Marlene Kaye Forstrom
  • 71 years old
  • Date of birth: May 3, 1944
  • Place of birth:
    Tracy, Minnesota, United States
  • Date of passing: Nov 6, 2015
  • Place of passing:
    Rancho Mirage, California, United States
Let the memory of Marlene be with us forever

This memorial website was created in memory of Marlene Forstrom (Hemmingsen), 71, born on May 3, 1944 and passed away on November 6, 2015. Please add a photo, share a story or take time to remember her life.

For 13 years Marlene was treated for Myelofibrosis, a rare slow moving but eventually fatal blood cancer. She had participated in many new drug trials and was active in the community of those that shared her affliction.

On Thursday, November 5th she was admitted to the hospital with unusual pain related to her disease. While in the hospital her condition unexpectedly and rapidly deteriorated and she passed peacefully Friday morning surrounded by her family.

Marlene is survived by husband Larry; children John, Angela and Kristy; siblings Warren, Janet and Shari; sister-in-law Susan Forstrom; grandchildren Kaylie, Cade and Jagger.

The family will have a private memorial service and asks that in lieu of flowers you please make a donation in her name to the MPN Foundation or a charity of your choice. 

MPN Foundation donation site:

If you wish to make the family aware of your donation to the MPN Foundation, please check  "My donation is In Honor or In Memory of someone special" and include the email address

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Barbara Stern on 4th May 2016

"Hopefully you are at peace and looking down on all of your loved ones who seem to be doing well!  So good job!  Although we did not have lots of contact over the years, I see your photo everyday when I sign in to play CANDY CRUSH, a game we both enjoyed playing!"

This tribute was added by Will Jensen on 17th March 2016

"I have struggled to write this for you Marlene. Hearing that you passed was one of the saddest days of my life. I sat alone most of that day in a duck blind. It was the best I could do at the time.  I have been reflecting over these past months on who you were in my life, and was certain that I would write this, but not until I could celebrate your life, rather than just mourn. You would have told me to take as long as I needed, but not wait TOO LONG!! You were always saying things like that to me.
I can celebrate you today. I can honestly say, that you are one of the most selfless people I have ever met. You literally took me off of the street. I was so burdened by insecurity and mistrust when you found me that I am still surprised today that I was unsuccessful at scaring you off. When we first met, I was 16 years old, homeless, and so angry that my reactions were scary even to me. I can not be certain what you saw in me at that time, but I am certain that you must have ignored everything else except for the fact that I was a 16 year old boy in trouble. You opened your home to me. You fed me.......I still snicker to myself today when someone says they are starving. You clothed me......because John's clothes sorta fit. You gave me a place to sleep.........I remember clearly, shaking the chemicals out of my body with my head on your lap. You loved me.........In spite of multiple attempts to convince you of how un lovable I was, there you were, heart wide open. I remember over the years that we were very close how skeptical I was of your love for me. I used to dread our talks!! I was always so afraid that you would find out who I was and throw me out of your life. You were so persistent, always wanting me to risk more. I Remember  the morning I told you all there was to know about Will. I was angry at the end of our talk, even raising my voice to you. I was preparing for the inevitable rejection, but you told me that I was hurting, not angry, and that I should tell the truth about what I was feeling. That was the most vulnerable I had ever been in my whole life, and some how you managed to support me and get on my case all at the same time. I still marvel at that(you did it over and over). Our relationship was not typical. Some days you were a mother, some days you were a sister, some days you were a counselor, and all days you were a friend. I am sure there is a case study somewhere that says our relationship crossed some professional boundary for a psychologist,  but the author of that study can BITE ME (I know that would make you smile), because you saved my life.
You taught me that the word love is just a word, but that the action of love can change the world. Your love certainly changed me.
I will miss our chats on facebook. I did love catching up with you every couple of months. I especially loved when you told me how proud you were of the man I had become. Perhaps, because you knew me so completely, it meant so much more to me. I am sad, you taught me how to be that, but I can also celebrate, because I know that I am only one example of the investment that you made in human beings. You are gone, but your love will echo through time as those of us that have been fortunate enough to have been touched by you, pay it forward.
Love always - Willi"

This tribute was added by Susan Forstrom on 22nd November 2015

"I was so saddened to hear about Marlene's sudden death. Yes, she was probably living on borrowed time with her disease but she was a hardy person who made the best of each day, never complaining about her disease.   I have fond memories way back when her family and mine gathered for holidays at her home in Minneapolis. It was always so much fun.  And then the wonderful day when she married Larry.  They were so happy together in spite of their differing views about politics.  She had such a great laugh.  It was such fun to come out to CA and just hang out with her and Larry and talk about whatever.

