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Life Arts    H4'ed 11/11/22

Marlenes obituary around Thanksgiving

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Marlene's obituary around Thanksgiving

Marlene and mom
Marlene and mom
(Image by Me, and dwaynehunn)
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Marlene Hunn, daughter to Martha and George Hunn and sister to Dwayne Hunn, was born around Thanksgiving of 1945 and went to heaven on November 2, 2022.

When Marlene was about five years old, she kept sleeping and shrinking on our couch. Our family doctor, Dr. Harry Hall, and the Sheppard brothers (Fugitive character was inspired by Dr. Sam Sheppard) of Bay Village Hospital saved Marlene's diabetic life several times over the next 10 years. Many were the evenings during those young years where I would sit tossing a hard ball into my baseball glove in the waiting area of the hospital, as mom and dad sat by Marlene's bedside. Little did I know that I was preparing for the hours when I would sit by her San Francisco Hospitals' bedsides for months, too mature to escape life's curveballs with a baseball mitt.

Dad, Marlene always referred to him as "George," who preferred giving the skin off his back rather than see her suffer, tended to spoil her. Ma usually opted to treat her as a normal kid with chores and early rising. For a while, Marlene seemed to use late night carousing and late morning sleeping as an escape from what she envisioned as her future.

Early in her hospital life Marlene learned from Johnny Carson's Late-Night Show and used its joking fodder to bring smiles to the faces of her friends. She must have had a thousand jokes in her repertoire. With two good legs to dance, good looks, and jokes that made smiles to share, she had good girl and boyfriends, even one that tore her shoulder crashing his motorcycle with her aboard.

Setting aside her extensive joking repertoire, Marlene went on to become a serious nurse whose knowledge base ran deeper than normal because of her firsthand experiences. Marlene knew and learned about scary and claustrophobic hyperbaric chambers by lying within them as doctors tried to stem the spread of gangrenous infections that would later cause the amputation of fingers, toes, and a foot. She would learn about kidney dialysis and kidney and pancreas transplants by going through both. She knew how hot lasers scared bleeding cells that were taking her sight and the meaning of retinopathy. If you proposed a medical procedure, you had to be exposed to her bitchy tone and questions. She hated losing her independence and had come to trust fewer and fewer.

Moving to the Los Angeles Basin and then Bay Area did not intimidate the Parma girl. She served on the San Francisco Civil Grand Jury whose function was to provide judicial oversight to ensure the City and County government of San Francisco was operating justly. She served on the San Francisco Long Term Care Coordinating Council, which advises the Mayor and City on policy, planning, and service delivery issues for older adults and people with disabilities in order to promote an integrated and accessible long-term care system. She was the "Go to Girl" when San Francisco's Light House for The Blind needed a frank and interesting magazine or radio interview. For many years the University of San Francisco's Senior Continuing Education classes reserved a front row seat for her. Her mental Health Care provider, Dr. Budke, became a lifelong friend, traveling with her to Europe, delivering groceries to her door, and inviting her to his lavish parties. Spencer and Nancy Smith socialized her with the Bay Area's nonprofit community, made her laugh, and connected her to her friends through Spencer's computer guidance.

When she could see some, she was a gutsy bus rider; a taxi taker well-known by a horde of San Francisco taxi drivers as a good tipper and chatterer; an avid moviegoer, as well as TV listener. She would loudly grumble at movies and news coverage of badly wounded and crippled soldiers who would be heroically displayed working to regain their normalcy. "Who is going to praise and help them when they are 50, 60, and 70?" She knew wars were costly and stupid.

Having learned to be a penurious budgeteer from mom, she would berate for days on end ATT employees for a magnifying glass caught 77-cent overcharge on her phone bill. When she was condominium association president, she would want to give everyone all the time they needed to present their concerns, while the attendees just wanted to get home. If you got a call from Marlene you, hopefully, would have some time and patience, because talking on the phone was one of the few ways, she could fill her day with friends and loved ones... And boy did she love going back to her Saint Charles eight grade school reunions!

With all she had going on, Marlene's most honorable work lay in helping our stroke stricken and vegetative mom back to life.

Marlene and mom at the Ritz
Marlene and mom at the Ritz
(Image by dwayne hunn)
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Dwayne served in the Peace Corps in the slums of Mumbai, India, worked several Habitat Projects, and was on the start-up team of the California Conservation Corps. He has a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University, has been a builder, teacher, (more...)

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