Marlene Joy Clark Knapp
1937 - 2015
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Marlene Joy Clark Knapp

Born on Saint Patrick's Day 1937, Marlene left this world to find comfort with her beloved Nils on October 15, 2015. Having battled many health challenges over the years, including being one of the country's longest-living liver transplant patients, Marlene looked at each day as though it was a gift and fought bravely for many years.

Growing up the daughter of Paul and Elizabeth Clark in the small Eastern Washington farming town of Davenport, Marlene was instilled with a deep devotion to family, community and a desire to push her intellectual limits. She graduated from Whitman College, in Walla Walla, with a BA in History in 1959, and went on to earn a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Washington in the mid-70's.

She started as an elementary classroom teacher with the Bellevue School District in 1961, and finished her career as a well-regarded Reading Specialist with the same district in 1992. Upon retirement, she and Nils (who preceded her in passing two years ago) enjoyed many years of watching their beloved granddaughters grow up, numerous trips to places far and near, and time at their beach homes on Lummi Island and, later, Camano Island.

Marlene was a devoted Democrat (which led to great debates with her politically active son-in-law), incredibly bright, generous to a fault, and well-known for a wicked sense of humor. She will be deeply and forever missed by her daughter Sidney Knapp Pepple (Randy), granddaughters Madeline and Claire Pepple, sisters Marjorie Huddle (Bill, who pre-deceased her) and Judy Scrupps (Lorus), as well as cousins, nieces, nephews and good friends too many to count. They would all agree that the world will never be the same without the larger-than-life personality that was Marlene.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to Hospice c/o EvergreenHealth Foundation - 12040 NE 128th St., MS #5 - Kirkland, WA 98034-3098.

A celebration of the lives which Marlene and Nils built together will be held in November, with details available at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Seattle Times on Oct. 25, 2015.
Memories & Condolences
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2 entries
November 6, 2015
We played tennis and went to breakfast with Nils and Marlene many times when Bruce was a teacher with Marlene at Lake Heights School. They were always fun to be with.
Marlene came to Bruce's funeral 5 years ago. It was good to see her again.

I always admired her bravery facing and surviving a liver transplant. I think her sense of humor carried her through many tough times.

Our daughter Kathy baby sat you a number of times. Kathy lives in Branson,Mo. I have sent her your notice. God Bless you and your family. They will both be missed
Gwen Harding Harding
October 25, 2015
Sidney and Randy,

I was saddened to read of your mom's passing. Losing a parent is one of the most difficult things to go through. My thoughts and prayers are with you!
Margie Wickham
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