Marlene MacLellan

Marlene Heather MacLellan

1947 - 2024

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Obituary of Marlene Heather MacLellan

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Marlene Heather MacLellan (nee Ferguson) of Sutherland’s River Pictou County Nova Scotia, she departed this life peacefully while at home surrounded by her loving family on January 18th, 2024 at the age of 76.


She is survived by her husband, William Arthur MacLellan; daughters Melissa Patriquin (Jason), Melanie Cameron (Adam) and son Adam MacLellan (Carla) as well as her grandchildren: Sophie & Mason Patriquin, Leo Cameron, Otto, Claire, & George Gaeschlin MacLellan; and sister Nancy. Pre-decreased by her infant son Darryl, her parents Jean and David Ferguson, and sister Beverly.


Marlene was born in Hardwood Hill and moved to Stellarton at a young age. She graduated from Stellarton High school in 1964 .  Marlene had a genuine passion for life-long learning. As a mother of three, she graduated from Saint Francis Xavier University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Education degree. She also completed a pharmaceutical technician program and attended Gaelic classes at St. Anne’s Gaelic Collage.


Her husband, William (Billy) was her high school sweetheart and they were married for 56 years. Marlene was an accomplished Piper. She joined the Balmoral Pipes and Drum band at the age of 14, then as an adult played with the Fraser Holmes Memorial Ladies Pipe band, and most recently with the Na Gaisgich Pipes and Drums. She played the pipes for 64 years of her life and most Saturday mornings began with their familiar sound at her Sutherland’s River home.


Marlene was an original member of the first Women alike ABreast a River Dragon boat team and paddled with them for close to 20 years. She enjoyed many travels and adventures with the dragon boat team and her pipe bands including: British Columbia where she competed in the Victoria Dragon Boat festival; California where she marched in the Pasadena Rose Bowl Parade; Virginia Beach where she participated in the International Tattoo; and while on a trip with Billy to Scotland, even played the pipes at Loch Ness to see if Nessy might emerge from the water.


Anyone who had met Marlene would know she was unfailingly kind and cheerful. She always walked her own path with a smile. She was a tenacious survivor who fought three rounds with cancer. She never complained or shed a tear,  always positive that she would win the battle.


Marlene was a quiet and incredibly humble person.  She had travelled to Scotland with the Canadian Massed Pipes and Drums and had the honor of playing at Balmoral castle. When she arrived home from her trip she simply said she had great time. In her typically modest way she did not even mention that she had in fact been chosen to represent the group and personally meet Queen Elizabeth II. No one in the family knew that had happened until Billy found a photo in her suitcase of her and the Queen together.


Marlene’s personal caregivers, Faye Acorn and Michelle Burns and many VON nurses were unbelievably kind and supportive during Marlene’s final years. We would like to express our sincere and heartfelt gratitude to all of them. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Telford Cemetery Association (PO Box 453 Stellarton B0K 1S0), the Alzheimer society of Nova Scotia, or the Victorian Order of Nurses. A visitation will be held on Saturday January 27st from 2-4 pm at the P & K MacDonald funeral home. A celebration of her life will take place at a later time.

Lovingly written by family.



2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Saturday, January 27, 2024
P & K MacDonald Funeral Home Limited
536 Merigomish Road , P.O. Box 215
New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Canada