“Coat of Many Colors” by Dolly Parton
“I have built a construct in my mind that each of you are the pieces of fabric that our mother sewed together with love. So that we could cover and protect each other while representing the beauty in our differences. Each one a unique piece of his heart and her soul. One piece a thinker, another faithful, one piece with a voice, a fixer, a skilled soldier, an entertainer, and the vital spirit of family togetherness. Keep your coat. Even if it’s exactly the same color with our names in hot sticky vinyl letters on my chest in August” ~Matthew Wagnon
Alice Marlene (Winfrey) Wagnon (Marlene), 72, of Overland Park, KS, died on January 26, 2023 at her home.
Marlene was born on March 23, 1950 to Fredrick AJ Winfrey and Margaret Helen (Allison) Winfrey in Independence, MO. After Marlene graduated from Van Horn High School in 1968, she went on to marry her childhood sweetheart, Danny Joe Wagnon. Danny and Marlene had seven children whom she loved fiercely.
Marlene had an entrepreneurial spirit, teaching her children the value of work. Whether it was making crafts to sell door to door to earn their World’s of Fun and summer pool passes or making the best cinnamon rolls, “We Handle Our Rolls For You.” She has done many jobs that she has improved by adding her own creative flair.
Perhaps one of the most influential accomplishments is co-founding The BEST Network with his daughter Audrey; who has created a community of kindness and inclusion through the performing arts. He helped break down social barriers for people with disabilities through their high school performances, air shows, etc. They performed the national anthem and threw first pitch to the Royals.
These are among the many roles Marlene has played: daughter, sister, cousin, wife, mother, aunt, friend, mentor, motivator, educator, even Mrs. Claus and the best Grammalene and GiGi ever.
Marlene created magic everywhere. These are just a few of the things she will be remembered for: love and laughter, popcorn and Friday Fright Night, Ricky Road, peanut butter soup, taco salad, enchilada stacks, cherry tomatoes, matching clothes and name tees, purple, Believe, Mad Hatter Tea Parties, Pixie Dust, Woodland Fairies, Costumes and Face Painting, Taco Bell and Krispy Kreme Midnight Runs, Face Timing, Music and Dancing, Boss Watching Parties and Family and Sacrifice.
Marlene was preceded in death by her parents, Bud and Margaret Winfrey and her sister Mary. She leaves her husband, Danny; her seven children, Daniel, Jennifer, Rachelle, Matthew, Andrew, Audrey and Tyler; her sister, Vickie; 22 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren and one due each day.
Join us for a Mad Hatter tea party to celebrate Marlene’s magical life in March 2023. Details to come.