Marianne Wessling-Resnick (Wessling), 61, a longtime resident of Boxborough, MA, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family and closest friends on Tuesday November 12, 2019 after a long and very courageous battle with cancer.
She is survived by her loving husband of 35 years, Paul Resnick and her son Timothy Wessling-Resnick, both of Boxborough, her father Francis W. Wessling of Andover, MA, sister Patricia Dane and her husband Stephen Dane of Reading, MA, sister Laura Erazo and her husband Dimas Erazo of North Andover, MA, brother David Wessling and his wife Kristin Wessling of South Berwick, ME, sister Virginia Wessling, and closest friends Kathleen and Michael Murphy of Westford, MA. Her loving mother Mary (Johnson) Wessling predeceased her. She is also survived by many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
Marianne was born in Winthrop, MA and grew up in the North Shore towns of Wakefield, Saugus, and Melrose, MA, and was a 1976 graduate of Saugus High School.
Marianne received a BS in chemistry from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1980, an MS in biophysics and theoretical biology from the University of Chicago, and a PhD in biomedical sciences from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1988. She held a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School before joining the Harvard Chan School (formerly Harvard School of Public Health) in 1990 as Assistant Professor of Nutrition. She was promoted to Associate Professor of Nutrition in 1995 and to Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry in 2000, when she became the Department of Nutrition’s first tenured woman faculty member. In 2003, she became a foundational tenured faculty member in the newly formed Department of Molecular Metabolism, which focuses on metabolic regulation and stress response. Marianne had been a member of the PhD Program in Biological Sciences in Public Health since 1994, serving as its director from 2010 to 2014. She was also previously the director of the Division of Biological Sciences and a member of the Program in Quantitative Genomics.
Marianne was a very valuable member and colleague of the Harvard faculty during her esteemed academic career. She was especially well-known as a dedicated and caring mentor to the faculty, staff, and students with whom she worked and was awarded the School’s Junior Faculty Mentoring Award in 2013 and the Committee for the Advancement of Women Faculty (CAWF) Mentoring Award earlier this year. In presenting her with this award, CAWF wrote, “Dr. Wessling-Resnick has had a major positive impact on the careers of many faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and students. She is a generous coach to those under her mentorship who have difficult decisions to make, and she is especially appreciated for the understanding and respect she shows for colleagues and mentees balancing their roles as caregivers and professionals.” Marianne was a “pillar of the community” at the Harvard Chan School for many years.
Marianne was a loving, dedicated, and selfless wife and mother. Marianne loved outdoor activities including hiking, camping, fishing, bicycling, and canoeing. She, with her husband loved to travel and ‘rough it," camping out in several of the large National Parks in the west and California, and stopping to visit her late grandmother Celia Dearborn and late uncle Roy Johnson, at their homes in beautiful Salida, CO. She loved the White Mountains of New Hampshire where as a child she visited her grandparent’s small family owned ski area in Jackson, NH many times. She and her husband climbed Mt. Washington on their honeymoon, and with her husband, and son would spend many happy summer vacations in the White Mountains and on Cape Cod.
No immediate services will be held, details on a memorial event to honor Marianne will be forthcoming. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the American Cancer Society. To share a memory or offer a condolence, visit: https://actonfuneralhome.com.