Marlene Kay Whitbeck Leavitt passed away on September 29, 2020 at her home with her loving daughters by her side. She was 87 years old.
Marlene was born to the late Roland Ansil Whitbeck and Violet Mae Whitbeck on September 5, 1933, in Lorain, Ohio. She graduated from Lorain High School and attended Kent State University in Kent, Ohio
In the early years of her life she enjoyed modeling and was crowned “Miss Vacationland” in 1953 in Lorain, Ohio. She then went on to compete in the Miss Ohio Pageant. Marlene was known for her great sense of style and her radiant smile.
While wintering with her parents at The Kay Ann, their small family owned beach hotel in Fort Lauderdale, she met the love of her life James L. Leavitt. She caught his eye as she sat in her drop top pink Cadillac. After receiving permission from her father, Jim asked for a date. After a short courtship, Marlene & Jim married in Lorain, Ohio on July 31, 1954. They settled in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to live and raise a family.
Her husband Jim served the city of Fort Lauderdale as a commissioner from 1959 to 1973. He served as Mayor during his ﬁnal term. Her greatest joy was being a wife and mother and supporting Jim in his political aspirations. Marlene and Jim remained married until his death in 1991. They were active members of the First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale.
Marlene loved to paint and had an enormous love of all God’s creatures. Known as “GG” to her GGs (great grandsons), she cherished every moment with them. She felt the best place on earth was at home with her family.
She is survived by her daughters, Dana Lynn Leavitt-Holland and Dawn Kay Leavitt Stitt (Terry); her two Grandsons, Brian George Stitt and Gregory James Stitt (Tessa); and her two Great Grandsons, Austin Reece Stitt and Hudson Miller Stitt. She was predeceased by her parents and her sister Patricia Ann Kenney (Donald).
There will be a private graveside service in Fort Lauderdale at Lauderdale Memorial Park attended by family. In lieu of ﬂowers, the family has requested donations be made to The Humane Society or Trustbridge Hospice Care Services
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