She was not passive about acting on her beliefs and causes she felt strongly about.  Such an example for all of us.  Speak out, act and Iive as if it is your last day.  I will miss her dearly.  My love to the family.  Sue"

This tribute was added by Sandy Tramell on 16th November 2015

"Words seem inadequate as I try to express my feelings about my friendship with Marlene.  We first met 38 or 39 years ago when she and her family first moved from MN to CA.  Our children were roughly the same ages and our families went through many of the same tragedies and celebrations.  We often laughed together at life's jokes and cried together through the rough times.  We commiserated with each other when we each at separate times returned to school to battle higher education at a more "mature age".  We loved sharing pictures of each of our "totally superior" grandchildren as only another grandmother could do.  Marlene was one of the best listeners I have ever known.  She was one of my best friends and I will miss her so very much."

This tribute was added by Barbara Stern on 15th November 2015

"One fun memory I have is from many, many years ago.  Marlene, always ready to learn something now, invited a few friends for dinner, wanting to try out a new recipe.  She decided to cook "rabbit"!!  Lots of surprised faces as she served us.  I don't think anyone had more than one bit, it was AWFUL - so vinegary!!!  But we all laughed at the experiment, tossed out the rabbit and had pizza!  To this day, if I ever see rabbit on a menu, I can't help but recall this.  

I'm sure the family has lots of wonderful and delightful memories to carry
in their hearts of a wonderful Wife, Mom, Grandparent, Friend and all around terrific lady."

This tribute was added by Larry Clark on 14th November 2015

"Next to our grandkids, Marlene's favorite thing was our road trips in the summer in the RV. 15 years of it and it never got old. she always looked forward to getting on the road in June. This year we got to see most of her Minnesota family, visit Lake Shetek with grandkids, and spend time on the McKenzie River. Never even a hint that this would be her last trip. We miss you a bunch.
Thanks to all for the kind words."

This tribute was added by Janet Kamis on 12th November 2015

"Dear Marlene's Family,
First of all, our deepest sympathies are with you during this time of loss.  We do so hope that you are finding comfort from your family and friends, and that the pleasant memories of your wife, mother, and grandmother will help you during this time.

Marlene had great strength.  Early in her life a rotating airplane propeller hit her in the head, and although she was in the hospital for an extended time, Marlene miraculously survived.  The year following that terrible accident she was able to compete in a pageant and won.  

After Dick's tragic death, she was a single mother for numerous years.  On her own Marlene did such a marvelous job of developing intellect, moral character, and social skills in her two wonderful children John and Angela.  Later she also nurtured Larry's very special children.  Her spirit will live on through these loved ones.

She lived in close proximity to her parents' winter home in Arizona.  Marlene also gave time and energy to support them as well.

Insightful advice was given willingly by her to family members.  Marlene will truly be greatly missed by her family."

This tribute was added by Darwin Burda on 12th November 2015

"Our families would gather at the Hemmingsen cabin on Lake Shetek. When Marlene was 14 or 15,  we went to the boat house to fish for crappies (fish). While I was fishing, Marlene was urging the crappies to mate. She would say, " come on, you two, don't be shy".  I had to laugh out loud.  I said " Marlene, why are you doing this?"  How would I know that someday she would become a marriage counselor.  It all started with the crappies in the boathouse."

This tribute was added by Trish Bashaw on 11th November 2015

"Remembering the times I had with Marlene - hitching a ride with her and you, Larry, home from mom/dad's anniversary party; Thai food with you guys in Federal Way; other little moments at gatherings.  Sadly, not enough of them.  Thoughts and prayers to you, Larry, and the family.    

Love, Trish"

This tribute was added by Rita Renaud on 11th November 2015

"I met Marlene,when our daughters played soccer 35 years ago. She became a friend of our family' We would coach soccer.bowl on a league and watch Golden Girls which she loved and many other memories, an amazing woman and friend. Are daughters are still BBF. love You Marlene R.I.P. The Renaud's"

This tribute was added by thomas rodney on 9th November 2015

"Words are never enough, but it is with a heavy heart I express my deepest sympathies to you & your family...

I had the pleasure of sharing a few moments with Marlene & Larry down here in costa rica. Her smile & laughter and genuine kindness is something I'll never forget...

My thoughts and prayers are with you & yours...



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This memorial is administered by:

Angela Ronan
Carrie Forstrom
Larry Clark
John Forstrom
Kristy Clark
sean ronan

Kindly sponsored by:
Angela Ronan


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