Stroo Funeral Home, Inc. 
1095 68th St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49508
Phone:  (616) 455-9280 
Fax: (616) 455-2035
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Michael A. Vos - Owner / Manager
 Robert K. Stroo - Owner / President 


ChaseMarlene 22   Chase Marlene 14

Service Information

Marlene Belle Chase

Service: Held at a later date

Memorials:  to the Humane Society of West Michigan, 3077 Wilson Dr NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534

or St. Jude Children's Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105

 Marlene was born in Greenville, Michigan on March 19, 1935 to Esther Wilma (Madsen) Chase and Roy William Chase. She passed on Friday, March 18, 2022, one day shy of her 87th birthday, at Railside Living Center, Byron Center, Michigan, where they've lived since September 2019. She knew her body was worn out and she chose her time to leave. Marlene graduated from Greenville High School, Greenville, Michigan. Her first job was as a telephone operator (remember those?!), then Helm's Products, Imperial Furniture, Bergsma Brothers Furniture and finally at Steelcase for 14 years as a finisher. She was an excellent bowler, holding an average of 187 and bowled in many tournaments and had many trophies to prove it. She played basketball in high school and was usually glued to the TV during March Madness. Her great sense of humor made her fun to be around.

She met Ruby Kurnat, also from Greenville, while both were in their early 20's, which eventually grew into 66 years of intense commitment, devotion and love; a depth of love seen much too infrequently these days. When they finally could, they were married in September 2014, in Chicago. Being a same sex couple in a small town, especially in the 50's, was far from comfortable. They moved to Grand Rapids but still their relationship was not one they felt they could share openly. When finally allowed to be legally joined in marriage, it seemed to free them and allowed them to finally exhale - and openly enjoy the love that had endured through all the bigotry and opposition, for those many years. The sign celebrating their union hangs outside their door at Railside.

Marlene and Ruby had huge eclectic collections of all things fun and valuable - from horses and glassware, to dolls and artwork. But Furbabies were their passion, Smidgen, Cassie and Tucker were their most recent best furry friends.

Marlene was predeceased by her parents; brother, Richard William Chase; and cousin-in-law, Dale Hann. Surviving her is her spouse, Ruby; her cousin, Vernona Hann of Ellicott City, MD, and Vernona's son, James and JoAnne Hann of San Diego CA; and daughter, Sharon and Dale Cook of Ellicott City, MD; many maternal and paternal relatives, family by marriage, and friends, who loved her. We want to thank the staff of Railside Living Center for their constant compassion and care. Marlene has been cremated, per her wishes. A memorial will be held at a later date. If you wish to honor Marlene, please donate to the Humane Society of West Michigan, or St. Jude Children's Hospital. 

1095 68TH ST SE
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