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Anna Marlene Withington


1928 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Anna Marlene Withington 1929-2018 Papa came in the early hours Monday morning, January 15, 2018, to carry precious Mama home in his tender, loving arms. Free at last. She is no longer bound to a body riddled with excruciating, debilitating pain that she bravely endured for many years without ever uttering a harsh word or complaint. Greeting her in the morning always meant being met with a sweet, warm smile and concern you had a good night's sleep. All the while unable to lift her weak legs or turn her head unattended. Anna Marlene Austin was born to Frank Austin and Margaret Kukelhan on June 27, 1929, in Electra, Texas. She was the oldest of four girls. Her family came to the San Joaquin Valley during the Dust Bowl of the Great Depression. One of the many "harvest gypsies" that would endure the hardship of extreme poverty, little food at times, living in chicken coops and tents, and picking the fields and working in labor camps. Finally settling in Sunnyvale, Marlene would suddenly lose her mother as a young teenage girl. She left high school to help raise and support her sisters. During this time, she met her three lifelong friends; Marilyn, Helen, and Nora. While working as a car hop at Abba Zabba's drive-in in San Jose, and learning to drive, she ran into the building when she mistook the gas pedal for the brake. This ended her driving career for many years! Most importantly, her future husband Harvey arrived one auspicious night in his sister June's, borrowed car. While waiting on him, he became instantly smitten by her stunning beauty, shyness, and humility. They married two years later and proceeded to have two daughters, Deborah and Cindy. Being a devoted wife and mother was her calling and made her heart sing. Together, she and Harvey, built the life of their dreams; first in Santa Clara and Fremont before settling in Lakeport in 1976. Every part of Marlene's life was an expression of her sweet and selfless heart. With few words, she filled her home with her kind, selfless spirit and little bowls of chocolates!! In the second half of her life, she reclaimed driving, practicing in her orchard. She took great delight in the independence to drive herself to the Dollar Store whenever she wanted. Marlene became a successful business woman opening the Shoreline Coffee Shop with her daughter, Cindy, in 1986, followed by Renee's Cafe. There she extended her love and generosity to her beloved customers with homemade pies and special dishes she made for those she felt might need an extra dose of comfort and attention. Perhaps the only thing that brought her more joy was her only grandchild, Matthew, the absolute love of her life. He remembers her for Frosted Flakes, Batman cartoons, rides at the county fair, integrity and freedom to always choose his own way. Marlene had a way of making everyone whose life she touched feel held and accepted unconditionally. She is survived by her daughters, Deborah and Cindy; her sister and brother-in-law, June and Ron Rose; and numerous nieces and nephews. Marlene is predeceased by her husband, Harvey; and sisters, Pat and Florence. Marlene was one of the most selfless, generous, gracious, and non-judgmental people to grace the earth, and she will be loved and cherished beyond eternity. Peace at last, Mama. Funeral Service will be held at Lakeport Christian Center in Lakeport on Friday, January 26 at 11 a.m. Arrangements by Chapel of the Lakes Mortuary (707)263-0357 or 994-5611 or visit: chapelofthelakes.com. Please share your memories by signing the guest book at www.legacy.com.
Published in Lake County Record-Bee from Jan. 20 to Jan. 26, 2018
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