TRAVERSE CITY — Marlene Josephine Keilitz passed away peacefully on May 3, 2014, at Willow Cottage. Marlene was born Dec. 26, 1937, in Ann Arbor, Mich., to Josephine Wilhemina (Gloeser) and William August Keihl.
Marlene graduated from Ann Arbor High School in 1955 and attended The University of Michigan. Marlene took a break from her college studies to marry and start her family with the birth of daughter Kelli Ann. When her marriage did not last, Marlene embarked on a career as a top-notch administrative assistant working at Bendix Corporation, for an assistant dean of The University of Michigan Law School, and later for the Committee on Admissions to its Medical School.
When a co-worker decided to introduce Marlene to her brother’s best friend, Gene Martin Keilitz, the two made an instant connection. Marlene married Gene on Jan. 27, 1967 in Ann Arbor, then moved to Traverse City where the family awaited the birth of daughter, Kirsten Lynn.
Once Kirsten started first grade, Marlene returned to the workforce. One of her most fulfilling positions was as volunteer coordinator at Traverse City Osteopathic Hospital.
Marlene completed her Associate of Arts degree with honors at Northwestern Michigan College in 1984. The same year that Kirsten graduated from Traverse City Senior High School, TCAPS gained Marlene as a building secretary at the high school and Kelli as a teacher at Eastern Elementary. Next Marlene worked at Lutheran Child and Family Services and then for Battelle Corporation. Her last post was assisting with fundraising and development at NMC, retiring in 1998.
Although Marlene was deserving of retirement, she frequently said she wished she hadn’t because she loved to work and counseled others to keep working as long as they were able.
Marlene was a devoted mother and wife. She was especially proud of her beautiful granddaughter Elyse and gained great pleasure from attending all of Elyse’s school and extracurricular activities. Her community service included participation in League of Women Voters, Women’s Symphony, Northwest Michigan Child Guidance Center, Girl Scouts, and the girls’ classrooms and schools.