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Marlene Semeraro Juscen-Long

1931 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Marlene Semeraro Juscen-Long Obituary
Marlene, aged 86, and a long time resident of Burlingame California, passed away peacefully at home in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017 in the loving embrace of her two daughters.

Marlene was born on August 5, 1931 in Brattleboro, Vt. She was the daughter of William and Sally (Perkins) Semeraro. Marlene was the granddaughter of Louis and Macolata (Rizzi) Semeraro, originally from Castellaneta, Italy; and Cora and Frederick Perkins, from Townshend, Vt.

Marlene will be greatly missed by her two beautiful daughters Megan Juscen Leveille and Holly Juscen-Di Fuccia, son-in-law Vincenzo Di Fuccia, granddaughter Kristin Leveille, grandson Ryan Leveille, sister Elsa Morissette, many beloved nieces and nephews, and numerous treasured friends. Marlene was predeceased by her first husband Benjamin (Benny) Juscen, second husband David R. Long, and her sister Mikell Semeraro Palmer.

Marlene graduated from Brattleboro High School in 1949. She went on to study at Lasell College in Newton, Ma., where she received an AA degree in Art in 1951. Marlene was an avid oil painter and dedicated connoisseur and collector of all things eclectic and interesting. She had a passion for antiques. Marlene's love of art and creativity continued throughout her life. She painted many self portraits, portraits and caricatures of family members, and many interesting still life subjects. She covered the walls in her home of more than 50 years with a variety of her own and other's artwork. Marlene could pick up a sketch book at any time and draw something beautiful. A self described "Cat Lady", Marlene was also interested in fashion, and fashion drawings. While at Lasell, she worked as a fashion illustrator, and won a top prize in an international French dress design contest.

Marlene left Vermont in 1958 and relocated with her new husband Benny to San Diego, Ca. She and Benny eventually settled in the San Francisco Bay Area where she resided for more than 55 years. She always considered herself a "transplanted Vermonter".

Marlene struggled with the sleep disorder Narcolepsy for most of her life. After her official diagnosis at the age of 28, she became a champion for research and herself was the subject of many sleep studies conducted at Stanford University. She was one of the founding members of the American Narcolepsy Association in 1975, a support and information sharing organization now known as the Narcolepsy Network. Marlene was on the Board of Directors for seven years and was a dedicated and lifelong member. Marlene was a prolific writer and she wrote a series of "Sleep" poems documenting her journey through life as a "sleepy" person. She kept journals which included Narcolepsy musings. Marlene could sleep anywhere, at anytime.

Marlene was a avid environmentalist, animal lover, and an original feminist. In the 70's she was an active member of the Women's Center in San Mateo, Ca., part of the early women's liberation movement in the Bay Area. She wrote a column for their monthly newsletter, advocating for women's rights and interests. Marlene regularly wrote letters to the editor which were often published in the San Mateo Times. She was well read and opinionated. She was passionate about Mother Earth and protecting the planet. Marlene was a member of the NRDC - Natural Resources Defense Council, and she reveled in the beauty of nature and the world around her. She loved her garden, beautiful trees, and bumble bees.

Marlene was a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend, and confidant. She was always there if you were in need. She was a good listener. She was witty and loved classic movies and Masterpiece Theatre on PBS. She was adored by all. She will be missed terribly. She is irreplaceable.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Peninsula Humane Society - peninsulahumanesociety.org or the NRDC - act.nrdc.org in Marlene's name.

A celebration of Marlene's life will be held in early December at Crosby N. Gray Funeral Home, 2 Park Rd. in Burlingame, California. A luncheon will follow at the family home. Interment will be in St. Michael's Cemetery in Brattleboro, Vt at a later date.
Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Nov. 22, 2017
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