Beloved mother, grandmother and great grandmother Marlene Joyce Dockry passed away Monday, October 16, 2023, at a local nursing home surrounded by family after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 91 years old.
She was born on February 20, 1932, to Raymond and Lillian Von Holten. A lifelong resident of Green Bay she was proud of her city remaining active in community programs as a young woman. In the middle of her life, she went to work at The Green Bay Visitor and Convention Bureau where she stayed for 20 years. But as proud as she was of her city, she was even more proud of her large family. Family was everything to her. Her lifelong mantra was “There are no people more important to you than your family!” She lived these words, they were the cornerstone of her existence and she made sure to pass them down to her children who passed them onto their children. Leading by example she was generous with her time always with an encouraging word, quick with a sewing needle for a school costume or a band aid for a skinned knee. Her house rattled with the lives of not only her eight children but also countless friends of her kids. She was there with a bed sheet for a fort, homemade treats for hungry youngsters or fresh baked bread for any who came through the door. A lifelong knitter she made more blankets, sweaters, hats and mittens than you could count, she was constantly working on some project. Up until she couldn’t any longer, she would make 50-70 hats each season for the homeless for Grace Lutheran Church to distribute.
Having grown up during the depression she contracted Rheumatic fever as a child, almost losing her life spending a full summer bedridden. Making it very difficult on her family who struggled to make ends meet she learned firsthand how important the bonds of family can be. Graduating from West High in 1949, she married Bob Dockry in 1952. Both from small families they decided early that they wanted eight kids. In the following 13 years they welcomed four boys and four girls, each of them bringing great joy and fresh perspectives to their ever-growing household. Her greatest contribution was instilling in each the value of honesty, love and caring for one another. Like a pebble tossed in a pond her influence rippled further to each life she touched, most of all her children. The common bond was always FAMILY.
A voracious reader, she continually educated herself reading books. Her main interest was World War II because she had lived through it. She was an authority on the many stories attached to the conflict holding special regard for veterans including her husband, her uncle and her father, each of whom served in either World War I, World War II or Korea. She tended a large garden her whole life. Filled to overflowing with carrots, beans, peas, lettuce, squash, peppers, zucchini, asparagus, onions, tomatoes, potatoes and raspberries she worked the soil for pleasure and to supplement the family table, canning each fall. She also kept extensive flower beds of perennials and yearly varieties which she doted on. For the fragrance and the beauty, she loved flowers.
In the mid 70’s she went to work for the Green Bay Area Visitors and Convention Bureau as a Tour Sales Director. In this capacity she shined. Always seeking an opportunity to promote her hometown the job was the perfect marriage of skills and enthusiasm. While at the bureau she instituted motor coach tours of Green Bay which brought thousands of people to visit her city. Hers was the first full time position in the state doing this. She was recognized for her efforts being named to the eight-member Destination Marketing Task Force of the National Tour Association. She was also president of Circle Wisconsin, an organization of 53 groups in the state involved in the hospitality market. Refining the tours over many years she became known as an authority which eventually led to cities from across the Midwest seek out her advice in setting up their own motorcoach tours. Much like her strong family values she had impeccable business ethics and knowledge which she shared willingly with all who asked.
Not only active in the community, she was a lifelong member of Grace Lutheran Church. She loved her congregation, her faith was a cornerstone of her life, all eight of her children were baptized and raised up in the church. She led by example. She was an important member of the church, volunteering on pastoral search committees but mostly she was more well known as the coffee lady, dutifully serving coffee and pastries after each Sunday service for over 30 years.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert and her son, Tim. She is survived by daughter, Diane Ford, husband Pat and grandchildren Melissa and Christy; son Chris, wife Gail and two grandchildren Ashley and Shawn; daughter Cindy Butterfield and two grandchildren Joseph and Erin; daughter-in-law Melissa; daughter Kathy Bartel, husband Joe and two grandchildren Sarah and Heidi; son Dan, wife Melisa and grandson Nicholas; daughter Judy Franz and four grandchildren Maxum, Kenzi, Sam and Adeline; son Drew and three grandchildren Satchel, Sequoyah and Cecilia. She is also survived by 17 great grandchildren.
The family wishes to express sincere thank yous to the staff at Courtside Bellevue and Aseracare Hospice. Visitation will take place at Grace Lutheran Church, 321 S. Madison St. on Saturday, October 28th from 9:00 to 11:00 am with funeral services at 11:00 a.m. and luncheon to follow. A donation can be made in her memory to the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org. On line condolences may be sent to www.prokowall.com.