Marlene M. Cesar Dies; Former Resident was 87

Marlene Maude Cesar

Marlene Maude Cesar, a loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and friend, passed away in Juneau on Sunday, July 23, 2023, at the age of 87, after a courageous battle with cancer. 

Born in Ketchikan on March 22, 1936, to James and Joanna Kennedy, Marlene was Tsimshian from the Killer Whale (Gispudwada) Clan.

She grew up in Ketchikan then came to Sitka when she was an eighth-grader to attend Mt. Edgecumbe High School, graduating in 1954. She began her working career at Mt. Edgecumbe High, and retired at Mt. Edgecumbe Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Hospital in Sitka after 21 years of dedicated service.

In 2000 she moved from Sitka to Juneau.

Marlene always spoke from her heart, very truthfully. Her greatest joy in life was spending time with friends and family. Family was important to her, blended or biological, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was a shareholder of Huna Totem, Goldbelt and Sealaska. She was a member of Sitka Tribe of Alaska, as well as the Glacier Valley Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp # 70. 

Marlene was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Del; her parents (James and Joanna Kennedy); her children Michael and Christina Russell, and grandson Douglas “DJ” Maki; brothers Bill and Thomas Kennedy; her sisters Janet Duncan, Christine Kennedy, and Elizabeth Heidi; and widowed by David Soomik Russell, father of four of her children.

She is survived by her children Beverly Russell-Jensen (Les) and Janice Craver (Andrew), Nancy Maki, Lance Cesar, David Cesar, and Michael Nannauck; grandchildren Ashley Maki, Christian Parker, Catherine Rule-Cesar, Michael Cesar, Shaylin Cesar, Shyann Nannauck, David Russell-Jensen, Tamara Craver-Kearns (Ethan), Rebecca Menzone, and Melissa Craver (John); and great-grandchildren Asa and Rowan (Tamara), Vincent and Bella (Rebecca) Natalie and Kylie (Melissa), and Channer (Ashley).

To honor Marlene’s memory, a celebration of her life will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, August 20, 2023, at Juneau’s Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall, with a potluck reception following.

Contributions can be made to Healing Hand Foundation at https://www.hhf-ak.org/about-us/ or Bartlett Regional Hospital Hospice Foundation at https://brhfoundation.org.

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