Marley Burden (nee Betty Marlene Smith) was born June 27, 1943, to Betty & Clare Smith and big sister, Loralee, of Toronto, Ontario. She came to BC in 1964 to complete her Education degree at UBC, and met the love of her life, George. They married in 1966, lived in Kitimat for their first year of teaching, settled in White Rock where they raised their family, and then moved to Cloverdale in 1993.
Marley was a beloved elementary school teacher, both classroom and music, retiring in 2004. She was on staff at Carillon Music for a time, and taught private music lessons from her home, right up until April 2023.
Marley was very involved in the music ministry of her local church, both in White Rock and Cloverdale, playing piano, organ, and keyboard, singing, and conducting children’s and adults’ choirs. She sang with the Lyric Singers and Trinity Western University’s Masterworks Choir for many years.
Marley loved people and prioritized her family and friends, seeing everything she did as an opportunity to connect and build relationships. She delighted in having guests to their home, or planning outings and activities - her calendar was always full.
Marley lived life to the full, despite facing multiple health challenges over the past 12 years. When recurrent cancer was discovered on May 31, she bravely faced her treatments options, but wouldn’t let this keep her from celebrating her birthday. The extended family gathered for a wonderful time together, creating memories which will be treasured always. After hearing that her June 28 surgery was a success, Marley suffered a series of postoperative complications which proved insurmountable. On July 16, 2023, Marley passed away at Royal Columbian Hospital, her devoted husband, George, and daughter, Taralyn, by her side.
Marley was predeceased by her sister, Loralee Monro, who passed away July 3, 2023.
Marley will be dearly missed by her husband, George, her children Sher (Jim) Wetzel, Taralyn Hardy, and Brent (Priscilla) Burden; her grandchildren Daniel (Kairi) Poznekoff, Tiana (Nick) Aschenbrenner, Dylan Johnson, Ben (Jett) Labrash, and Isaiah Hardy, and her great-grandchildren Alexei & Elena Poznekoff and Silas & Oliver Aschenbrenner.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday August 23, 2023, at 1:30 PM at Cloverdale Baptist Church, 18685 64 Ave., Surrey, BC.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Canadian Cancer Society or to Peace Arch Hospital Foundation, in Marley’s name.
Marley will no doubt be praising the Lord eternally in song and perhaps a heavenly instrument. The hearts of all of us who knew and were touched by her life, will be saddened at her earthly loss. May the Lord sustain and uphold George and all her family and friends. Weeping only lasts for the night, but joy comes in the morning!
Marley dedicated many hours to piano accompany "The Friendship Singers" of White Rock Baptist Church; we were privileged to be members. Her patience; good humour; wonderful personality resonated at every rehearsal. George was so gracious, attended our concerts, and so supportive of Marley. Our deepest sympathy, as you grieve.
Marlee was a much loved second soprano for many years in Lyric Singers. She was positive, helpful and a leader in her section. As choir director I often relied on her for entries because she knew her music so well. I know we will all dearly miss the friendship we had with her. Rest in Peace my friend.
We were shocked to hear of Marley's passing. We had many wonderful piano recitals at Marley & George's home. Marley had a way of making everyone feel so special, and she was wonderful at bringing people together. She also became a dear friend over the years too. Sending our deepest condolences to George and the family. With love, Norb, Rachel & Zach Diesing
We are so sorry for the family and friends loss. Our prayers are for you
I miss my friend everyday. I know she is in a great place imagine all the wonderful people she will have met already Thinking of all the family at this time My thoughts and prayers are with you all