Marlene “Coalie” Louise Carroll was born in Yakima, Washington, on March 2, 1933, to Francis and Eva Carroll. Her family eventually settled in Spokane where she attended John Rogers High School. She had her first child, Cherie in 1950, followed by two sons, Terry and Richard, and then three daughters Cynthia, Cailin and LeeAnna. By the age of 25 she had six children. In 1966, the youngest daughter, Malinda, was born. The family lived in various places throughout Eastern Washington and Northeastern Oregon.
Marlene was known as a hard-working, honest and reliable worker wherever she went. She tended bar much of her adult life to support herself and her children; for all intents and purposes she was a single mom.
In 1971, she bought a small 5½ acre farm on Marrowstone Island where she raised horses and various other animals, including her favorite dachshund dogs and her cats. She grew a vegetable garden and flowers when she could. She was well known for her outstanding irises. Above all, Marlene loved nature and reveled in the simplicity and beauty of the natural world and its many diverse inhabitants. Her neighbors will remember her gift for treating ailing animals and taking in strays. She worked in Juneau, Alaska, off and on for 13 years to pay off her farm. From 1981-83, Marlene was a volunteer for AWARE which provided support services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. In 1983, she enrolled in the University of Alaska and earned a certificate as an Alcoholic & Drug Abuse Counselor in 1985. She began work at Southeast Alaska Regional Health Corporation and travelled to Native American villages throughout Alaska to help village leaders design substance abuse recovery programs.
Marlene was part native Huron, a tribe from Canada. She was very connected to the Native tribes around the Northwest and at one time was an elder. She was very well-read about Native American history and was often asked to give traditional blessings at tribal and public events. She loved to wear her Huron regalia and dance with her Native friends. Her beaded jewelry was admired by many.
Marlene was also active in the Port Hadlock VFW and volunteered each Memorial Day to put American flags on veterans’ graves on Marrowstone Island. She was an avid reader and her house was filled with books, top to bottom. She read everything from John Steinbeck, Isabel Allende, and Jane Austen to Kristin Hannah amongst many others, and modern history of all types. Recently, Marlene particularly loved the story of Freddy Mercury of the band Queen. Her tastes in music ranged from Native American flute to Luciano Pavarotti – especially at full blast.
In 2015, Marlene moved back to Spokane to be near her brother Gary Carroll and his wife, Christine. Marlene died of natural causes at age 87.
Marlene is survived by her brother Gary Carroll and his wife Christine Carroll; her daughters Cherie Levinson, Cailin Durham, LeeAnna Durham, and Malinda Hawkins; her sons, Terry Morrison and Richard Morrison; as well as stepsister Louise Johnson, nephews and nieces; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Marlene was predeceased by her brother, Richard Carroll; half-sister, Karen Southmayd; stepsister, Lois Reeser; and daughter, Cynthia Morrison.
The memorial service will be private. Charitable donations may be made to your local animal shelter.