Marie Diane Franzen passed away on March 8, 2021 from pancreatic cancer. The world has lost a woman of irrepressible wit and deep, abiding love for her family, friends, and all whom she held dear.
Marie was born to Joseph and Julia Kenny in Brooklyn, New York, on December 17, 1947, the youngest of three daughters. She moved to Seattle, Washington, as a teenager where she attended Ingraham High School and graduated from Nathan Hale High School in 1965. She met her husband-to-be, Robert Franzen, while they both worked at J. C. Penney, and they married in 1967. They raised five children, and remained married until Robert's death in 2006. They moved to Spokane in 1984 and lived in the same home for the rest of their lives.
Marie's primary concern was always the health and happiness of her family, and she often worked part-time jobs as the holidays approached to make sure that her children had wonderful Christmases. She also honored her Irish heritage, and hosted a St. Patrick's Day dinner for her extended family every year. The door to the Franzen house was always open to all of her kids' friends, too, and Marie would frequently end up feeding what seemed like the entire neighborhood! Her spaghetti was a particular favorite. Besides the love and care given to her family, Marie had a generous, charitable spirit and did volunteer work for the American Cancer Society, and supported many other causes.
Marie was a positive, outgoing person, and would strike up conversations and befriend people wherever she went, whether this was during league bowling with her family and friends, while helping to transport kids and supplies for school field trips and sporting events, or while going on her twice-weekly group walks. One of her favorite pastimes was playing games with her children and grandchildren, and whether card game, word game, rummy, Scrabble, or whatever, she had an uncanny knack for crushing her competition. She was at her happiest when surrounded by the people she loved.
Marie was preceded in death by her husband Robert Franzen and her daughter Jennifer Franzen-Wemhoff, both of whom she cared for throughout their own terminal illnesses. She is survived by her sisters, Sheila Kenny and Gail Schmid (Karl), her daughters Brigid Oram (Clint) and Patricia Boston (Ric), her sons James Franzen and Adam Franzen (Sarah), and her grandchildren Brianna Wemhoff, Mark and Vivian Boston, Jackson and Julia Oram, and Samantha Franzen. She also leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews, in-laws, and dear friends. We will all miss her terribly, but remember her for her kindness, wit, hospitality, generosity, and love.
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