Tribute paid to 'most loving and caring' Lancaster Brownie and church leader who passed away at 88

A brick that built the community of St Chad's Church, Skerton, is among the many glowing tributes that have been paid to Marlene Nisbet, who has died aged 88.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 10:00 am
Marlene Nisbet.

As a much-respected leader of the Junior Church and Brownies, as well as a loyal member of the Parochial Church Council for 50 years, it was impossible to know how many lives Marlene touched, said Rev Yvonne Wilson.

Born in Chorley in 1933, Marlene nurtured a caring instinct by joining the St John Ambulance Brigade as a teenager.

After marrying George, they moved to Lancaster when George started work at William Lawrence's mill in Halton.

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Marlene's life was built on a solid foundation of her Christian faith, so it was natural she would find friends at St Chad's Church, just over the hill from where she lived, said elder son Peter.

She was in the leadership group of the 16th Lancaster (St Chad's) Brownies from 1964 when the church opened and for more than 30 years, for much of that time as Brown Owl.

Marlene's early life was spent as a barmaid at The Shrimp pub in Morecambe and later she was secretary at Pye Motors and Atkinson's coffee merchants before starting as a clerical officer in pathology at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

In her social life she played darts at the Conservative Club and was closely associated with the Vale of Lune Rugby Club, where she started her love of country dancing. George died in 1994.

Marlene was the most loving and caring of people and always asked about other people before thinking about herself, said Peter.

She would be remembered for her love, friendship and caring nature and the world must surely miss someone as kind, compassionate and tolerant.

Marlene was secretary of the Deanery Junior Church Teachers' Association, ran the afternoon group of St Chad's Mothers' Union and was a member of the Trefoil Guild.

Yvonne Wilson thanked her for all she had done for St Chad's Church.

Marlene was one of the bricks that built St Chad's, vicar Rev Caitlin Carmichael-Davis said when she conducted the funeral at the church.

All those who heard Marlene encountered something of the grace, love and joy of God.

Marlene was good and full of light.

Marlene leaves daughter Barbara, sons Peter and Andrew, five grandsons and seven great-grandchildren.

She died in St John's Hospice on December 20 and the funeral and cremation took place on January 14.

Donations in Marlene's memory were for St Chad's Church and Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.