Life Story: Marlene Peterson; Worked At Merck

Marlene Peterson, born in 1948 in Passaic, New Jersey, died peacefully on November 2 with her loving daughter, Kristen, and brother, Lewis, beside her after losing an impossible battle with ALS.

She spent her childhood and formative school years in the close-knit community of Elmwood Park, where she attended Elmwood Park Memorial High School, forging lifelong friendships, including the most important one with her high school sweetheart and eventual husband, Dr. James (Jim) Peterson.

Marlene and Jim married in 1971 and settled in Westfield, in 1975 where they raised Kristen and built a life as active members of the community, frequently hosting friends and family for memorable dinner parties before relocating to Somerset in 2007. For 49 years, Jim and Marlene were devoted partners, social butterflies, avid travelers and loving parents and grandparents until Jim’s passing in 2021.

Marlene made the delicate balance of being a hands-on mom and dedicated professional look easy. She spent 17 years working at Merck Pharmaceutical, where she made a lasting impact before retiring in 2015. First and foremost though, she was a loving, involved and incredibly supportive mom to Kristen and super-grandma to her cherished grandchildren, Chloe and Ella.

Marlene will be remembered for her unwavering love and commitment to her family, her dedication to her friends and her resilience in the face of ALS. For those who knew Marlene, it’s hard to imagine any disease could sap her of her strength and resolve, and she remained indomitable in spirit even as ALS stole her physical strength.

In our grief, Marlene’s family finds solace in celebrating a life very well-lived and in cherishing the love and memories she leaves behind.

Marlene is survived by her daughter, Kristen Jones, who always believed her mom was the strongest and most loving person she knew; her son-in-law, Brady Jones, who was always amazed by Marlene’s endless energy in support of her family; her granddaughters, Chloe and Ella, who love their grandma so much; and her brother, Lewis Goetz, who supported her til the end and will forever cherish the bond they shared and grew over 75 years.

For those desiring, in lieu of flowers please make a memorial contribution in Marlene’s honor
to Compassionate Care ALS (CCALS).

Private cremation services have been handled under the professional direction of the Gleason Funeral Home, Somerset.

A Memorial Visitation will be held from 2-4 p.m. November 7 at the Gleason Funeral Home, 1360 Hamilton Street, Somerset.

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