MARYSVILLE City leaders and community members turned out in droves to remember long-time resident and civil servant Lillie Lein at memorial services July 13.
Lein was an assistant city clerk who passed away July 9 from the effects of an aneurysm.
A Chicago native, Lein was remembered as a energetic and loyal worker who devoted countless hours to her favorite charities, the Marysville Community Food Bank and Operation Marysville Community Christmas.
The overflow crowd at Marysville United Methodist Church heard co-workers and family recount tales of the soft-spoken Lein and her commitment to making others feel comfortable. Perhaps it was the fact that Leins mother passed away when she was two-and-a-half years old and was given to foster parents to raise her that made her sensitive to the needs of others.
My mom just had this way of seeing us in a way no one else could see us, her daughter Melissa said. Most of what I know about grace and forgiveness and unconditional love I learned from my mom.
Co-workers recalled Lein telling stories as she worked and getting visits from her children on hot summer days. Chief Administrative Officer Mary Swenson recalled hiring Lein in 1992. During the next 13 years Lein would be Swensons secretary and no question from a member of the public was too small for her to answer. The citizens were the winners with Lein at City Hall, and Swenson said many people have called to express their feelings about Lein. One of Leins hallmarks was that she took pains to make everyone welcome.
Its going to be hard to imagine any day at City Hall without her there, said Marysville Public Information Officer Doug Buell, who recalled meeting her as a reporter before joining the city staff a couple of years later. They worked together at OMCC, where Buell was tasked with collecting toys from the ubiquitous red collection barrels.
He remembered his former co-worker for her dedication for her work, attention to detail and passion for doing things the correct way. In the end she made everyone look good and everyone did their jobs better because of her, Buell said.
Christmas was a special time for Lein and she started shopping early and often for holiday, with a plan for what she would put on lay-a-way. If someone showed up at her household unannounced they would likely get a gift, Swenson noted. Many times Lein would buy and wrap a gift early in the year and forget what it was come holiday time.
Lillie was one of those people who were born with two doses of energy, not just one, pastor David Biles said.
Lein was a member of the church for more than 20 years and taught Sunday school and vacation Bible school there.
Lein was born Lillie Clopp on Chicago, Ill. She is survived by four children, seven grandchildren and a twin sister.
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