Sunday, June 23, 2024

Avenue of Heroes: Jeanne Lassus Marden

Written by: Cherie B. Collins (daughter)

Many fine things have come from the Napa Valley in California, including Jeanne Lassus Marden.

Marden was born on May 18, 1931, in Orland, California, and moved to Napa at 10 years old. A graduate of Napa High School class of 1949, she was the first Napa woman to join the military during the Korean War, in the largest single group of women in the San Francisco area to enlist in the Air Force in 1950.

She attended clerk-typist school at Fort F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming and was stationed at the former Hamilton Air Force Base in California while serving as a WAF, Women in the Air Force. She was honorably discharged as an airman first class when she married her husband, who also was in the Air Force. They were then stationed at the former Tachikawa Air Base in Japan and the former Winslow Air Force Station in Arizona.

When Marden moved back to Napa in 1966, she became the third woman in Napa to be hired by the U.S. Postal Service. As a dedicated mail carrier, she enjoyed being a friend, counselor, and helpmate to those on her routes. She retired from the Postal Service in 1991 and continued to live in Napa until moving to Coronado Retirement Village in 2009, where she enjoyed staying busy and having fun. She was an accomplished flower arranger, having
formal training in the Japanese style of Ikebana. She loved the artist Monet, winning at bingo and finding great bargains at garage sales.

When she passed away in September 2013, a small memorial service was held in Coronado and she was laid to rest next to her mother in Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic Cemetery in Reno, Nevada. She was the mother of five children: sons Michael Bowlin of Winters, California; Gary Bowlin of Phoenix; and Mark Marden of Napa; and daughters Kathleen Marden Cooney of Napa; and Cherie Bowlin Collins of Coronado.

Jeanne Marden was a very proud charter member of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial (now the Military Women’s Memorial), in Washington, D.C. Visiting it was on her bucket list, happily accomplished in the summer of 2008.

The Hometown Banner Program is a military service recognition program sponsored by the City of Coronado. Introduced in 2014, the program has honored 218 hometown heroes. On Nov. 5, 2022, another 12 will be honored. The City funds all the costs for the program. City staff and volunteers from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2422, the Coronado Historical Association and the Third and Fourth Streets Neighborhood Association oversee its operation. In 2011 the inspiration for the program came spontaneously with the movement of two Navy SEALs to their final resting place. News spread quickly in Coronado. The local Rotary Club passed out American flags. People lined Fourth Street to honor the fallen service members. As the procession approached the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, a lone Navy SEAL stood at attention, saluting as he waited for the passage of his comrades. At that moment, it was clear that Third and Fourth streets were already an Avenue of Heroes. From that spontaneous beginning, the program was launched in May 2015 with 18 banners. Ceremonies are held twice yearly and men and women with ties to the community have been recognized from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The Hometown Banner program is a reminder that Coronado has a rich history and legacy of service to country.

Managing Editor
Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is happy to call Coronado home and to have raised her children here. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, trying new restaurants, and just walking her dog around the "island." Have news to share? Send tips or story ideas to: [email protected]

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