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Marlene A. (Opidee) Austin



Marlene A. (Opidee) Austin, 49, of Green Street, Ipswich, died Friday November 7, 2008 in the Kaplan Hospice House in Danvers following her more than six year battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. She was the wife of Douglas “Harv” Austin.

Born in Boston November 12, 1958, she was the daughter of Mary E. (Flynn) Opidee of Peabody and the late Michael A. Opidee, Sr. of Peabody and Brewster. She was raised in South Peabody and was a 1975 graduate of Peabody High School. She studied floraculture at the Essex Agricultural Institute, graduating in 1976. Married in 1982, the Austins made their home in Ipswich. She had a lifelong love of gardening and growing and worked many years for the Gordon Greenhouse family. She enjoyed her family, her work and spending time outdoors, especially in her garden. She also loved to motor about in her pride and joy, a MGB convertible.   

In addition to her husband of  twenty-six years and her mother, she is survived by her sons, Casey Austin and Jake Austin of Ipswich, her sisters, Marie Opidee and Marilyn Opidee of Peabody, a sister-in-law, Nancy Opidee of Danvers, and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins, and a large and endearing circle of friends. She was predeceased by her brother, Michael A. Opidee, Jr. of Danvers

Her family would like to express their most sincere gratitude to all who have contributed in some way to Marlene’s joy and comfort throughout these years.  The Marlene Austin Fund was established early on to assist with the expenses for her care. Marlene attended and thoroughly enjoyed every fund raising event from the harbor cruises and dances coordinated by her cousin Darlene Foley, to the golf tournaments at Wenham Country Club, the Artist events at the Greenhouse and many more.  The fund will continue to support Families Fighting ALS.

Her Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday November 15, at 9 am in Our Lady of Hope Church, Pineswamp Road, Ipswich. Family and friends are respectfully welcomed. There are no visiting hours. Arrangements by the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home of Ipswich.

Her family and friends are planning to establish a garden in her memory and will hold a garden party in the Spring.  In lieu of flowers, please consider live plants, a contribution to the Marlene Austin Fund, c/o the Institution of Savings, P.O. Box 32, Ipswich, MA 01938, or to the North Shore Hospice Kaplan House, 78 Liberty Street, Danvers, MA, 01923.

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