Marlene King, 55, the wife of the Rev. Eric King, pastor of St. Matthews-New Life UMC in Baltimore, died from breast cancer Nov. 30, 2015. Her memorial service was held Dec. 4 at Mt. Zion UMC in Highland with the Rev. Joan Carter Rimbach officiating. The eulogy was given by the Rev. Mark R. Nolan.
Marlene Beverly Pusey was born Sept. 30, 1959, in Clarendon, Jamaica, the oldest daughter of the late Aston Samuel and Vioris (Gilfillian) Pusey. She came to the U.S. when she was 13. Her education included Montgomery Community College, Sojourner College and Morgan State University.
She and the Rev. Eric King married in 1985. While he pastored Ames UMC in Bel Air, 1998-2003, New Life UMC in Baltimore, 2004-2009; New Life-St. Matthews Cooperative Parish until 2012; and in January 2015, Metropolitan in West Baltimore, she was First Lady, advocating for the fulfillment of spiritual and social values for girls and women.
King also worked in various venues, including Johns Hopkins University, the American Red Cross and the University of Maryland on health policy and in the Department of Physical Therapy. After becoming a heart patient in 1998, she served as a heart health advocate and spokesperson for the American Heart Association.
King was first diagnosed in 2008 and since then had a lumpectomy, a double-mastectomy, and had undergone breast reconstructive surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. In July 2012 she was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic cancer, which had spread to her chest wall, lungs and sternum
King was president of The Journey Continues Breast Cancer Organization and a board member of METAvivor Research & Support, Inc. She was a well-known speaker and advocate on breast cancer. In 2012, she was told she only had a few months to live, but she was determined to stay the course and fight.
And fight she did. In late 2014, the Baltimore Examiner quoted her, “I am still here; still fighting for my life, and still holding on to hope.” She added, “I thank God every day for waking me up. It’s something you think about and are really grateful for when you don’t have that much longer to live. I am not a cancer survivor, but a cancer warrior. I will continue to fight. Either way it will be alright.”
Survivors include her husband of 30 years, the Rev. Eric King, sons Eric King II of New York, Bryant King and Aston King, both of Baltimore; two grandchildren and several siblings as well as a number of nieces and nephews and great nephews and great nieces.
Condolences may be sent to Rev. Eric King, 3912 Clarinth Road, Baltimore, MD 21215-2406.
Memorial donations may be made to The Journey Continues Breast Cancer Support Organization, 1200 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21223.