Activist remembered

Red Deer has lost a tremendous and admirable citizen.

Marlin Styner, 51, passed away Feb. 28 in a Calgary hospital after falling ill three years ago.

Styner grew up in Red Deer and graduated from Lindsay Thurber High School. In 1995 he was inducted into The Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School Hall of Fame.

In 1981, Styner was involved in an accident that left him as a quadriplegic. But his disability didn’t stop him from being a strong advocate in a number of areas including with the Canadian Paraplegic Society and the Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities, to name but two among many.

As a media outlet, speaking with Styner and his wife Diane was always a pleasure.

He was tireless. His dedication to this community shone through. Marlin could be seen at a variety of events and community functions whether it was political, for fundraising purposes or social and culture happenings – Marlin was really a fixture on the local scene.

He was a very passionate person. In our experience, through interviews over the years, he was honest and accessible and we could always count on him to speak his mind, but yet be fair and reasoned in his responses.

Marlin and Diane were always together and you could really see the admiration and mutual respect they had for one another. Diane has said she didn’t take care of Marlin, he took care of her, which really speaks to the type of relationship they shared.

Marlin had such a passion for persons with disabilities and was a strong advocate for them. He chose to adopt this perspective after his accident as a means to give back and to educate others. He could have easily faded into a quiet life, which would have been perfectly understandable, but he became a strong voice not only for persons with disabilities but a strong voice for the community in general.

A celebration of life will take place March 10 at the Sheraton Hotel at 2 p.m.

Marlin loved Red Deer and you could get a sense of that anytime you saw him. He was just a real joy to be around and will be missed.