Maralee Carol Muscato, 40, of Denver, Colorado (formerly of Bloomington, IN) passed away peacefully on October 20, 2023, surrounded by her loving family. Maralee was born September 2, 1983, in Dallas, Texas, the beloved daughter of Frank and Karen (Sumner) Muscato. In 1994, the family relocated to Bloomington to be near Karen’s folks and extended family. Maralee graduated from Bloomington High School South (2002) where she enjoyed participating in cross country and playing violin in the Hoosier Youth Philharmonic, directed by her favorite high school mentor, Jane Gouker. Maralee attended Butler University, where she met two life-long dear friends, Rose and Katie. In 2006, she graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. From there, in her words, the mountains were calling. She moved to Denver, CO and after completing a Master of Arts degree in 2008 from the University of Denver, she became a licensed professional counselor. Maralee spent her first 10 years at WellPower (formerly the Mental Health Center of Denver) providing direct therapy support to underserved populations. She loved her profession and felt it was her life’s mission. Along the way, she combined her therapist experience and vision for program design, to help redesign and lead the organization’s Dialectical and Behavioral Therapy (DBT) program. This sparked her interest in clinical quality improvement. In January 2022, she moved into the Quality Systems department, where she worked on clinical workflow design, training, and implementation guides. Maralee felt that she was very lucky to work with such devoted, talented, and kind people at WellPower. She always enjoyed time spent with her colleagues and appreciated all that she learned from them.
Maralee lived her life with a curious and adventurous spirit. She loved to travel, and always documented her family and friend trips with photos of special moments and yummy foods. She was an avid reader, a blossoming artist, and an aromatherapy enthusiast. With a strong tie to her spiritual side, she studied what she would teasingly refer to as “hippy-dippy” stuff – astrology, the moon, gemstones, and crystals. Rainy days were her favorite, and were often spent reading, with her beloved cat, Banjo, cozy on her lap.
Beyond her life’s work and pleasures, Maralee was a most loving daughter, sis to Jonathan and sis-in-law to Holly of Bloomington, sis to Jamie and sis-in-law to Sonya, of Tallahassee, Florida, and aunt to Noah, Mila, Payton, and Kaleb. She was a loving and loyal friend to her entire Colorado “family,” a wide circle of colleagues and friends that live with authenticity and caring. Maralee often spoke of how blessed she felt by their love and friendship. To all of you, and especially to Laura & Leo and family, Berit, Kari, Jen, Jenny, Amanda, Jill, Jackie, Jenna, Lauren & Guthrie and family, Lauren W and Patrick, Redd and Clair, Melanie, Rhonda, Alexa, Ryan – you will always remain a part of our hearts.
Maralee also leaves behind extended family whom she adored – her aunts Cathy, Patty, and Carole; her uncle Gary, and her cousins Deanna (and family), Gary (and family), Mike, and Steve.
Maralee was preceded in death by her grandparents, Clyde and Mary Esther Sumner, Frank and Leola Muscato, her beloved Aunt Carol Muscato and cousins Richard, Denise and Dave. She was also preceded in death by her boyfriend, Jason “Jay” Hench, who succumbed to cancer in 2020. Jay was Maralee’s great love, and she said he demonstrated to her what love should be like.
A celebration of Maralee’s life will be held on Sunday, May 19, 2024, in Evergreen, Colorado. Memories of Maralee may be shared at www.horancares.com. The family suggests in lieu of flowers, a small donation be made to Denver Hospice, a charity of your choice, or to simply perform an act of kindness to someone in need. Maralee would love that.
Maralee’s family and friends want to thank all the wonderful healthcare men and women of University of Colorado Anschutz Hospital and Cancer Pavilion, as well as Swedish Hospital Denver. There are too many to name, but your work is beyond appreciated.