Marlene Monzón (born Marlene Peña Bejarano), 83, died peacefully of natural causes at home on July 6, 2021.She was born on April 9, 1938, in Tuluá, Colombia, the daughter of Teodoro Peña Jimenez and María Laura Bejarano.Marlene married Norman Oliver Palomino and moved to Cali, Colombia. They had two children, María Elena and Diego Fernando Palomino. After her husband’s premature death, she was widowed at the age of twenty. Marlene was certified as a secretary, a profession which she loved and worked in for the rest of her life.She migrated to the U.S. in 1967 where she met and married Julio Santos Monzón, from Cuba, with whom she returned to Colombia to settle. They had twin daughters, Elizabeth and María Dolores Monzón.After divorcing, she became a single mother to two teens and two toddlers.In the U.S., she worked for the DPSS, later transferring to the California U.C. system, where she worked as coordinator of graduate student affairs in the Spanish and Portuguese Departments at U.C.L.A. and later at U.C.I., where she retired. Marlene enjoyed sewing, cooking, literature, playing cards, and especially spending time with her family. Helping to raise her grandchildren brought her tremendous joy and purpose. She is survived by her sister, Mercedes Vargas Peña, her children, María Elena Palomino, Diego Fernando Palomino, María Dolores Eckinger and Liza García, son-in-laws Dr. Paul Martin Eckinger and Dr. Ramiro Xavier García, and grandchildren Karina García, Kristina Rashell Windsor, Fernando Javier Palomino, Andrés Camilo Palomino, Joanna Christina Palomino, Alexander Paul Eckinger, Sophia Elizabeth Eckinger and three great-grandsons Ethan James and Owen Lee Windsor, and newborn Lewis Xavier Windsor. A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, July 31st at 4pm. Join us livestream via zoom athttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/86090579755. As an expression of sympathy and in her loving memory, memorial contributions may be made to pjcc.org/pink, an organization serving women and Latinas recovering from breast cancer.
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