MARLEEN EBENHARDT, 91, passed away on May 7, 2022, after a progressive battle with dementia and heart disease. She was born in Poland on February 15, 1931, the daughter of Kazimierz and Krystyna Kaczanowski and the youngest of 6 children.
In 1944, as the Second World War escalated, Marleen was taken from her native homeland with her family by the Nazis and enslaved in German labor camps until the end of the war. She and her family were liberated and placed into a displaced persons camp in Braunschweig, Germany after the war, where she remained for 5 years until being sponsored by an American citizen to come to the United States.
She settled in New Jersey and married her husband, Eugene Konopka, also a native of Poland, with whom she had three children, Kenneth, Theresa and Dana. With little education but a hard-working spirit, they both worked multiple jobs while raising their family. They instilled in their children the will to succeed and stressed the importance of education. They moved to Largo, Florida, in 1972 and owned and operated the “Whispering Pines Motel” for nearly a decade, at which time Marleen retired. After nearly 47 years of marriage, her beloved Eugene passed away in May, 1998, at the age of 73.
In 2003, Marleen married her loving Wilhelm Ebenhardt, also a widower, with whom she and Eugene, along with Wilhelm’s former wife, had been friends for decades. In 2015, she and Wilhelm relocated to Melbourne, Florida. They lived together until Marleen’s admission into the Memory Care Unit at Sonata East. Wilhelm passed just one week prior to Marleen’s passing.
Marleen had a beautiful singing voice and was frequently asked to get on stage with the band at the polish club to sing. She loved people, had a wonderful smile and a warm, welcoming heart, a great sense of humor and knew how to enjoy life. She enjoyed dancing every Sunday at the Polish club. She was an excellent cook but had no recipes. She loved her family and was proud of her children and grandchildren. She was deeply loved and will be greatly missed by her friends and family.
Marleen is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Kenneth and Patt Konopka, her daughter and son-in-law, Theresa and Keith Howard, her daughter, Dana Krolick, three grandchildren, Diana Konopka, Matthew Krolick and Alex Krolick and one great-grandson, August Larson.
A Funeral Mass will be held 1:30 P.M. Saturday, May 14, 2022 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church 5655 Stadium Parkway Viera, Florida 32940. Following the Funeral Mass, entombment will take place 3:00 P.M. at Florida Memorial Gardens Cemetery 5950 US-1 Rockledge, Florida 32955.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Marleen (Kaczanowski) Ebenhardt, please visit our floral store.