Marlene Michael
Marlene Michael
  • July 20, 1929 - August 28, 2017
  • Pontotoc, Mississippi

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Pontotoc, MS 38863
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Under the care of family and her doctors, Mrs. Marlene Griffin Michael of Pontotoc, MS died on Monday, August 28, 2017. She was 88 years old.

Marlene is survived by her devoted husband, Carl Michael; her sister, Wilma Chittom of Pontotoc, MS; her stepchildren, Linda Engholm of Elizabethtown, KY and Lisa Racine of Arnprior, Ontario, Canada; her ten grandchildren; her ten great-grandchildren; and her many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents, Marlin Kellon "M.K." Griffin and Sue Stanford Griffin; two brothers, Max Griffin and M.K. Griffin, Jr.; sisters, Clarice Duff, Velma Long, Grace Dandbridge, Estelle Henry, and Elsie Blank; and stepson, Mark Michael.

Marlene was born on July 20, 1929 in Pontotoc, MS to Sue and M.K. After graduating from Blue Mountain College in 1951, she began her teaching career in Houston, MS before deciding to pursue her Master's in Education at the University of Mississippi. Once completed in 1970, Marlene resumed her career as a teacher at Pontotoc Elementary School. She was a respected educator of influence, earning distinction as an Outstanding Elementary Teacher of America in 1965. During this time, she was active in her church, First Baptist of Pontotoc. She also traveled, earned her pilot's license, and even once flew the Goodyear Blimp. It was from this period of her life that Marlene would reflect often and share with pride the stories of her students and experiences with her family and friends.

After 31 years of teaching, she retired in 1987. However, she continued her dedication to public service by working as the inaugural secretary for the Pontotoc Chamber of Commerce. It is there that she met Carl, whom she wed in 1995. At the age of 66, Marlene's life took on a new period of travel with Carl and her sisters, including memorable trips across the United States and devotion to family as she welcomed its increases through the marriage of grandchildren and the birth of many great-grandchildren, for whom she demonstrated particular affection.

In 2015, after several years of struggling with Alzheimer's, Marlene and Carl relocated to Elizabethtown, KY. And it is there that she passed away peacefully. According to Emerson, the purpose of life is "to make it have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well." Marlene will be missed but also remembered for having lived well.

A visitation is scheduled for 5-8pm on Thursday, Aug. 31 at Browning Funeral Home in Pontotoc with a funeral to follow at 11am on Friday, Sept. 1 at First Baptist of Pontotoc. Dr. Ken Hester of First Baptist of Pontotoc will officiate the ceremony and Rev. Rob Chittom will deliver the eulogy. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Marlene's life. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Marlene's name to First Baptist of Pontotoc or Alzheimer's Association at

Pallbearers will be Walter Chittom, Sam Long, Randy Long, George Duff, Al Duff and Don Russell.

Browning Funeral Home in Pontotoc is in charge of the arrangements.

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