Resident of San Jose
Was born in Spokane, WA, November 2, 1927 to Tom and Ruth Leonard, and entered into rest on June 28, 2012. A gorgeous baby who only increased in loveliness throughout her life, she was beautiful inside and out. Throughout her early years, she worked many summer jobs, including one at the Crescent Department Store. There, among other duties, she occasionally modeled clothing.
A graduate of Lewis and Clark High School, she went on to attend Washington State University. There she joined Alpha Chi Omega Sorority, maintaining a 60 year membership and friendship with many of her “sisters”. At WSU, she earned a degree in English and prepared for her career as an elementary school teacher. Marilyn had a very successful career teaching first grade in Spokane, Wenatchee, and San Jose. She was an exceptional teacher of reading, developing thousands of excellent readers in her lifetime. She had the ability to see each of her many students as individuals with unique needs, and then strove to meet them. Later in life when she would happen to meet her former students as adults, it was always a joy to see their delight in running into the “best teacher ever”! Upon her retirement in 1984, she began he favorite job of all: Grandma to her three granddaughters. She also spent her time volunteering at The Thrift Box to benefit Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital and other community organizations.
Marilyn maintained exemplary courage, grace and positive attitude throughout the difficult and often painful final years of her life, always seeing the humor in simple things. She brought her strength as a person to her family. She was extremely generous and ethical. She demanded honesty, truth, tolerance and respect for others. These qualities combined with an exceptional sense of humor, created an outstanding person who was loved by her family and many, many friends. it was with these friends and family she enjoyed many hours of tennis, golf, bridge, or a glass of wine with lots of fun and laughter!
Her love for her family was her priority in life. She is survived by her loving and devoted husband of 61 years, Professor Robert Wilson, her son, Dr. Robert Mark Wilson, lovely daughter Elizabeth Keiley, beautiful granddaughters Shannon, Alison, and Kelly Keiley, nine nieces and nephew, as well as many grand nieces and nephews. Special thanks to her wonderful niece Molly Hastings and husband Bill for their special attention, as well as the kind staff of Willow Glen Center.
Marilyn, Mom, Grandma, Auntie, you will be sorely missed and remembered forever by those who loved you.