Marlene Lacy
1936 - 2021
Renown health and vitamin pioneer Marlene Lacy passed away peacefully August 29, 2021. Born September 29, 1936, Marlene owned and operated A Way of Life, Natural Foods in Niles, IL for 41 years.

The last of a bygone era, Marlene remembered the name of every customer, possessing both a near photographic memory and love of helping others. She helped thousands live better and happier lives. Marlene introduced to N.W. Chicagoland in the 1970's the, then radical, idea that nutrition was impactful in health and life. She was revered by her customers, many of whom came from all over the region to tap into her vast, encyclopedic knowledge of vitamins and herbs, often forming deep, long-term friendships.

Marlene came from humble beginnings, born over her parent's (Hans and Esther Austermuehle) bakery in Chicago, and lived her full potential: excelled at studies, edited the high school paper and graduated from Northwestern University in three years. Ever the pioneer, she spent her post-graduate years teaching handicapped children before getting married and starting a family.

Marlene was predeceased by her parents and her son, Douglas. She is survived by her sons Frederick and Carlton, and daughters Jennifer, Vicki and Becki. Marlene is also survived by her granddaughter and seven grandsons.

A memorial lunch is being planned in Marlene's honor for October 16, 2021. If you would like to attend please email [email protected] for information. Please, however, no flowers or cards. Simply live as Marlene wished: happy and healthy.

Published by Chicago Tribune from Sep. 11 to Sep. 19, 2021.
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6 Entries
So happy I was lucky enough to meet such an amazing women, she will be missed by everyone that knew her.
Kristine Johnson
September 22, 2021
What a beautiful and kind woman Marlene was as she graced us with her presence. Such a marvelous fountain of knowledge, wisdom and discernment. It was always such a pleasure going into Marlene's Shop throughout the years and to see her smiling face. Marlene always offered up such great information and assistance. She will be missed tremendously!
Timothy J. Mullane
September 16, 2021
I'm so sorry to hear of her passing. I worked for her store in Niles. She taught me many things. Wonderful sweet lady.
Annetta DeRango
September 15, 2021
Marlene was one of my favorite characters in the health industry which had lots of characters. I covered her store when she went out of town one time and her customers were so friendly and smart. I miss Doug and I am sorry I did not get to spend more time with them.
Jane Langone
September 14, 2021
My office is on Milwaukee ave in niles and I was going to a way of life for years. Marlene knew so much where else would I go.
September 11, 2021
I knew Marlene for many years as a customer. I also knew her late son Doug. Going to Marlene's health store was never a mere errand. We discussed health, family, politics...Marlene was very intelligent and really understood people. She will be missed and I am sorry for your loss!
David M
September 11, 2021
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