Marlene L. Wilbur

Marlene Lillian Wilbur 76, of Warwick Rhode Island, passed away on Monday March 11, 2013. Born and raised in Providence Rhode Island, she was preceded in death by her parents Joseph and Susie Magnatta affectionately known as “Papa Joe” and “Mama Sue” and sister Caroline Marzilli. She graduated from St. Mary’s High School and later attended college at Johnson and Wales. Throughout her life, Marlene coupled a quick wit with a sharp business sense. She owned and operated a greeting card store at URI and later went on to develop Repworks Inc., a sales rep firm that she oversaw until her retirement in 2008. Marlene was a self-proclaimed “city-girl,” loving the sight and sounds—and shopping—of the big city. An accomplished pianist, her passion for music was matched only by her ceaseless dedication to the well-being of others, particularly children. Marlene was a stalwart advocate of education; she was partner with her sisters in 3M Nursery School and one of her greatest accomplishments was reviving the nursery school at St. Mary’s Convent in Cranston Rhode Island. She also dedicated many hours to her favorite charity, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Her steadfast altruism was fueled by a deep and sustaining religious faith—she was a member of St. Gregory the Great in Warwick, Rhode Island for many years. Marlene is survived by her husband of 56 years Ralph Atherton Wilbur; two children; Joseph “Jay” Wilbur and wife, Billie of Panola, Texas and Susan McCarthy of Westbrook, Maine; her sister Celia Matthews of Cranston Rhode Island; six loving grandchildren; Brittney, Robbie, Elizabeth, Joshua, Nicholas, and Leah; nephews, nieces and countless friends. Visitation will be held on Sunday March 17th from 3:00pm to 6:00pm at Butterfield Home and Chapel 500 Pontiac Avenue in Cranston. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday March 18th at 10:00am in St. Gregory the Great Church 360 Cowesett Road, Warwick. Interment will follow in St. Ann Cemetery, Cranston. In lieu of flowers, Marlene requested memorial contributions be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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David McCarthy - 03/13/2013

Marlene.... You were always so good to have been and will remain in the prayers of myself and the kids....I love you always and thank you for your acceptance, love and the hours we spent talking.....will miss u always, love David

Kathleen Dempsey Burgin - 03/14/2013

Marlene, I signed your copy of my book "To my mother, my sister, my aunt, my friend, my confidant, my everything." And I know there are many other friends who feel exactly the same. That was your gift, your enormous capacity to love. My prayers and thoughts go out to your beautiful family. I will always be grateful we met in New York and I will miss you everyday until we meet again. Much Love - Kathy (from California)

Marla Whitehead - 03/14/2013

Rest in peace were loved by so many and will be deeply missed....everyone is in my thoughts and prayers....may God wrap you in his arms and hold you tight thru this difficult time.....Love to all, Marla

Elaine, Michelle and Michael Gigi - 03/15/2013

My children and I had the pleasure and honor to know Miss Marlene at St. Mary's Nursery. Her kindness for children will be felt in our hearts forever.We also had the pleasure of spending summer months in my Aunt Amy and Uncle George's pool next door with the whole Wilber family.Our hearts are saddened but the Lord holds her tightly in his arms now. We must all find comfort in knowing that her pain is gone. With love, sympathy and prayers to all her mourn her passing.

Steven Goecke - 03/15/2013

Marlene, you were an inspiration to me in so many ways. You were unlike any other person I have ever encountered in my life. I cherish your memory, I will miss you terribly, and I wish you peace.

Joan (Borrelli) Michelotti - 03/15/2013

My first childhood girlfriend at Tobey Street. The fond memories of our playing together. I am saddened by her passing.
I truly loved her.

Rick Hainey - 03/15/2013

Marlene, you now know the truth, I was the one being blessed during my visits home with you. Enjoy the "peace and love beyond understanding" and hearing our Father say to you "well done daughter". I know we will catch up at some point.. Much Love, Rick :)

Flo and Richard Hainey - 03/15/2013

A friend - LIKE NO OTHER.
Our deepest sympathy to Marlene's family and all who loved her.

Mary Mastrostefano - 03/15/2013

To Jay and Susan: My deepest sympathy to you for the loss of your mother. She was a fine neighbor and a good parent.

Bonnie Meroth - 03/15/2013

Dearest Marlene....Because of our conversations and because you read my book and said you believe, I know you are at peace and happy on the Other Side and that gives me peace. I feel that wonderful spirit of yours that gave ME strength when I needed it. I love you...Bonnie

Robin and Stephen Hanley - 03/15/2013

There are no words that can ease the pain of losing a loved one. Please know what a positive impact Marlene had on us. She was a strong and caring women that will never be forgotten.

vivian and vin tamburrini - 03/15/2013

We have known Marlene for many years going back to her days at St. Mary's school. She is a close friend of my sister Elena and we spent time together during the last ten years with much joy and laughter. We will truly miss her.Our deepest sympathies to Ralph and her family.

Maribeth Izzi (Sinapi) - 03/16/2013

Ralph, Jay and Susan,
My heart goes out to all of you at this time and you are in my prayes. Marlene was such a great and loving person. She was always there for anyone who needed her.

Elena Leary - 03/16/2013

Marlene how do I call someone who was so much apart of my life a friend, we shared memories for over seventy years. You were so much apart of my life I will miss our long daily chats on the phone but my wonderful memories will sustain me. Thank you, thank you for being there for me and Joe and all my family. We love you.

Bob and Marybeth Hanley - 03/17/2013

Our thoughts and prayers to Ralph,Jay and Sue.Marlene was a very loving person.She always made me fell welcome in her home when i would visit Jay.We will all miss her.
With much love,The Hanley's

Kathy, Frankie and Mia - 03/17/2013

Ralph, Jay and Susan we are so sorry for you loss. Marlene was a wonderful women who loved her family. Our prayers are with you. We love you.

Jeff Mannette - 03/19/2013

So deeply sorry for your loss,
God bless.

Karen Leary - 03/19/2013

Ralph, Jay,and Susan You all have my deapest sympothy I know we all will miss her so much.She was such a thoughtful loving person and always so understanding. She was the best. I know how much you are going to miss her.

Loretta Akers - 03/19/2013

I am so blessed to have been able to call Marlene my friend. My life is richer for having had her in my life. My thoughts and prayers are with you, and I will always carry Marlene in my heart and in my soul.

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