nurses and Home Care Aides for your compassionate care. A heartfelt thank you to Dr. Tracy Burton for not just being her doctor but also her friend.
In lieu of flowers please consider donating to Alberta Cancer Foundation, 1620 29 Street NW, Suite 300, Calgary, AB T2N 4L7.
A private family celebration of life will be held at a later date when COVID restrictions allow.
To send flowers to Marlene's family, please visit our floral store.