“Coat of Many Colors” by Dolly Parton
“I built a construct in my mind that each of you are the pieces of fabric that our mom lovingly sewed together. So that we could cover each other and protect each other while representing the beauty in our differences. Each a unique piece of her heart and soul. One piece a thinker, another faithful, a piece with a voice, a fixer, a skilled serviceman, an entertainer, and the vital spirit of family togetherness. Keep your coat on. Even it’s exactly the same color with our names in hot, sticky vinyl letters across the chest in August” ~ Matthew Wagnon
Alice Marlene (Winfrey) Wagnon (Marlene), 72, of Overland Park, KS, passed away on January 26, 2023 in her home.
Marlene was born 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 which she loved fiercely.
Marlene had an entrepreneurial spirit, teaching her children the value of work. Whether it was making crafts for them to sell door-to-door to earn their World’s of Fun and summer pool passes or making the best cinnamon rolls, “We run our buns for you”. She had many jobs that she improved by adding her own creative flair.
Perhaps one of the most influential accomplishments is that of cofounder of The BEST Network with her daughter Audrey; which created a community of kindness and inclusion through the performing arts. She helped break down social barriers for people with disabilities through their performances at high schools, air shows, etc. They performed the National Anthem and threw in the first pitch at the Royals.
These are among the many roles Marlene had: daughter, sister, cousin, wife, mother, aunt, friend, mentor, motivator, educator, even Mrs. Claus and the best Grammalene and GiGi ever.
Marlene created magic wherever she was. These are just a few things she will be remembered for: love & laughter, popcorn & Friday Fright Night, Ricky Road, peanut butter soup, taco salad, enchilada stacks, grape tomatoes, matching clothes & and name shirts, purple, believe, Mad Hatter tea parties, fairy dust, woodland fairies, costumes & face painting, midnight runs to Taco Bell & Krispy Kreme, Face Timing, music & dancing, Chiefs viewing parties, and family & sacrifice.
Marlene was preceded in death by her parents, Bud and Margaret Winfrey and her sister Mary. She is survived by 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 any day.
Join us for a Mad Hatter tea party to celebrate Marlene’s magical life in March of 2023. Details to come.