It is with deep regret we announce the peaceful passing of Marian J Udelhofen — che’rie, mama, best girlfriend ever, Ms. U, — on Sept. 12, 2019, surrounded by her loving family: husband Bruno, son Louy, daughter Manon and brother Kelly.
Born to Jim and Theresa (Hill) Udelhofen, Dec. 9, 1959, in Des Plaines and raised in Glenview, Ill.
From early on, it was apparent to others, that she was a spiritual person, filled with gentle grace and benevolence. Even her fellow high schoolers saw it, they voted her “Most likely to become a nun.” Upon learning of that nomination, she graduated from high school a semester early, picked up her backpack and took off traveling! First to a kibbutz in Israel, then by bus, train and hitchhiking across the Middle East to Afghanistan, where she caught a ride with a handsome Frenchman. They continued to travel together to Asia, hiking Mt. Everest, before going back to Illinois. There she immediately worked on mastering French with an impeccable accent. She recognized true love and knew she wanted him to understand her, when she told him that! Understandably, Bruno recognized high quality love and loveliness too and over 40 years later their bond just grew stronger.
They arrived in the Columbia River Gorge in 1987, building their beautiful home on Burdoin Mtn. They soon filled their nest with her dear Louy and Manon. Marian was a mama bear, her pride, joy and love for them was so deep and strong! She’d protect them from harm if she could but at the same time honor and nurture their awesome, talented, independent, unique journeys in life.
Truthfully, everyone she encountered she gave that same regard, whether you were of the same persuasion (age, sex, race, religious, political…) as her or not. She treated you as a valued, unique individual, deserving of consideration and respect. If you were fortunate enough to be a friend, she made you feel like her “best” friend, and you were, because she saw, honored and pulled out the best in you. No wonder her adoring communities are vast and diverse. Her absence in them will leave us with an emptiness for a while but she’ll find a way to refill it with her presence, in memory and spirit.
Marian is like a rock skipping on water, those lives touched by her, radiate and spread out to touch others. May we find a way to touch as loving and meaningful as she did. Continue your journeys dear Marian, may they be peaceful but full of love, adventure and laughter too.
She did not want a big send-off but for each friend and community to celebrate life and love, not just hers but to recognize and honor all people and nature as miracles, wondrous and holy. She hopes the song Holy Now by Peter Mayer, will resonate with you as deeply as it did her (look for it on YouTube sung by Kathy Mattea). Please, keep her in your heart as you listen.
Her family would welcome stories and memories of her, how you knew and why you loved her. Please send to Udelhofen Lerebourg Family at 34 Forbes Rd. White Salmon, Wash. 98672.
Marian would have you give to others in need, whether it be like the necessity and treat bags she kept in the car for the homeless, or others who are ill or in need, in our community.
Her school circle is having a small Celebration of life at the Columbia High School Library on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, from 4 to 6 p.m. You are welcome to attend.
Her Baha’i and Unitarian communities are welcoming you on Saturday. Oct. 5, 2019, at 11 a.m. at the Rockford Grange in Hood River.