ABOUT - Renew | Repurpose


Hello, my name is Marlys Johnson. I am a speaker and award-winning writer with a deep affection for words. Oh, and list-making. I’ve been known to complete a task and add it to my list for the sheer pleasure of checking it off. I know, pathetic.


Oct 2014 – six weeks before Gary died

After my husband’s cancer diagnosis, we established a non-profit and presented our living-well-with-late-stage-disease message in all regions of the country at a variety of venues: rotary clubs, churches, medical conferences, survivorship luncheons, to nursing students, and in cancer centers.

A member of Oregon Christian Writers and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association with more than ten years speaking experience, I have been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul and a handful of national publications. I’m also a contributing writer for several national and international web-based organizations and online magazines.

Widowed since November 2014, I have four pertinacious (in a good way), crazy fun adult children—two born to me, two who married into my family—and six delightful, genius grandchildren, three adopted from Uganda.

My home is in Bend, Oregon where, after taking an early retirement from St. Charles Cancer Center, my spare time is filled with hiking, snowshoeing, reading, knitting fuzzy things for people I love, and sipping Chai tea.

I have a passion for repurposing old junk into cool new stuff. And an even greater passion for helping people navigate the hard and holy moments, having negotiated a few myself.

About Me

Hello, my name is Marlys Johnson. I’m a speaker, award-winning writer, cancer widow, and Chai tea snob. I love getting outdoors; would rather lace up hiking boots than go shopping. I have a passion for encouraging people to live well in the hard and holy moments of life. With heart wide open.

Read More