Marilyn was born and grew up on a farm surrounded by cornfields and babbling brooks in the beautiful countryside of Milan, Ohio. She was a fine student and cheerleader for the Milan High School Basketball Team of 1953. After marrying Glenn, they eventually settled in the early 1960’s as permanent residents in their beloved Stow community (Scott: Class of ‘75 and Cindy: Class of ‘73). Marilyn was devoted to public service: a lifetime as a well loved and respected minister in the local congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, both an avid student as well as a dedicated Bible teacher to the community. Also, Marilyn had 22 years of service with the Stow Police Department as a Crossing Guard for Stow City Schools. She donated regularly to the Akron Food Bank.
Marilyn loved the sun, working in her yard, sitting on her porch watching the birds. She loved the beach vacations, the ocean, finding sea shells and making art out of them, painting became a favorite pastime and laughing with her family and friends was her favorite all the time. Even as her memory began to escape her, she maintained her grace, her dignity, her humor and her kindhearted interest in others. She taught me the importance of living my life with dignity, honor and respect as the keys. To treat others with such, and to never accept less for myself.
On Saturday, April 4, 2020 Marilyn and Glenn (Dad had just died on November 21, 2019) were finally laid to rest, together, in a private family graveside service. They are near their beloved son, my beloved brother, Scott, who preceded them both in death in March of 2000.
Mom and Dad were delighted by the love shown to them over their many years in care facilities, by the warm visits, the special handmade gifts, the cards, notes and .... the chocolates! My children and their beautiful families, the grandchildren and great grandchildren, were a source of true joy with every loving, happy moment they got to spend together, as they always took time out of their busy lives to show love, honor and respect for two very treasured people in their lives. The acts of loving kindness on the part of the countless dear friends from the Stow Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, so many who sat with them at the facilities to listen to worship services, reassuring them that they were never alone, was a beautiful gift of love. As a daughter, sister and caregiver, I am personally grateful for the loving and constant support of my husband Mark Stoner, my cousins, Jill Heffernan (David), Jackie Fruth, Tracy Seaver and family, as well as a literal local and worldwide brotherhood of loving friends that have never ceased in reassuring me of their loving support and kind concern, ever.
There is a tragic Pandemic twist to Marilyn’s story. It was agonizing, and bizarre and life changing by some who went through the experience with me. What needs to be known is the courage and the self sacrificing spirit of the frontliners, the healthcare workers who went out of their way to show the highest standards of care and acts of kindness and humanity during a time of unprecedented distress. I am forever grateful to the professional staff of HERITAGE of HUDSON, BELLACARE HOSPICE CARE and CLIFFORD SHOEMAKER FUNERAL HOME. They are still on the front lines. I keep them all in my prayers.
There will be no further services for Marilyn, but it would be her fervent wish that you take a moment to go to jw.org and see some beautiful words and videos of comfort and hope. You are ALL in our prayers. (TFNP, 4/19/20)