Marjorie Ann Brink was born on April 13, 1922, in Davenport, Washington. She was the oldest of two children born to Joseph Brink and Anna Stroh Brink. Her mother died when she was very young, and she was raised by her father and stepmother. She graduated with the class of 1940 from Davenport High School, and attended the Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing in Spokane, Washington, where she earned her degree as a Registered Nurse in 1946.
While living in Spokane she met Neil Abelein, and they were married December 27, 1946. Neil had been recently discharged from the Navy, and they eventually moved to McMinnville, Oregon, where Neil was a student at Linfield College, while Marjorie worked as a nurse. Their first child was born in 1948, a son, followed by four more sons over the next 12 years. They moved to Portland, Oregon after Neil graduated from Linfield, and raised their family in Northeast Portland. Marjorie liked her nursing job but she loved being a wife and mother more, and chose to be a stay-home mom raising her sons and caring for her family.
Marjorie was a devoted follower of Jesus, her faith in God was very important to her. She was an active member of Grace Presbyterian Church in Portland, Oregon with her family for many years. She taught kindergarten Sunday School for over twenty years, cooked meals for church functions, was on the Board of Elders, and served the church in many ways. The Abelein extended family members living in the Portland area have always been very close, with brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins gathering together often.
Marjorie's husband Neil died in September 1977 from a lung disease, when they had been married for 30 years. Being a widow was a hard adjustment for Marjorie, but she had many friends who came alongside and encouraged her. During this season as she had more free time, she participated in women's groups with friends from church (Guild, Extension, and Circle), and enjoyed many travel adventures with her friend, Ernestine. She also worked occasionally for the county election office, delivered neighborhood newsletters, fundraised for the Mother's March of Dimes, and found many other ways to serve others and the community. Four of her sons married and had children, and she also loved being Grandma to her eight grandchildren.
As she aged, her body and mind changed, but her sweet and sassy spirit was always evident. Marjorie was diagnosed with dementia about ten years prior to her death. She lived at the Brookdale memory care community in Troutdale, Oregon her last four years, and all the staff there loved her spunky spirit. Her family is so grateful for the genuine love and care she received there. For the last few months before her death, she had told many of the caregivers that she was "going home soon". Even with her dementia, we believe she knew Heaven awaited her, and she was ready to go!
Marjorie lived an amazing 98 ½ years of life, spanning so much world history. She experienced the Great Depression and World War II, many new inventions like the television and microwave, saw the first man landing on the moon, and the technology developments of computers, internet, and cell phones.
Marjorie is the last of her generation of Abeleins to pass away. She was predeceased by her husband Neil P. Abelein in 1977, and sons Douglas Abelein in 2013, and David Abelein in 2017. She is survived by daughter-in-law Donna Abelein (David's wife), sons Dan Abelein and wife Susan, Dwayne Abelein and wife Janet, Don Abelein and wife Brenda, as well as eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Marjorie's ashes are interred in a niche along with her husband Neil's at Rose City Cemetery in Portland, Oregon. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, no public service will be held at this time. Her family hopes to be able to gather in her memory in April 2021 in her birthday month. Messages to the family are welcome, and can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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