May 17, 1931 – November 15, 2019
Marlene was born in Wolf Point, Montana, and grew up in Nashua, Mt. She attended Concordia College in Moorhead MN, where she received a bachelors in psychology. She met her husband Harvey at Concordia and they married in 1956. They had 4 children, Debra and Dianne (twins who died shortly after birth), son Richard Wilson in 1959, and daughter Lisa Wilson in 1963. They moved the family from California to Boulder, Colorado in 1969. After college, Marlene worked for a year at a psychiatric hospital, and later worked in business administration for 6 years. She later found her passion in the field of volunteer management, applying business management principles to the field of volunteerism in all sectors, including the church. She was a pioneer in that field for the remainder of her life. She was a founder of the first volunteer center in Boulder. She later wrote 4 books, made countless videos, and travelled the world as a speaker, sharing her passion, knowledge, and compassion to thousands. She received an Honorary doctorate of divinity from Wartburg college, and received countless awards and accolades for her work, throughout her lifetime. She is survived by her son, Richard, daughter, Lisa, and many beloved relatives. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in her memory to the charity of your choice.
- Funeral Service Friday, November 22, 2019
- Graveside Service Friday, November 22, 2019
November 22, 2019
I had the pleasure of attending that Dovia conference, and hearing Marlene speak. I would not be the person I am today without Marlene's hard work and vision, nor would the Sister Carmen Community Center be the same, without her influence through my professional development. Thank you and God bless Marlene.
November 21, 2019
In 2003, I was honored to be the first recipient of the Denver DOVIA Marlene Wilson Award for Commitment to the Profession. Marlene attended the event and shared her wisdom with those of us lucky enough to be there. I had brought my original copy of "The Effective Management of Volunteer Programs" which she had written much earlier. My copy was worn and tattered with many markings of things important. I asked her to sign it - which she did. But, a few days later, I received in the mail a brand new copy of the book with a special inscription congratulating me on the award. I treasure the book and Marlene still today. I will miss you, Marlene!
November 21, 2019
I will always remember how happy and content Marlene was when her children and their friends were around. She was the mom that everyone wished they had. She was always happy to take us anywhere, she was so pleased to see her kids happy. She was generous, inviting and kind. She has left this world a better place and I will always keep her in my heart. Sincerely, Kirsten Beasley
November 20, 2019
I still use many of the words Marlene said at the courses in Boulder. She was the first person who told me what I was doing was a profession. I have tried over the years to echo what she taught me time and time again. She left an enduring mark on me and the profession of managing volunteers.
November 18, 2019
Marlene was the first person I knew as an "expert" in volunteer management when I started managing volunteers so many years ago. I learned so much from her as I heard her speak at conferences and read so many of her writings.
She helped shape volunteer management into a REAL career. She helped executives see that this was a position that deserved to be paid in order to be successful. Managing volunteers requires the same skill set as human resource management...it is managing the "non paid" staff.
Thank you Marlene for all you taught me! Rest in Peace!