Marlene M. Sibert, 82, of Cedar Rapids, passed away Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, at St. Luke's Hospital, Cedar Rapids.
Family will receive relatives and friends from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10, at Cedar Memorial Funeral Home Chapel of Memories State Room in Cedar Rapids. A funeral service will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, at Cedar Memorial Funeral Home Chapel of Memories. Interment will be at Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery.
Memorials, if desired, may be directed to the family.
Marlene Mae (Kitzman) Sibert was born Aug. 21, 1934, to Dale and Irene (Stanley) Kitzman in rural What Cheer, where she was raised on a farm. She played women's basketball, starting in the eighth grade, for five years (1948-1952) and graduated from What Cheer High School in 1952. She moved to Cedar Rapids to take a job at Link Belt Speeder. It was there Marlene was diagnosed with tuberculosis; she was treated for acute tuberculosis for over a year, then moved back to Cedar Rapids, where she worked at Collins Radio.
In 1955, she met Karl Sibert on a blind date, and they married on Feb. 19, 1956, in What Cheer. Marlene eventually left Collins Radio and started work at Washington High School in Cedar Rapids as counselor's secretary for 37 years (1968-2005).
Marlene loved people and enjoyed helping anyone and everyone she would meet, so being the secretary for Washington High School counselors was the perfect fit for her. She loved her job and the people she met during her years there. People remembered her by saying, "Is that the lady who always smiled, laughed, with the gray hair?" "YES."
She was a member of SEIU (Service Employees International Union Local 150), ABWA (American Business Women's Association) and TOPS Club Inc. (Take off Pounds Sensibly).
The most important thing to Marlene was her family and friends. She watched her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren graduate from Washington High School; three generations!
She will be remembered as a loving and caring wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
Marlene's life has been filled with illness since she was a young woman with tuberculosis and spent 13 months in Ottumwa Hospital. Strength and the will to live are what made Marlene the woman she would become. Her family believes this is why she always found a positive, when most would find negative. She loved WHS sports, football, women's and men's basketball and the Iowa Hawkeyes!
She was a strong woman who gave her "All," even up to the end of her life.
She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Karl; son, Randy (Cindy) of Cedar Rapids; daughter, Karla of rural Palo; stepchildren, Melvin, Sandra and all the family members in Texas; grandchildren, Carrie Ann (Tab), Ryan and Amanda of Cedar Rapids; three great-grandchildren, Zackery and Maddison Richards and Jaden Chapman of Cedar Rapids; one brother, Charles Kitzman and wife Neisha of Cedar Rapids; sisters-in-law, Julie Sibert and Elizabeth Pelock of Newton; the "Haupert kids" and their families; and many nieces and nephews, with who she had very special bonds.
Special thanks to Susan Harris for helping her and Karl during these past several years.
On her 80th birthday, she received a rescued Chihuahua pup named "Duke" who brought joy and love every single day, even up to her last days.
Marlene was preceded in death by her father, Dale Kitzman; mother, Irene (Stanley) Kitzman; sister, Roberta Haupert; brother-in-law, Mark Haupert; brother- in-law, Adolph "Joe" Sibert; nephew, Craig Kitzman; stepdaughter, Peggy Williams; and her granddaughter, Christina Marie Sibert.
Thank you to all the physicians who Marlene saw throughout the years. A special thank-you to Dr. Chirantan Ghosh and his staff for doing what they do best: caring for people, and UnityPoint-St. Luke's Hospice staff for allowing her the dignity she deserved at the end of her life.
Marlene's love was instilled in every life she touched. We thank all family and friends who were able to say "good bye" on her final days. She was indeed a person of grace and integrity, and will be missed every single day by many.
Per Marlene's wish, she donated her eyes to Iowa Donor Network for "education and training," which "education" was her life, and now beyond. The family will make donations to various non-profits in the days to come.