Marilyn Arthene Felix
Jan 15, 1923 – Apr 29, 2016
Our beloved Marilyn slipped peacefully into heaven on April 29, 2016, after a very short illness. She was born January 15, 1923, in Minneapolis, where she lived until her marriage to Rollie Felix. They moved to Washington and she lived the rest of her life in south Seattle, Des Moines, and Burien. She was preceded in death by her son, John (1972) and her husband, Rollie (1977)
Nothing was more important to Marilyn than her family! She made her home a warm and wonderful place to be. She was a loving, patient, and fun-filled mother to Terry Leffard (Ray) and Mary Kay Ault (Jon); grandmother to Julie, Shawna, and Katie; great-grandmother to Derek, Salena, and Haley; and great-great-grandmother to Jayce. She was never happier than when babysitting her little ones or hosting a big family dinner.
Her second great love was music. She began studying piano at age 8, and within several years was enrolled in the McPhail School of Music from which she graduated at 19. (Listen to the first movement of Beethoven’s Emperor concerto, and picture Marilyn at the piano during her commencement!) She became a teacher at McPail, and passed her talent on to hundreds of students over 40 years of piano lessons in Minneapolis, Burien, and Des Moines.
She happily accompanied many school programs for Mary Kay, and always loved to play the piano at home while family members sang along.
While at McPhail Marilyn also took art classes. She worked with chalks, charcoal, and oil paints, and later in her life created many beautiful water color pictures. One of her favorite memories was of leaving McPhail with a finished painting under her arm when she was spotted by Rollie, who talked the receptionist into giving him her phone number!
The Felixes lived at the northwest corner of SeaTac Airport until the expansion of the Port of Seattle caused them to move to Des Moines. There Marilyn could often be seen working in her yard and garden, and became something of a fixture in the area, walking the length and breadth of the city in her white beret.
Another great interest of hers was trains. Her father spent his career working for the Great Northern Railroad, and she often reminisced about the by-gone elegance of train travel. She was also an avid baseball fan (having been quite a tomboy in her youth) and could be heard rooting loudly for the Mariners!
Marilyn was a true “people person!” She was devoted to children, who were always drawn to her warm attention. She was a loyal friend who loved to laugh, talk, and write & receive endless cards and letters. She was an empathetic listener. She had a giving soul and went out of her way to help people — even relative strangers — in any way she could. Family and friends were saddened by the Alzheimers which slowly enveloped the last decade of her life, and we thank Burien Nursing and Rehabiliation for the loving care they gave her. Through it all, her sweet personality always shined through, and she never stopped singing!
Good-bye, Mom — we will always love you and will always remember what you taught us, through your example, about how to lead a good life.
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