• 48°

Marlene Riley, 1964-2018

“Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven, blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Marlene Ann Riley passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, April 28, 2018, at her residence in Aurora, Colorado. She was 53.

Marlene Riley

Marlene Ann Lutz was born on Thursday, May 14, 1964, in Lincoln, Nebraska, the daughter of Fereld “Bud” Joel and Ruby Juanita (Jones) Lutz.

She attended various schools throughout Minnesota until her parents settled in the Albert Lea area. Although she did not complete the traditional school route, she did proudly — with tremendous effort — earn her general education degree, while her oldest two children were young.

In 1996, Marlene and her family, including her parents, relocated to Florida. One year later they moved to Colorado, where they remained.

Marlene was an incredibly fun-loving and mischievous soul, whose giggles and laughter could always be heard. She loved playing practical jokes on her loved ones — much to their annoyance. Lord only knows how many hours she actually spent brewing up plans for her next innocent victim! She loved playing cards and board games — with her most infamous moments involving a game called Balderdash. She was just ridiculous with her definitions — most times she had to leave the table because she was laughing so hard at her own writings. She also loved music and never hesitated to hold up an air microphone and sing her pretty little heart out.

Aside from being a kid at heart, she was an observer. She loved to spend her days going on long peaceful walks. She could walk for hours, enjoying the fresh air, beautiful flowers, scouring the beach for seashells and soaking up everything that nature had to offer. Her heart was always torn between the ocean and the mountains — imagine her good fortune to have had the chance to live in two places that afforded such lovely opportunities.

She also immensely enjoyed poetry and loved to find a pretty, serene spot outdoors to pen her next poem. She wrote many, many poems over the years and loved sharing them with whomever would listen.

Marlene was an incredible listener with a whole world of empathy. She could listen or talk for hours, offering up advice, laughter or tears to her loved ones and friends. Nothing gave her greater pleasure than sitting down to a steaming cup of coffee for a chat. She loved reminiscing about the good old days and had a whole arsenal of stories to tell. Most times a phone call from her meant that somehow four hours flew by before you knew it.

Above all, she loved Jesus and always took comfort in her Bible. Even when life got tough, her faith never wavered.

Marlene is survived by her sister, Sherry (Ron) Possehl, of Albert Lea; five children, Jennifer (Keith) Brown of Littleton, Colorado, Timothy Karge of Littleton, Mark Flatness of Aurora, Elizabeth (Lance) Coffman of Aurora and Makayla Riley of West Yellowstone, Montana; three grandchildren, Natalie Flatness, Zachary Brown and Quinton Brown; two nieces, Sarah (Nick) Flugum of Albert Lea and Brooke Possehl of Albert Lea; and nephew, Scott Possehl, of Albert Lea.

She also leaves behind her two precious cats, Snowflake and Miss Sophie Louise, and Rick the fish.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Marlene was a tender, loving soul who leaves behind many devastated loved ones.

A private family gathering will take place in Colorado at a later date.