Marlene B. “Molly” (Johnson) Kirley
DEFOREST, Wis. — Marlene “Molly” Kirley, age 80, passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 9, 2017 at Agrace HospiceCare. She was born on June 16, 1936, in Mifflin, WI, the daughter of Elmer and Helen (Jantzen) Johnson. Molly married Norman Kirley on July 18, 1959, at St. Mary’s of the Lake in Westport.
Molly graduated from Madison General School of Nursing in 1957. Following graduation, she worked at Mendota State Hospital until Norm was drafted into the service and stationed in Texas. While in El Paso, Molly enjoyed working in a newborn nursery.
In 1963 Molly began her long career of working with special needs children at The Children’s Treatment Center and Home & Community Treatment (HCT) Program in Madison. Molly loved working with children and their families and truly believed this work was her calling. While at HCT, Molly worked tirelessly with kids and often traveled throughout Wisconsin with her co-worker and beloved friend Sharon, transitioning kids back into their homes and schools.
Molly retired in the early 1990’s because of health challenges. During retirement, she volunteered at the local food pantry and St. Olaf Church. Molly also knit hundreds of baby caps for Meriter Hospital and it was during this time that she began to quilt. Family and friends were the recipients of her many quilted creations.
For 20 years Norm and Molly wintered in Hot Springs Village, AR, where they made many life-long friends from several states and countries.
Molly is survived by her husband of 57 years, Norman; sister, Beverly White of Mineral Point; brother-in-law, Gene Kirley of Fitchburg; ten nieces and nephews; many great-nieces and nephews; cousins; her very
best friend Sharon Mikkelson; special caretaker Tammy Kramschuster; and countless friends.
Molly was preceded in death by her parents; her mother and father in-law, Harry & Loretta Kirley; her brother, Jerry Johnson; sisters-in-law, Dawn Kirley and Sharon Johnson; and brother-in-law, Richard White.
Molly was a loving wife, sister, aunt and friend. She had an amazing ability to listen, offer advice and make you feel better after spending time with her. Molly was kind, thoughtful, positive, caring, compassionate and fun. She will be missed tremendously by all who had the pleasure of knowing her.
A Celebration of Molly’s Life will be held with a Mass of Christian Burial beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at St. Olaf Catholic Church, 623 Jefferson Street, DeForest, with Fr. Vincent
Brewer officiating. Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. until the time of Mass on Wednesday at the church. Interment will be held at a later date at St. Olaf Cemetery.
A special thank you to Molly’s team of amazing doctors who were there for her throughout her struggles with chronic health problems.
In her memory, please consider a donation to Camp Gray, E10213 Shady Lane Rd., Reedsburg, WI 53959 or the DeForest Food Pantry, 316 S. Cleveland Ave., DeForest, WI 53542 or to the charity of your choice.
To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: www.ryanfuneralservice.com.
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