submitted 11/25/14
Randall Thomas

11/05/14  Marlene de Wet  -  South Africa  -  Hi Tech Automotive / Superformance Factory

Marlene passed away from a brief bout with cancer of only 3 weeks from when she first discovered her illness.

Marlene was 67 years of age, and now once again meeting with her husband who passed away nearly two decades before her.

Marlene was the assistant and "
right hand woman" to Hi-Tech founder and creator of the Superformance brand, Jim Price, and she was there from nearly the beginning in 1992.

The entire Hi-Tech family,
was her family. And the Superformance owners, while they may not have known it,  were her 'grandkids'.

updated 12/09/14
Ronnie Kruger

from Deborah Stander /Superformance USA:
"Marlene de Wet was Jim Price's right hand at the factory in South Africa and worked for Hi Tech as long as anyone can remember. She was fiercely loyal, forever helpful and extremely kind hearted. She was the mother of Superformance and the glue that held the Hi Tech family together. Unfortunately her long battle with Cancer ended and sadly on this night, she passed away. She has left a void that will be hard to fill and we will all miss her tremendously. Her courage and spirit will always be remembered."

from Randall Thomas /SCOF: "While I did not have the chance to know Marlene as well as I hoped to, it didn't take long to guess she was the 'Superformance Den Mother' as well as everything else that she needed to be to get the job done. After emailing Jimmy many times on things I needed, he would have Marlene reply. After a while I got curious and that's when Marlene told me that she takes care of all of Jimmy's email, so I just wrote to her instead! When we visited the factory in 2010 there were two people I had to meet. One was Jimmy's wife Denise, and the other was Marlene. I knew both had more to do with the success of Superformance than either would let on. I hunted Marlene down and finally got to meet her and gave her a hug. I was fortunate to meet both that day. I thought I would get to meet Marlene again, but I guess I'll just have to wait a little longer now. Marlene always stayed out of the spotlight and evaded my ever present camera and I never got a picture of her, so this one is very precious."

from Jim Price /HiTech Automotive
(manufacturers of the Superformance range of  authentic replica sports cars),  remembers the late Marlene de Wet with fondness and a  profound sense of loss:

"Marlene De Wet joined Hi-Tech Automotive as a receptionist / typist in March 1992. In no time at all she became an indispensable member of our small team, reporting directly to me - or should I say I mostly reported to her! For instance, on many occasions when I was abroad on business, I had to call in to the office every day from a pay phone as she considered the hotel phones too expensive - these were the days before mobile phones became  popular.

It was Randall that coined the very apt phrase "Den Mother" to describe her position at Hi-Tech. Having no children of her own and having lost her husband soon after joining us,  she virtually adopted all and sundry who came to her for advice, assistance or whatever help they needed.

Her love of animals was legendary and we had to build a small, secluded porch outside her office to shelter some feral cats that she looked after. More recently she had a tame warthog that would visit from a neighbouring farm, for his daily apple. Each and every new puppy we acquired would ritually spend their first few months coming to work with me to be looked after by "aunty Marlene" until they were old enough to look after themselves.

Without exception our dealers, customers and suppliers adored her and, quite frankly, much preferred to deal with her than with me. It was commonly accepted that if one wanted quick results she was the one to call. This is not to say she was a softy and she was very capable of putting erring colleagues, dealers or suppliers firmly in their place.

She was the ultimate "gate keeper", fiercely loyal, incredibly hardworking, super-efficient, and at the same time deeply religious and extremely compassionate. She was a positive force and left an indelible mark on everyone whose life she touched - even if only on the other end of a telephone line. Ross Henry said he would save up jokes to tell her just to hear her infectious laugh.

What I can say with confidence is that she was at peace when she left us after a long and painful battle with cancer, and was looking forward to finally join her Maker. My colleagues , my family and I will never forget this wonderful friend  to whom we owe so much...
RIP, Marlene.