Rest in Peace, Marianne Spreng!

Marianne Spreng - crop square

The Initiatives of Change Switzerland Foundation has received the sad news of the sudden death on Saturday 21 August of Marianne Spreng, who has been a mainstay of the IofC centre at Caux for half a century.


Marianne Spreng (photo by Leela Channer)

Thousands of people from every corner of the globe have walked through the doors of Caux Palace in Switzerland to be greeted warmly by Marianne, with a kind enquiry that encouraged and nurtured.

Marianne was a self-confessed introvert, but she fought that, and her voice was clear and strong, whether welcoming people from the stage, talking to people at the dinner table or chatting in the sunshine on the terrace. 

Her name springs to mind for many, many participants and conference team members, when they recall important encounters in Caux. She was unimpeded by the switch to the virtual world brought by the pandemic and was a constant steady presence in online international meetings and events, offering her wisdom and sharp intellect through all the challenges of the last two years. 

Marianne embodied Muriel Smith’s and Ann Buckles’ song ‘The world walked into my heart‘ and her passion for people and situations all over the globe was undimmed at the age of 74. India, Italy, Ukraine, Egypt and Japan were just a few of the countries she committed to support and frequently visited. The flood of messages expressing shock and grief at the news of her death offer just a glimpse of the impact of her enduring selfless dedication to Initiatives of Change – the friendships she built, the programmes she supported, the events she made possible. Her wisdom, love of languages (and endurance as an interpreter), wit and sound instincts will be sorely missed.  

Perhaps most of all, she was a proud and joyful Swiss. She and her husband, Christoph, were a formidable partnership of love and action. Their playful relationship provided a beacon of light and hope for those around them who wanted to find a strong healthy life partnership. As we recognize her incredible contribution and the huge hole she leaves behind, we think especially of Christoph and of her sister, Monica, at this very sad time.  

The Council of the IofC Switzerland Foundation, which she served faithfully for many years, salutes both Marianne and Christoph, and honours the wonderful legacy that she, and they, have created.  

Rest in peace, Marianne.


Marianne Spreng
19.07.1947 – 21.08.2021

Memorial Service:
10 September 2021 at 01:30 pm CEST
Lukaskirche, Morgartenstr. 16, 6003 Luzern (behind the main station)
Maximum occupancy of 100 people due to Covid-19 restrictions


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