Described as a woman “who spent her entire adult life devoting herself to her family and the church,” Marlene Schmidt Duyck ’59 received the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award. Presented annually by Valley Catholic School and the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Foundation, the award is given to graduates who excel in their life’s work, demonstrate a high standard of personal integrity, strive for excellence and live a valiant life.
The awards presentation was made in the Valiants Gym on Jan. 28 following an All-School Mass held during Catholic Schools Week. Valley Catholic School President Bob Weber noted that Catholic education has been a cornerstone of the Duyck family for the past 55 years.
As a student on campus, Marlene Schmidt was a member of the Valmarie Choir for four years and worked on both the school newspaper and yearbook. She says her fondest memories include spending time on campus with the Sisters and with her classmates, including Sr. Catherine Hertel.
Marlene and her late husband, Richard Duyck, were married for 50 years and raised four children. Two daughters graduated from high school on the SSMO campus: Melinda Duyck Sahli ’81 and Norma Duyck Wolf ’83. Son Mike, known to many in the region for his role as Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Chief, and his wife, Ann Bielke Duyck ’87, have continued the campus educational legacy. Their daughter, Kimberly, graduated from Valley Catholic in 2014. Joanna Duyck is a member of the Valley Catholic Class of 2017. Melinda Sahli’s husband, Kevin, serves on the Valley Catholic Board of Directors.
As Bob Weber noted, “Marlene knew and understood the importance of a quality Catholic education and has passed that along to her children and grandchildren.” In accepting the award, Marlene Schmidt Duyck echoed that theme, closing with two simple and heartfelt words: “Go Valiants!”