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Anchorage resident Marleen Kay Norton, 60, died Aug. 19, 2007, at an Anchorage hospital, surrounded by friends.
Marleen requested a party in lieu of a service. A celebratory potluck will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 30 at 2739 E. 17th Ave. For directions, please call 272-0816.
She was born Aug. 24, 1946, in San Francisco, Calif. Growing up on a ranch in California, Marleen enjoyed rodeo and water-skiing; there, she acquired her love and compassion for the always-present animal by her side.
After moving to Alaska in 1983, Marleen completed college at Alaska Pacific University. Over her 24 years in Anchorage, she worked at Providence Hospital, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Municipality of Anchorage, most recently as the Department of Health and Human Services emergency preparedness coordinator.
Marleen was one of a group of six women who met and planned for over two years to bring a YWCA to Anchorage. She and Sharon Richards worked hand-in-hand during this time. Marleen was an early president of the organization and worked tirelessly to establish the nonprofit as a viable Anchorage
agency whose mission is to empower women and girls and to eliminate racism. In addition to being one of the early presidents, Marleen served as a board member for six years.
Those close to Marleen wrote: "Marleen loved to spend time with her many valued friends, especially during holidays and doing home improvement projects. She took great joy in spending evenings with friends doing puzzles, sharing meals, or watching movies, usually with pets on her lap or at her feet. She especially enjoyed traveling the world with LaVon.
"We don't know where she developed her sense of humor, but as we tell stories about her we all delight in memories of her wonderful wit and the twinkle in her eye.
"Every day was precious to Marleen, and friends relate story after story about her overflowing generosity, supportive gestures and encouragement to follow their dreams. Known for her practical wisdom, she was often sought for advice that positively changed people's lives. In many different ways, Marleen made our community a better place for all of us. Marleen's personal values were demonstrated in the way she lived her life - she was a very good person."
Marleen is survived by her life partner, LaVon Ausman; her brother, Ronald Norton of Lodi, Calif.; her dear friend, John Drennan; and her many friends.
Marleen had a deep love and appreciation for animals and always shared her home and heart with them. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her name may be forwarded to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary at www.bestfriends.org/donate.
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