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Thursday, May 7, 2015
Starts at 7:30pm (Central time)
Friday, May 8, 2015
Starts at 10:00am (Central time)
She was his “Lady” She was our “Mother” She was our “Mimi”
A beautiful soul has left this Earth,
on a Moonlit path to Heaven.
She left on her favorite day – Sunday,
and reached up to join the Angels.
Marilyn was born to John and Agnes Bleishock in New York, NY, she was the middle child of 5 siblings. John Nathaniel was the eldest, followed by Mary Louise, then Marilyn Teresa, with Winifred Carole and Robert Lewis on the other end.
Marilyn was a bright and witty child and was dearly loved by her family. She was beloved by her Mother who tragically passed away when Marilyn was only 14. At 17, she met her future husband, John Whitley at a dance at an Army Base, in Fort Totten, New York. It was love at first sight when she saw him and she immediately told the girlfriend who was accompanying her, “He's mine!” That was in 1952, and on February 22, 1953 they were married. Johnny took his “Lady” back to Texas with him where they lived in Corpus Christi, Texas for the first couple of years to be near his parents Ewing and Bernice Whitley. While living in Corpus Christi their first daughter, Mary Carole was born. In 1955, they moved their little family across the bay to Portland. A few years later their second daughter Beverly Anne was born. Now a “Mother” of two little girls, Marilyn was very happy taking care of her family, cooking wonderful meals, making friends, and enjoying her extended family. Her extended family all ended up living within close proximity in Portland. Her brother in law Robert and his wife Sharlene moved to the end of the same street on the same block enabling all the cousins to grow up together. This is when she was bestowed with the nick name “Mimi” by her nieces and nephews. She was also “Mimi” to her only grandchild, Melanie, who born to Beverly Anne. Marilyn had many roles in her life. She was a wife, mother, homemaker, caregiver, store clerk, store manager, secretary, and retiree. She worked for Royal Foodtown Grocery Store owned and operated by the Ganem family who loved her like she was family. She thoroughly enjoyed working there as she was a people person who loved to talk to people. She always made the customers laugh with her sharp witticisms. Mother's other passion besides her husband, Johnny, was cooking. Her family remembers the enormous Sunday meals she would make that would fed them for the rest of the week. She loved to cook for others - it was another way she expressed her great love for her family and friends. Her specialty was baking sweets. She made the best Cheesecake in the world that was envied even by her relatives in New York! She developed her own secret recipe that she refused to share, but would make it for anyone who asked for it. It has now become a family secret that will be carefully guarded in her memory! Throughout their 61 years together Marilyn and John have shared a wonderful life with many blessings. Together they were fascinated with seashells and joined the Shell Club. This inspired her to travel to the Florida Gulf Coast, Baja Mexico, and even Belize to enjoy the beauty of nature in collecting these treasures. She loved collecting and acquired a wonderful glass basket collection and collection of angels for her favorite holiday - Christmas. But Marilyn's greatest gift was her spirituality. It was recognized by her family when she was a young girl, she was especially devoted to the Blessed Mother. She traveled to the Holy Shrines with her older sister, Mary Lou. They went to Our Lady of Lourdes in France and to the Shrine of Fatima in Portugal. She was a devoted member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church and served that parish for over 40 years as a member of the Catholic Daughters, and volunteering in many areas of service to fellow parishioners. Throughout her life, Marilyn made many friends and was always reaching out to help others.
Marilyn is survived by: Her only Love, John A. Whitley; daughters Mary Carole Sitzes (Britt), Beverly Anne Daniel (Don); Granddaughter, Melanie Anne Edwards; Sister, Mary Lou Draves; nephews, William, Richard, Leonard and Chris Draves, John Bleishock, Eric and Kevin Nostrand; nieces Judy Betelwicz and Jennifer Lodica; Brother in law, Robert L. Whitley, and wife Sharlene, Nephews Robert, and Randy Whitley, Nieces Roxanna Cooper and Robin Jarvis.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association. A rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 7, 2015 at the Limbaugh Funeral Home. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m., Friday, May 8, 2015 at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Portland with interment to follow at Palms Memorial Gardens.