On the evening of Feb. 11, 2018, Cathryn Marlene closed her eyes for a small nap and awoke in heaven.
Marlene was born June 24, 1938, in Nebraska City, Neb., the first of three children born to Cathryn B. and Steve R. Rhoades. Her siblings are Charlene (Michael) Kelley and a brother who preceded her in death, Steve (Charlotte) Rhoades.
Mom spoke to everyone, judged no one and comforted strangers, often inviting them to holiday dinners because they had no place to go or family to be with. She was a splendid cook and homemaker. She met dad (Paul L. C. Snider) when she was 16, at a church camp meeting. They dated in his mother's (Emma) 1949 Hudson. They were married March 18, 1956. For 62 years, they showed us the true meaning of "when two become one." At the time of marriage, dad drove a delivery truck for Zellerbach Paper Co., and he would meet her at school so they could share lunch in his truck. He has always said, "She is the only girlfriend I ever had and she is my best friend."
They traveled on hunting safaris and fishing trips to Australia, New Zealand, British Columbia, Costa Rica, Panama, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Paul and Marlene had four children: GayLynn (Gregory) Bengtson, Paul Steven (Tami) Snider, Jack Stuart (Becky) Snider and Travis James Madison (Kim) Snider; and six grandchildren: Erika and Adrienne Bengtson, Judelle and Karlie Snider, Gareth and Zacharias Snider; and one great-grandson, Bridger Snider.
For the past 37 years, Paul and Marlene owned and operated the Lewis Clark Gun & Antique Shows, traveling the Northwest and meeting new friends who have become part of our family. We will miss mom's home cooking, gentle spirit and unwavering faith.
Each night, every night she would pray for all her kids, spouses and grandchildren, calling each by name unto the Lord. We know she will continue to do that and will be our guiding light through life. Each Mother's Day, she looked forward to planting all her flowers with her son, Paul. It is a memory we all enjoyed, seeing the delight in her eyes. And though she would never admit she loved their dog, Pickles, she would always buy treats, toys and snacks, then tell dad he was giving the dog too many.
Mom's legacy to our family was the meaning of unconditional love. It never faltered. She was fierce in her love for her family. We all make dumb choices growing up. Once I apologized and she replied, "I don't remember that. If you asked God to forgive you, he forgets and never brings it up again." So many little virtues like this, we have passed on to our children. Faith. Forgiveness. Love. The true beauty of mom was her humility. It radiated from her.
She had made peace and was not afraid to die. She knew where she was going. Our comfort is that we know where she is. Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God. Mom, you will be greatly missed. We know as long as we keep your memories close to our hearts, you will always be only a thought away. Thank you for teaching us to love one another, to forgive easily and have faith that all things are possible.
A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Valley Christian Church, 3215 Echo Hills Drive, Lewiston, with a taco bar to follow - because she would like that.