Richard A. Landy, D.D.S., President
Richard A. Landy, D.D.S. is the President of the Marlene F. Landy Cancer Foundation and was
married to Marlene Landy. Richard was born in Denver, Colorado and attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, as well as the University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Dentistry. While attending dental school, he met and married Marlene Dee Friedman in 1964. After serving as a Captain in the U.S. Army Dental Corps in Ft. Huachuca, Arizona, Richard opened a private dental practice in Denver, Colorado. It was there that he and Marlene raised their three children, Brian, Ellen and Matthew. In the Spring of 2000, Marlene was diagnosed with breast cancer; and in September, 2000, Richard retired from his dental practice in order to spend time with her. He was by Marlene’s side in her fight against cancer until she passed away on August 22, 2004.
Richard currently resides in Greenwood Village, Colorado where he pursues his role as President of this foundation and other business interests, and enjoys spending time with his three children , six grandchildren and one great grandson. His main focus is to nurture the success of the Marlene F. Landy Cancer Foundation in an effort to help as many people as possible whose lives are affected by cancer.
The youngest of Marlene’s siblings, Harry Friedman learned quickly that being spoiled by a loving, caring, indulgent older sister was a very special privilege. Harry’s ongoing support of the Marlene Friedman Landy Cancer Foundation reflects his commitment to honor Marlene’s memory by helping others who are fighting the battle against cancer. After attending the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Harry lived and worked in Kansas City for several years before moving to Los Angeles in 1971 to pursue a career in television. Within a year he was writing for the original “Hollywood Squares” TV series, eventually rising through the ranks to become one of the show’s producers. In 1995, Harry was hired by Sony Pictures Television and served as Executive Producer of the two highest-rated TV shows in syndication, “Wheel Of Fortune “and “Jeopardy!” until his retirement in 2020. His work as a writer and producer earned him 19 Emmy Awards, the TV Academy’s Lifetime Achievement award, a Peabody Award and, in 2019, a Star on The Hollywood Walk Of Fame.
Harry and his wife Judy have been married since 1973 and are the proud parents of two accomplished daughters, Amy Shelby and Leslie Boyce. Amy is married to Dax Shelby. They have two children, a daughter Ayla and a son, Zander. Ayla’s middle name is Marin, chosen to honor Marlene’s blessed memory. Leslie is married to Devin Boyce and they live in Denver with their daughter Emerson.
Judy Friedman, M.A.
Judy Friedman, herself a cancer survivor, has always been most passionate about helping others discover and achieve ways to enhance their own well-being. During her professional career, she designed worksite programs to help employees stay healthy and energized on the job, by exploring ways to make wise lifestyle choices, including effective ways of balancing career and family.
Having a strong interest in spreading the wellness word to the community, Judy co-founded the Valley Wellness Association, a forum for health clinicians, human resource and employee assistance professionals to network, share expertise and obtain continuous education to improve the health and well-being of the community and worksite populations.
Now retired from the professional world, Judy is an active volunteer, serving on several nonprofit boards. She is also involved with the healthy aging population. She creates and implements programs for her synagogue and local community that enable seniors to live their
lives with energy, vitality and a strong sense of purpose. Judy holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychotherapy from Loyola Marymount University and Bachelor’s Degree from UCLA.
Ellen Rae Landy, M.A.
Ellen Rae Landy, M.A. is Marlene’s middle child and only daughter.
Ellen Landy was born in Huntsville, Alabama but grew up in Denver, Colorado where she proudly attended, and graduated from, the Denver Public Schools. She then ventured off to Fort Collins, Colorado where she earned an Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy with a minor in English from Colorado State University. Shortly thereafter, she earned a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Denver. She also has extensive post graduate training in professional counseling from Regis University as well as a Paralegal Certificate from Arapahoe Community College.
