Marilyn J. Long passed from this life on Monday, August 22, 2022 at Otterbein St. Marys.
Marilyn was born in Champaign County, Ohio on July 10, 1929 to Elwood Luther and Jessie Mae (Geuy) Ward. Living on a farm in her formative years gave her a strong love for nature and a self confidence that lasted her an entire lifetime. Her father’s ”go to” expression was: “Can’t got in the wheelbarrow and try pushed it!” Marilyn never shied away from a challenge, ever.
She graduated at the top of her class in 1947 from Johnson-St. Paris High School (now known as Graham) where she was a high school cheerleader and homecoming queen and went on to attend Wittenberg University majoring in art and home economics.
Marilyn was very active in 4-H winning local, district, state and national honors in dressmaking. Her creative side spilled over into flower arranging working for her father at Ward’s Florist, and into the arts. She loved to paint with oils and watercolors. She was also a skilled pianist and played for many events.
Marilyn was the original “Siri” and “Pinterest”! If anyone wanted to know how to make something - just call Marilyn. She saw beauty and possibility in everything!
In 1950, Marilyn wed C. Richard “Dick” Long of Pleasant Hill, Ohio. They were married 60 years when he passed in 2010. Together they created a beautiful family, son John (Marlene) Long, their three sons Nate, Victor (Kaylee), and David (Angie); daughter Cindy (Joe) Walkup, their five children Jim Folk III, Erin (Joey) Spencer, Chris (Brooke) Folk, Craig (Erin) Walkup and Emily (Brock) Hunton; daughter Sue (William) Cheslock, their five children BJ (Kristie) Zink, Dan (Jenn) Zink, Krissy Cheslock, Kyle Cheslock (bride- to-be Kelly), Kara Cheslock; and daughter Melissa (Branch) Goodson and many others who loved her and called her “Mom”. Marilyn is also survived by 16 great grandchildren and a sister-in-law Judy Ward. Marilyn was preceded in death by her brother Marion Ward and sister-in-law JoAnn (Long) Netzley.
While working alongside her husband in the funeral business for 50 years in St. Marys and Wapakoneta, Ohio, she taught art in the elementary schools in St. Marys and was an interior designer making the homes and businesses throughout Auglaize County beautiful. She was very active in the community of St. Marys and founded “Widow to Widow” and served as a support person for “Make Today Count”. Marilyn was active as a leader in 4-H and Girl Scouts and loved belonging to Bridge Clubs, the Shakespeare Club and the Drama Club. After she and Dick moved to Wapakoneta, she became very active in that community as well, serving as the Chamber of Commerce director and spearheaded the 25th Anniversary of the Moon Walk. In 1991, she received Woman of the Year award from the Business and Professional Women. ALWAYS busy, Marilyn enjoyed painting, drawing and reading to the very end.
Her family is very grateful for the love and care that she received from the Visiting Angels, Otterbein St. Marys assisted living and Grand Lake Hospice.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, August 30, 2022 at 2:00 pm at the Miller-Long & Folk Funeral Home, 314 W. High St., St. Marys, Ohio where she came to live as a young wife and mother in 1954!
Burial will follow at the Elm Grove Cemetery in St. Marys.
The family will welcome friends on Monday, August 29, 2022 from 5 to 8 pm at the funeral home and on Tuesday from noon to 2 pm prior to her service.
Memorial contributions may be made to her daughter Sue’s Animal Rescue Team: SART, P.O. Box 146, St. Marys, OH 45885 or on their website: sartohio.org. or Grand Lake Hospice, 1122 E. Spring St., St. Marys, Ohio 45885