OLD ORCHARD BEACH – Marlene Marie (Maidlow) O’Reilly, 74, was led to Heaven by her Guardian Angels April 28, 2021, at a Scarborough healthcare facility. She was born March 7, 1947, in Bangor, daughter of Melvin and Marie (Minor) Maidlow.
Marlene was raised in Bangor, and graduated from Bangor High School, Class of 1965. While living in Bangor, her working career was focused in the retail field. Freese’s and Loring Short and Harmon were her favorites.
In 1984, after a chance meeting years previously, Marlene and Tim O’Reilly became a couple in Massachusetts. In 1986, a job change required a move to Kalamazoo, Michigan. Marlene resumed her career in retail there, as a manager in office supplies and affiliated products. Both Tim and Marlene loved being in a college town, close to Lake Michigan. Marlene loved dogs and cats, and any animal causes could always expect her help. “Aunt Marlene” was a magnet for children, knowing that having fun was a certainty.
In 1990, Marlene was diagnosed with breast cancer. Kalamazoo has two excellent hospitals which became extremely important in her battle with cancer. After surgery, chemo and radiation treatment, Marlene began to recover. Unfortunately, it was short lived. In 1992, after a series of issues that raised questions, she went back in for testing to discover a tumor in the left temporal lobe. This was a critical diagnosis because it was indicating a bloodstream transfer of the breast cancer to the brain. Life expectancy long term was not favorable, the outlook being three to five years. The bloodstream transferred the cancer in two locations. Anywhere the blood passed through could be a potential site for cancer. Marlene and Tim married I Las Vegas March 19, 1992. They returned to Michigan for her surgery on March 22.
Marlene had a successful removal of the tumor. She still had issues with balance, memory, and they continued to degenerate slowly, but steadily for the rest of her life. Marlene and Tim moved one more time, back to New England, in 1994, to Connecticut, before settling in Scarborough, in 1996.
No matter the issue, Marlene never questioned “why me?”, nor did she have any fear whatsoever. Her faith in her guardian angels prevailed. Her brave 29 year battle with cancer amazed her doctors who would tell her there was no guide for her journey, she was writing it. Her journey and her approach to it involved adjustments over her 29 year survival. This approach allowed Marlene to enjoy the time that she had in spite of the challenges faced.
In addition to her parents, Marlene was predeceased by her sister, Teresa Hopkins; sister-in-law, Debra Maidlow; a close cousin, Brian McKenna. In addition to her loving husband, Tim, she is survived by her brothers, Richard Maidlow, Mark Maidlow and his wife, Rachel; sister, Kathryn McLeod and her husband, Timothy; a close cousin, Carole (Nye) McKenna; and a large, extended family.
The family invites relatives and friends to share conversation and refreshments 1-3 p.m., Sunday, June 13, at the Family Reception Center of Brookings-Smith, 163 Center St., Bangor.