Obituary – Marilyn Stevens


It is with sadness that we share the news of the passing of our mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Marilyn Stevens on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, age 96.
Marilyn was the wonderfully loving mother of Melinda Smegal (Rick), Mark Stevens (Debbie) and Matthew Stevens (Mary), the caring Grandma of Scott (Jen), Jonathan (Lori), Lindsay (Dave), Darren, Emily and Jennifer, and the sweet GG of Fynn, Kate and Cole.
She was predeceased by her beloved husband of 75 1/2 years, Whitney, in July 2022.
Marilyn was born on Nov. 11,1926 in Kansas, United States, the only child of Merton and Verna Slater. They lived on a farm where they raised animals, had a large garden, made their own clothes and Marilyn went to a one-room schoolhouse. At the age of 12, Marilyn’s family sold all their possessions and moved to Detroit so Merton could find work.
Marilyn and Whitney met at church when they were 14, developed a loving relationship and married in 1946. Marilyn (working as a homemaker and office manager) and Whitney (working for Ford Motor Co.) lived in Detroit until moving to Plymouth, Michigan in 1964.
Wonderful family Christmas gatherings were fun every early November, playing with toys and games, having luscious dinners and taking that family photo. Once they retired, they travelled to Bradenton, Florida every winter to be with, what developed as, their Florida family. Marilyn and Whitney enjoyed the mild weather down there, playing cards, going out to eat, celebrating friends’ events, and always welcoming family members who could book some vacation time to come for a visit. Many a family member loved going to the beach and going out to that special seafood restaurant.
Throughout Marilyn and Whitney’s lives, they had a passion for family connections and values. Times spent with kids and grandparents were always planned. Being with relatives was special and provided many treasured moments for them. Watching their grandkids have 4-H competitions, play hockey or soccer, swim and do Ninja Gym (among other events) was fun, too. All phone calls, visits during the holidays and any other times, cards sent to/from them, were all full of love and caring.
Marilyn and Whitney were “relationship people”. Many of the friendships they had in high school and church youth group continued for decades. Staying connected was actively pursued by Marilyn and Whitney. They accepted all people, chatting with them, finding out what made them “tick”. Helping others was important to them as they willingly helped at church, assisted neighbours and family, and helped introduce newcomers. No one was a stranger for exceedingly long when Marilyn and Whitney were around!
This past year was difficult for Marilyn because she lost the “love of her life” last year, yet she continued to be positive, loving and interested in everything related to family and her friends at Independence Village Senior Residence in Plymouth. Anytime her child, grandchild or other friend/relative called her, you could hear the excitement in her voice, being thrilled to chat and share in the lives of her family members. Marilyn had a kind demeanour, would actively listen and was always eager to learn about that person’s thoughts, opinions, life experiences and travel…never judging the information being shared. When a family member or friend came to visit, Marilyn always welcomed them with a big hug and smiles. She was an inspiration to her family and splendid example of how to be kind.
Even as Marilyn was aging, she had a sharp mind and quick wit, displaying an amazing memory and care for feelings and things going on in the world. She was crafty, knitted and many times made her own cards. Many varied activities were enjoyed by her, including musical entertainment, and playing those lucky Bingo cards! She developed a love of watching Detroit Lions and Tigers plus MSU sports.
Marilyn’s family and friends will miss her kind, loving, caring demeaner, her smile, and those big hugs.
A celebration of her life is planned for Nov. 12, 2023 in Plymouth, Michigan. If you wish, memorial donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke or your favourite charity.

Obituary – Marilyn Stevens was last modified: November 6th, 2023 by Dianna Martell

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