Marlene WestbergFayetteville, AR, 1932 - 2018 0comment
Mrs. Marlene Veda Christensen Westberg, age 84, of Fayetteville, Ark., passed away on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, at the Willard Walker Hospice Home in Fayetteville. Marlene was born May 22, 1932, to Raymond and Ruth Christensen in Grand Island, Neb. Raised in Glenrock, Wyo., she studied piano and organ, serving as church organist while in high school. After graduation, she enrolled at the University of Wyoming in Laramie where she became the accompanist for the University Choir and vocal students. She graduated in 1954 with a Bachelor's degree in Art and Music Education. From 1954 to 1960, she taught art in Cody and Casper, Wyoming public schools, serving two years as Elementary Art Supervisor in Casper. As such, she developed an art outline for teacher's that was later requested by the U.S. Department of Army for us in its schools.
In 1960, she resumed her study of the pipe organ at San Francisco Theological Seminary where she graduated with a Master of Arts in Sacred Music in 1962. While at seminary, Marlene married Paul Westberg, a ministerial student. They served churches in New Mexico and Oklahoma, she as Minister of Music, Bible teacher and co-counselor. During this time, three sons were born. In 1970, the family moved to Fayetteville, Ark. Besides her responsibilities at church, Marlene also played recitals in organ and harpsichord at the University of Arkansas, substituted as organist at local churches, and served as Hospice Volunteer Trainer and Coordinator in its early days. In 1980, she earned a Master of Fine Arts in Humanities from the University of Arkansas.
Because of a gene missing from her DNA, a lifetime of exposures to environmental chemicals left her disabled in 1986, with multiple sensitivities to chemicals (petroleum products and fragrances in particular) foods and prescription drugs. These sensitivities forced her to live an isolated lifestyle from that time on. In 1992, she moved to a mountain site in south Washington County where she pursued an interest in writing non-fiction articles and novels. Sustained by her faith in God through Jesus Christ, she continued to live a productive lifestyle, giving support and encouragement through phone calls and letters to others who faced the same challenges. Her life was best summarized by words from II Timothy 4:7 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race I have kept the faith."
Surviving Marlene are three sons and daughters-in-law, Dan and Lisa from Cary, N.C., Mark and Amy from Wheat Ridge, Colo., and Scott and Pam from Arkadelphia, Ark., five grandchildren, Megan and Erin, Stephen, Stephanie and Sierra; one sister Joyce Artery from Albuquerque, N.M.; three nephews and one niece.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Sutter Presbyterian Church, 3500 Fee Fee Road, Bridgeton, Mo., 63044, whose pastor and members gave emotional and spiritual support and offered prayers that helped sustain Marlene in her years of isolation.
Memorial services will be held at a later date. Arrangements by Benton County Memorial Park Funeral Home, Rogers, Arkansas. Online guestbook: www.bentoncountymemorialpark.com.
Published January 21, 2018
OBITUARY SUBMITTED BY:
Benton County Memorial Park Funeral Home and Crematory
3800 West Walnut, PO Box 328, Rogers, AR