Ellen currently resides in Denver, Colorado with her husband, Peter Hemley, two of her three beautiful children: Marlon and Dyson, and two awesome dogs: Columbia Princess Yum Yum and Sully Riff Raff. Ellen’s oldest child, Athena, also lives in Denver with her magnificent child (Ellen’s grandchild) Axolotl Olowan. In addition to being a stay-at-home mom and doting grandma, Ellen is an owner and manager a small business, tutors college students, and substitute teaches middle and high school students with special needs. She is very excited to dedicate her free time, in honor of her Mother, to the Marlene F. Landy Cancer Foundation.
Nicole "Nikki" Vitkus
Nicole “Nikki” Vitkus was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, but spent her formative
years in Knoxville, Iowa. She graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Science degree and Certificate of Dental Hygiene before relocating to Denver, Colorado.
After retiring from Dental Hygiene, Nikki became the Administrative Manager for The Center For Relationship Education, a non-profit that teaches youth the skills needed to have healthy relationships. Currently, she enjoys the position of “Nana” to her 3 grandchildren. When not working she enjoys biking, bridge, reading, travel and sharing adventures with her family.
Nikki has been married to Wayne Vitkus for 47 years. They have two children, Ryan and Alison, who live in the Denver area with their families.
Peggy is a retired Exercise Therapist who enjoys helping people enhance their lives as they age through exercise . She is happily married to David for 58 years. They have 3 children and 6 grandchildren.
Born and raised in Denver, CO, she attended University of Oklahoma and University of CO . The Marks family have lived in Los Angeles, CA, London England, Ridgefield Ct., and currently Denver CO, and Carlsbad CA where they spend the winter months.
Peggy attended school to become an Occupational Therapist Assistant and was a Board Member for the Star Institute and Sensory Processing Disorder organization in Greenwood Village, CO . Helping people of all ages with physical and emotional disabilities is her passion.
In 2004, Peggy’s Mother, Selma Gordon, then 87 yrs. old, was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and survived to be 2 weeks away from her 100th birthday. In 2005, Peggy was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, and in 2006, her daughter Debra Nichols was also diagnosed with Breast Cancer. All 3 are survivors of the disease due to early diagnosis and good treatment. Her desire is to help others in any way she can who are facing obstacles and need support through their disease process.
About the Foundation
The Marlene F. Landy Cancer foundation was established in memory of Marlene Landy – a beautiful, educated, 62 year old mother and grandmother who lived in Denver, Colorado and was originally stricken by breast cancer at age 58. Marlene passed away after her breast cancer metastasized to her other vital organs in 2004, but her legacy lives on in her family and in the Foundation.
Since the Landy family founded the Marlene F. Landy Cancer foundation in 2008, many other concerned individuals have rallied around the concept of helping those battling cancer and are serving as Board Members or support volunteer workers. The mission of the Foundation is to help not only those struggling with cancer, but also their families – through both financial assistance and health education.
The members and volunteers of the Marlene F. Landy Cancer Foundation are a hard-working group, united in the purpose of helping individuals and families who need assistance in their fight against cancer. We are proud of the accomplishments achieved thus far, but can always do more with your help. Donations are gratefully accepted, and we also encourage anyone to join the team and help spread the word about the mission we have set out to attain.
For those who may qualify to receive a gift from the Foundation, please contact us via email, phone or mail. Each situation is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. As the Foundation grows, so too will the ability to expand our financial assistance program.
We are extremely careful with the money that you have entrusted to the Foundation through your donations. It is our goal that your monetary contributions directly reach families in need. To date, this goal has been achieved through funding provided by the Board Members and Marlene’s family, covering all administration and overhead costs. In the future, additional volunteers and discretionary spending will ensure that this concept continues.
The Marlene F. Landy Cancer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. This designation is given by the U.S. Treasury department after full evaluation of the structure and intent of the entity. The Marlene F. Landy Cancer Foundation was approved as such in October of 2008. All contributions made to the organization are tax deductible.
To make a donation to the Foundation, visit our donations page.