This memorial website was created in memory of my forever love, Diane Embree (1951-2021).  One life, one love.
Posted by Marlowe Embree on March 24, 2021
Diane made me human. She taught me love and compassion and how to lead with the heart. To the extent that I am a good person today, it is to a great extent because of her. I miss her deeply. May her story bring honor to her, and glory to the One who holds her now in his loving embrace.

Marlowe C. Embree, Ph.D.

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Posted by Marlowe Embree on March 24, 2021
Diane made me human. She taught me love and compassion and how to lead with the heart. To the extent that I am a good person today, it is to a great extent because of her. I miss her deeply. May her story bring honor to her, and glory to the One who holds her now in his loving embrace.

Marlowe C. Embree, Ph.D.
her Life

Diane tells her story: Chapter One

I’m in Heaven now, enjoying an eternal weight of glory, petting beloved cats who met me at Rainbow Bridge with great enthusiasm, their tails held high, issuing a chorus of loud steady purring. I’ve asked Marlowe to write out my story for me. He’ll end up using his own writing style, which is different from mine, but that’s okay. I love him, and I’m watching over him right now as he writes, part of the “great cloud of witnesses” that is cheering him on as he limps toward the finish line of his own earthly race. Then, we’ll be together forever, never to be separated again.

I was born in a small Wisconsin town that was about the same size as the one where Marlowe lived. I was the third of six siblings, and the cutest one: four boys and two girls. My parents worked at the local shoe factory, and later, my mother worked at the nearby hospital, where she was known for her love and good works.

We were raised Catholic, and I went to a parochial school. All of the teachers were nuns, and while some of them were very nice, others were, well, not so much. I remember bringing one of them a bouquet of trilliums, those beautiful white flowers that dot the roadbeds every spring in central Wisconsin. I thought she’d appreciate them, but instead I got a stern lecture about protected species. But I got the last laugh later in life, when two delicate trilliums appeared in the back yard of the home that Marlowe and I shared, nestling in the shade against the back fence, and in time they multiplied into a huge cluster of blossoms. The Vatican lodged a protest, but to no avail.

Diane tells her story: Chapter Two

I used to love walking to the little candy store a block or so from my childhood home, and carefully selecting a few items. Usually I chose something chocolate, which I love. My eyes are a deep chocolate brown, and Marlowe always said how beautiful they were. In time I became, for one year in middle school, a cheerleader. Later in life, Marlowe was thrilled to discover that he had married a cheerleader, something that exceeded his wildest expectations.

I loved cats as a child, and we had many of them. My mother didn’t believe in paying good money to have cats spayed or neutered, although it cost enough money to feed and house all the resulting kittens. My favorite cat used to sleep on the pillow next to my bed at night, and later on, when Marlowe and I were married, many of our cats over the years did the exact same thing. My childhood cats were allowed outside, since we needed a steady supply of fresh kittens to annoy my mother. They would watch carefully before crossing the street, a minor highway leading into town, and none of them were ever hurt.

I was the general contractor of the family, directing the work activities of my younger brothers. Under my guidance, they cleared our large back lot of thousands of rocks, trimmed our fruit trees, and did endless weeding. Marlowe notes with some amusement that he ended up on a similar work crew, consisting of one tired man, when we were married.

Diane tells her story: Chapter Three

After graduating from high school and from technical school, I moved to Wausau, Wisconsin, where I worked for a time in an accounting firm.  Marlowe and I met at a Bible study in 1983, and we were soon a couple.  We had a long-distance courtship for a year, since Marlowe had accepted a teaching position in another town three hours away.  But God worked it out, and we were married in 1985 (complete with fainting flower girl) in what residents of central Wisconsin still call, in hushed tones, "THE wedding".

The story of how two people who were born over 500 miles apart got together is a complex one that testifies to the loving sovereignty of a gracious God.  It's too long to tell here, and besides, it mostly involves Marlowe's life story, not mine.  But both of us are very grateful that we were brought together!  He moved from state to state, four of them in all, until he finally arrived in Wausau.
Recent stories

My forever love

Shared by Marlowe Embree on March 24, 2021
My best friend and beloved wife Diane, my forever love, left the circles of this world on March 1, 2021, at age 69, to the loving embrace of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As her husband of 35 years, I want to tell her story, because everyone deserves to be remembered. As filmmaker Baz Luhrmann once said, “in the end, all you have is your story”, and hers is an important one that I want to chronicle.

Diane died of dementia, a very rapid decline less than four months after her diagnosis. I want to write her story in part to encourage and help others who may be struggling with this dread disease in their own life or that of a loved one. I want people to know that, in the midst of the grief and struggle, there is hope. Love is stronger than death, and illness does not get the final word.

Diane was always such a generous person. I remember how, each year, we would visit the "giving tree" in the mall and buy a present for one child. We love cats, so one year, a child wanted a "Littlest Pet Shop" set and it was a real joy to purchase that. I remember how she would encourage me to make a donation to the humane society each year, including cat treats, cat toys, cat blankets, and so forth. I remember how she would buy and deliver designer gifts for her brother, including a "Packer package" featuring a miniature Packer-themed Christmas trailer. I remember how she would laboriously make craft projects -- ornate cross-stitch pictures, or complex knitted afghans -- for friends and relatives. I remember how she would make up to ten tins of special fancy cookies for my colleagues at the university each Christmas. I remember how, when a friend adopted a kitten, she put together a "kitty starter pack" for her.

Diane made me human, and I will love her forever.  One life, one love.

“Blessed are those who die in the Lord from henceforth, and their works do follow them” (Rev. 14:13)

Diane's gifts

Shared by Marlowe Embree on March 30, 2021
Diane used her God-given gifts for good in this world.  She baked untold thousands of special cookies over the decades.  She loved cats and rescued many from a life on the street.  She did a lot of cross-stitch projects for friends and relatives.  I am very grateful that, in these ways, her legacy lives on.

The difference Diane made

Shared by Marlowe Embree on March 24, 2021
Grief involves walking a fine line.  I want to (and will) remember my beautiful Diane always, but as time goes by, I hope that will be only with joy and gratitude, not with the devastation and sorrow that early loss brings.  As I write today, it has only been three and a half weeks, and these two emotional states fluctuate rapidly and without warning.  I never liked roller coasters as a child, but I'm on one now.

Yet, as I went through a box of cards and letters and gifts that Diane gave me throughout the 37 and a half years of our relationship, I find that on good days, the gratitude can predominate.  It makes all the difference that someone as special and as beautiful as Diane loved me, and loved me deeply.  I no longer have to worry whether I am lovable, because she loved me.  And she loves me still from Heaven.  We will have a joyful reunion together some day, though the intervening separation is so difficult.  Just a few more weary days and then, I'll fly away.  Then, the great felicity.