Marlene Viola Wiens was born October 3, 1936 on the family farm outside Fenwood, Saskatchewan. She was the eldest of six children born to Lloyd and Emily (née Werk) Taylor. Marlene attended schools at Plainview, Fenwood and then her grade 12 year in Melville. Spending the first 13 years of her life on the farm, Marlene was not one to shy away from responsibility and hard work. Alongside her two sisters; Marlene helped her parents with housework, cooking, gardening, outside farm chores and taking care of their three younger brothers. Church and community events were a large part of Marlene’s upbringing where she developed a passion for music in particular singing, playing piano, reading and sewing. These skills that came so easily to Marlene spilled effortlessly into adulthood.
The teaching profession was a natural choice for Marlene. Her education consisted of one year at Teachers College Training in Moose Jaw, and three years at U of S towards her B.ED degree. Marlene taught for eight years and it was during her employment in Red Deer, Alberta that she met the love of her life Frank Wiens. Their courtship was only a brief four months and they married in 1964. In 1966 they moved to Frank’s family farm at Herschel, Sk and started their family and her new career as a farmer.
Farm life suited Marlene well where she was an avid vegetable and flower gardener, taking pride in feeding her family healthy meals and growing beautiful flower beds. In addition to being a great cook; soup and buns being her specialty, she was a dedicated and loving mother to her three children. Many miles were put on vehicles driving kids to their different sports and functions. Marlene enjoyed traveling and always looked forward to any trip taken to visit family, especially her grandchildren.
Her contribution to the farmwork grew as Frank’s MS progressed throughout the years. Marlene tended to the cattle, assisted Frank in operating the tractor and the combine all while maintaining her regular responsibilities and interests. Frank’s brother Pete, was instrumental in facilitating the farming workload and Marlene was so appreciative of his help and support. Marlene’s greatest commitment and care was devoted to Frank. She remained his primary caregiver until his passing in 2004.
Church and community continued to be a significant part of Marlene’s life and she was very grateful for the support shown to her family over the years of residing in the Herschel community. Her involvement to name a few consisted of teaching Sunday school, choir and small group singing events, worship committee, bible study, ladies aid, and in later years Herschel quilting/recycling group and volunteering at the tea room.
Marlene remained on the farm until 2016 and then moved to Bethany Manor in Saskatoon. Marlene’s independence and socializing nature made it particularly difficult when Alzheimer’s began to affect the care-giver we remember. Only a few years later a transition to Arbor Villa personal care home became necessary. She amazed staff on numerous occasions with helping them with tasks around the house.
Marlene passed away on January 6, 2023 at St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon. She was a woman of faith which was evident in her life’s work and will be remembered dearly by family and friends as putting others' needs first. May her memory be a blessing to all who knew her.
Left to cherish her memory are her children: Brad (Shannon), Sherry (Cory), and Darren (Kristine); her beloved grandchildren: Tyson (Emily), Graham (Polina), Dakota (Brittany) and Tanika and two very special great grandchildren Ryan and Hayden. Marlene also leaves behind her siblings Ada, Larry (Patricia), Fred (Verna), and Tim (Darcy), brother-in-law Pete and sisters-in-law Judy; and her many nieces and nephews. Marlene was predeceased by her loving husband, Frank, parents, parents-in-law, sister Florence, sisters-in-law Leona, Marg and Ruth, brothers-in-law Dick, Gene, Verdun, Walt and nephews Dwight and Roy.
A celebration of life will be held in the spring at Ebenfeld Mennonite Church in Herschel, SK. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Alzheimer or MS Society of Canada.