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Ona Marlene (Rathbun) Wilkinson
September 26, 1932 ~ November 18, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old
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Ona Marlene Rathbun Wilkinson, passed away in Westlake, Ohio on November 18, 2023, following a long illness, and the recent loss of her husband, Captain Edward L. Wilkinson (USN Retired). Marlene was from Okmulgee, Oklahoma and graduated from Oklahoma State University where she earned her B.A. in Liberal Arts. After marrying Edward, Marlene supported him as a Navy wife during his 31-year career. She was a vital part of the Navy Relief Society, having served over 5,000 volunteer hours, fulfilling many roles, and receiving the Society's Meritorious Service Award. At Edwards’s retirement, she was recognized for her service and support that enabled his contribution to the United States of America.
Her post Navy activity included attending the University of Memphis where she earned her M.S. in Education, with a concentration in General Counseling. After completing her degree, she was the Director of the Millington Center of Shelby State Community College. She was also a counselor for underprepared students at the Mid-Town and Gill campuses of Shelby State Community College.
Marlene was an active member of her community and was involved with numerous organizations, including Delta Zeta Sorority and the Saybrook Founders Colony. She was a former Board Member of the Ten-Ark-Miss Council of the Girl Scouts of America, as well as a former Board Member of the Frayser-Millington Mental Health Center.
Marlene had a keen interest in genealogy and spent her post retirement years researching the Rathbun and Wilkinson families, among others, developing a rich and detailed lineage and family histories. She was a member of over 73 lineage groups and held offices at both the local and national levels. In 2001, Marlene received the Community Service Award from the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution for her years of service to her community. In 2015, she was inducted into the Hereditary Society Community of the United States of America ("HSC”), recognizing her society leadership, membership, service, tenure, personal character, and life-long accomplishments. For more information about her participation and contributions, please see her profile at https://www.hereditary.us/members?classofId=61ded06cec18c2ac931cb38f.
Marlene was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Edward. She is survived by her son Edward, daughters Martha Truchon (Mark) and Mary, grandchildren Patrick, Megan, Justin and Alyssa, and great grandchild, Cameron. Her family is very proud of her accomplishments and will remember her for her strength and dedication to her family, her ideals, and the world of genealogy. Interment will be done jointly with her husband, Edward, on Wednesday November 22, 2023 at 11:15am at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Seville. Liston Funeral Home, North Ridgeville, Ohio, is serving the family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, online at https://www.nmcrs.org/get-involved/donate or by mailing a check or money order to: Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Attn Development Department, 875 N. Randolph Street, Suite 225, Arlington, VA 22203